MCFARLAND, Calif. — In Coach Torres’ third season with the McFarland boys soccer team, second as a head coach, the Cougars have been dominant. They are 4-0 through the first few weeks of the season.
These boys have bought into their coach. Here are just a few words they use to describe her.
“Dedicated.” “Very tough.” “Smart.”
All words used to describe any successful coach. And that’s exactly her goal.
“ We want to win. if it were a normal season, you know, we want to go all the way,” Torres said.
And, yes, Coach Torres is a woman.
“I don't see a sport as being male or female. The sport doesn’t change, soccer is soccer no matter who it is or what it is,” Torres said.
But Mayra Torres is changing the norm. While she can’t confirm if she’s the first female coach of an all-boys team in the county, she knows it’s rare.
Yet, she’s never felt that pressure.
“Stressful, yes. And I think just coaching anything is stressful. But no I never got any kind of negative vibes from anybody. They’re awesome talented kids and there’s no going around that they make it easy for me,” Torres said.
“First I thought it was gonna be like very different but she just our coach is just normal as any other coach,” McFarland Senior Midfielder Yahir Morales said.
“She has new ideas on things that we don't see with male coaches. She sees more things and, and she gives new perspectives so that we can play better,” McFarland Senior Striker/Goalie Juan Duran said.
“I think maybe a little bit better, because she brings something new to the table, a new flavor,” McFarland Senior Midfielder Jahir Angulo said.
“Outside of winning, the goal is help these parents raise gentleman,” Torres said.
That lesson seems to have kicked in.
“Always be respectful around one another and play our best,” Angulo said.
And while these players have learned a lot from their coach, they’ve also taught her some things.
“That it’s ok to make mistakes. We strive to be perfect and its not a possibility. They mess up just like I do and one thing they do very well is that they come back very well,” Torres said.
A coach with a goal to win but also setting higher goals for other girls and women.
“Really happy to kind of pave the way for, for anybody else wanting to take that path to become a coach in a man's sport if that’s what we want to call it,” Torres said.
“At the end of the day, she’s doing her job, she’s coaching us and it’s worked out so far,” Duran said.
And she has one message for those who may doubt.
“Keep an eye out. I’m here and I’m not going anywhere and our boys are just going to keep improving,” Torres said.
The 4-0 Cougars host Tehachapi on Monday.