Alfredo Reynaga is back as Lathrop High's boys soccer coach, though he never actually left the school.
He is nearing his 10th year as a campus monitor is excited to get back to work in his second go-around with the program.
“I'm glad to get this second opportunity,” Reynaga said. “I'm looking for this one to be a longer go. We're hungry to get back at it.”
Reynaga became the fourth boys soccer coach in school history back in 2014. He was an assistant under Lenny Lial in 2013 when the Spartans enjoyed their best season with a 10-9-4 win-loss-tie record.
Lathrop was competitive in the rugged Valley Oak League in Reynga's four-year stint but could never break through for its first postseason appearance. The school was moved to the Western Athletic Conference in 2018-19, and the new league schedule conflicted with Reynaga's obligations as a club coach with Manteca Rangers. Chris Chilles led the team the past two years.
Reynaga will miss facing Manteca Unified rivals but looks forward to new challenges in the also-competitive WAC.
“I've kept a close look at these teams the last couple years,” Reynaga said. “It's a good league to be in. Every year there are four teams from the WAC and four from the VOL that make it in the playoffs and there is usually someone from both leagues going really far. The competition is no different.
“We're gotta earn our stripes all over again.”
He's bringing former junior varsity coaches Paul Rebelo and Ulysses Almanza back to the staff. Almanza also played for Reynaga's Spartans in 2014 and 2015. Trevor White, who has coached with Modesto Ajax, is joining as an assistant.
“We're all soccer junkies,” the head coach said.
Reynaga's eldest child, Xavier, graduated from Lathrop this past spring. His high school playing career was marred by injuries to both ACLs. He and his wife Andrea have two other children, seventh-grader Isaac and young daughter Maya. Andrea, a nurse, teaches Aztec Dance at McParland School.
Reynaga has more than a decade worth of experience coaching at the high-comp level at various age groups for both boys and girls. He is now involved with the decorated Central Valley Surf Soccer Club (formerly Monarcas Academy), which is affiliated with River Islands FC.
Lathrop Athletic Director Chuck Selna announced Reynaga's return as head coach in a press release on Tuesday.
“Coach Reynaga has proven himself to be a coach that strives to get the best from his players,” Selna stated. “The relationship that he has with the students on the LHS campus is one of respect. He will hold his players accountable to give their best effort in the classroom and on the field. We are fortunate to have Coach Reynaga on our coaching staff and leading the young men in our soccer program.”
Added Reynaga, “The transition will be smooth, but at the same time there are sophomores and freshmen that haven't been under my coaching. It's kind of refreshing. We'll have to set a good foundation and start all over again.”