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The Hamilton High boys soccer team appears to be primed for the postseason after its most recent win against Durham, which the Braves beat 5-1 on Tuesday with a two-goal performance from junior halfback Rigoberto Sanchez.

Sanchez, who leads his team on the year with 16 goals, has been a leader in every sense of the term according to Hamilton coach Mitch Esparza.

“He”s the heart of our team,” said Esparza of Sanchez. “His leadership on and off the field is outstanding. He has a terrific ability to shoot from any distance. He can shoot from 35 yards out and he”s extremely accurate — just pinpoint accuracy. But his assists are just as important to us as his scoring. He”s the most coachable kid I”ve seen in my life.”

Esparza went on to commend Sanchez for his dedication.

“His work ethic is unbelievable,” said Esparza. “He”s a coach”s player. All the players look up to him. He leads by example and never berates anybody, no matter what their talent level. He encourages above and beyond what any other players would do. He”s a true team player.”

True to form, the humble Sanchez credited his team”s collective chemistry for its recent success rather than placing the focus on himself.

“Right now everyone is working as a team, and as long as we keep doing that, we”re going to do well,” said Sanchez. “We have a lot of strengths. Our mentality is our biggest one. There”s no negativity on our team. Our only goal is to get another section title, so that”s what we focus on.”

It”s that attitude that makes life so easy on Esparza.

“This will be my third year coaching, and every year I”ve been here, (Sanchez) has contributed,” said Esparza. “There were times where I”ve questioned whether I wanted to coach at the high school level, but having a kid like Sanchez keeps you motivated.”

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