When the referee blows his or her whistle at Watson Memorial Stadium to start the fall season for the Hobbs boys’ soccer team, it will be the first game without former head coach Jose Mares who retired at the end of the 2019 season. It will also signal a new era for the Eagles as Alejandro Chavez takes over as the new head coach. He will be a physical education teacher at Stone Elementary.
This will be Chavez’s first gig as a head coach, but he has had plenty of experience with the sport and coaching. He worked as an assistant coach McMurry University in Abilene, Texas and at the University of the Southwest, as well as working as an assistant with Abilene High School. Before he began his coaching career Chavez played soccer at every level, including playing collegiate with McMurray University.
“I’m super excited,” Chavez said. “I cannot wait to get it going. I know that coach Mares did some amazing things with this program over 16 years. I know he created a legacy and now it’s my turn to make history for the program. And that’s what I want to do for the boys and the community.”
Chavez takes over a program that last season-finished runner up in the Class 5A state tournament. The new Eagles coach has a few goals for his players and program. He understands the state title is the main goal, but he also wants his players to learn and grow.
“We are going to take it game by game,” he said. “First we are going to go game by game and start taking it strong. I go by its not the way you start but the way you finish. Conference is the main thing first so we can get an automatic and go to the tournament. After that we will go get the state title and make sure the boys grow up and learn from everything they have done. And we go from there.”
Before joining Hobbs, Chavez spent the last season at USW as an assistant coach with the men’s program. He moved to Hobbs last year to work as an assistant with the USW women’s program and instead worked with both programs finishing the season on the men’s side.
His experience and enthusiasm for the sport is what led to Hobbs athletic director Brenda Wilson in hiring Chavez. She is excited in bringing a only help the players improve on the field, but more importantly he will teach them the goals and standards Hobbs teaches to all of its students.
“We are excited to get coach Chavez in place,” she said. “He’s got lots of soccer experience from high school to college play. He has experience at USW as well and we think he has the energy and passion to lead our soccer kids here i n Hobbs.
“I think those connections will be an asset for him as well. His experience as a grad assistant at USW is really going to help him as far as the organizational part of it here at Hobbs because he has the experience at the college level. I think it will be easier at the high school level with an assistant or two to help him as well. I think his college connections will be valuable for him as well and maybe for our kids too.”
When it comes to his tactics and formations, Chavez is taking a wait and see approach. Most will depend on the players he has and what he sees from his opponents.
“The strategy is sprint for every ball,” he said. “We are going to go in hard every single game. We are not going to take anything lightly, we are going to play every single play hard, and take it game by game. There are different strategies for different games.
“Depends on what we see, see what works and what does not work. With every different team its always a different formation, just depends on the other team and what they play. Just looking through film to see what works and what does not, and that’s when we will start implementing stuff and change things around to see what is working and what is not.”
With social distancing, Chavez has not had the chance to meet his players in person and knows there is the possibility he could lose the summer to work with them. So to combat this he will be sending out packages to the players giving them exercises they can do at home to help keep them and their family safe.
In taking this position, Chavez added he hopes to accomplish his own personal goal and be an inspiration for each of his players in being successful.
“The main thing is my goal for them is to build character, build responsibility, to be respectful, and all the small things like character and that is the most important thing for myself,” he said. “As a former player I was just one of those players no body expected to get out of Galveston (Texas) and to go play. I want to inspire that to these boys that anybody can do it. Now I’m over here pursing going for my master, knowing that nobody thought I would be achieving this. I want to share my story with the boys and make sure they achieve their dreams. This is why I am here to inspire them and to go on to the next level and do whatever I have to do to get them there.”