November 12, 2011
Boys soccer success increases interest in sport at Encina

Encina doesn't have much of a sports legacy.

Until three years ago, the Bulldogs had won only four Sac-Joaquin Section titles - swimming in 1963, girls volleyball in 1980, boys basketball in 1997 and track in 2001.

But after Encina's 1-0 win over Vacaville Christian earlier today in the Division VI boys soccer championship match at Cosumnes Oaks, the Bulldogs now have seven banners, including three in a row in soccer.

Encina is building a reputation for being a soccer school.

"Our students, staff and community have supported the program so well over the last few years," wrote John Buchmiller, who coaches the program with Glenda Claremon, in an e-mail. "For a school that struggles in so many ways, our program offers an opportunity for success."

Buchmiller says that more than 10 percent of the students are playing boys and girls soccer at the school.

"Soccer has become the thing to do at our school, and our home attendance has been spectacular," he wrote.

When Buchmiller and Claremon took over the program in 2005, the Bulldogs had been through a revolving door of coaches and players. There was no junior varsity team.

In their first season, the Bulldogs won two games and struggled at times to put 11 players on the field.

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Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at or

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