Billings Senior’s soccer guys are 6-0-1 and have outscored their opponents 30-1 this year, allowing that lone goal in a 9-1 win over Belgrade on Tuesday.
An experienced team, particularly the back line, has been key for the Broncs, but so has their Spanish keeper who has been lights out.
“It’s one of the goals that we have, to maintain the clean sheet. The only way to keep doing it is to keep working hard in the practices and be concentrated in the games," said Biel Cantera, the Broncs' 16-year-old goalie.
“That’s always been the underlying rule every season with (head coach) Zach (Robbins). We don’t want to allow any goals but we also want to get as many as possible. It’s always been a goal to keep a clean sheet," senior forward Trey Draayer said.
Soccer is a fairly universal language, so there hasn’t been much hindering communication. When barriers do arise, though, the Broncs have a way around.
“One of our main assistants, Carlos Davey, is Peruvian, so he speaks Spanish. We haven’t had issues with communication with (Cantera)," Robbins said. "He understands, for the most part, what we’re talking about. When we throw in some jargon and slang, he sometimes gets confused, but for the most part he understands what’s being said.”
“We talk with short words. Short words," Cantera said of Spanish soccer. "For example, tola. Tola means a lot of things in soccer. Means turn, and then our passes. It means a lot of things. So it’s difficult because sometimes I don’t know how to say, but I know that I have to say something.”
The Broncs have 11 seniors this year, and they took Cantera into their group as soon as he got stateside. It helped ease the transition a bit for the Spaniard, but the time difference is still a drag.
“In Spain it’s eight hours later than here, so I can’t speak with my family or friends. Now I think I’m more adapted," Cantera said. "It’s difficult because here people have lunch at 12, in Spain we have lunch at 3 or 4. Also for dinner we have dinner at 11 in Spain, so here it’s a little different.”
Cantera’s eating schedule is off, but he’s fitting in just fine. The Broncs are in action on Friday at home against Great Falls CMR.