By George Laase and Steve Finley
Culver City’s High School athletic success this year has filtered down to the middle school. The middle school’s boys soccer program has stepped into the championship winners circle for the second year in a row when they won the championship game last Thursday, May 31.
The team of 21 Panther players has every soccer fan in Culver City excited about the future at the next level. “We have a great team with lots of talent in all areas,” said co-head coach Mike Castillo, who along with co-head coach Edward Dono has built a strong soccer program over the last few years at the middle school. “We have eight and seventh graders on the team so the future is very bright.”
The team was undefeated this year with a record of 10-0-1 and with so many players on the team the competition was very intense at every practice. “These boys were always competitive and they work hard,” said Castillo. “Every game the other teams fought hard but we fought a little harder and our two midfielders were not afraid of anyone.”
This season Castillo and Dono coached three teams, boys’ varsity, junior varsity, and a six-grade team. The coaches worked together as a team rather than head coach and assistant coach.
Both coaches are also Culver City High School and Culver City Middle School alumni who played under longtime Culver City high school soccer coaching legend Dave Sanchez from 2006-2010. Both coaches teach at the middle school and they love giving back to the community that raised them.