Bulldog coach Sam Martinez oversees conditioning of his young Bulldog charges recently at the Mesquite Sports and Events Center. The Dawgs open preseason play at Pahrump Valley on August 28.

The Virgin Valley High School’s path to win a playoff spot in Coach Sam Martinez’s first year as head coach may seem easy due to the caliber of teams in the Sunrise League, but with 3A Nevada State Soccer champion Sunrise Mountain moving over from the Sunset League, their path to move on further could be in question. Martinez’s first year will be a learning experience for himself and his young charges as the Dawgs return only six players from last year’s playoff team. Striker Christian Martinez returns for his senior season along with fellow seniors Daxon Toone, and Carlos Campos. Juniors Pablo Aquilar, Ty Bryant and sophomores Daven and David Baltazar return with some experience under their belt. The Dawgs played good defense for most of the year but did not have the firepower on the offensive side. Martinez (Christian) is the only returnee to find the net last year. He led the Bulldogs with 13 goals. “I feel our strong suit will be our defense which will keep us in most games,” said Coach Martinez. “Our offense will come around as we gain experience.” The Dawgs went 5-7-0 in League play and 7-11-1 overall. The Bulldogs open at Pahrump Valley on Tuesday Aug.28. Despite going only 2-9-1 in 3A play last season, the Trojans return most all of their players.

The Dawgs will vie with the Miners, Del Sol and Chaparral in the Sunrise League as TECH was moved up to 4A ball. Del Sol could dethrone the Miners as they return 13 players from last year’s 9-1-2 second place team. Western could be the cream of the crop of the Sunset League as they return 16 players (7 starters) from last year’s 17-5-2 squad.