KINGSBURG - Coming into the game against Dinuba on Jan. 8, Scott Hodges was unaware that he was one win away from his 100th career win as the Kingsburg girls soccer coach. After the Vikings defeated the Emperors 4-0, Hodges was honored for the accomplishment in a post-game ceremony.
Reaching the century mark in wins was something he was humbled about.
“This honor for the girls soccer program is a testament to the work ethic and dedication of the players, coaching staff, and parents over the past six years,” Hodges said. “It is an incredible blessing having the opportunity to work with such an fantastic group.”
To commemorate the milestone, Hodges was honored with a plague and a ball signed by players on his team.
“Although this award was presented to me, it belongs to everyone involved,” Hodges said.
Hodges career record as head coach currently stands at 101-34-9 overall and 35-8-1 in CSL play.
So far this season, the Vikings are 11-4-1 overall and 4-0 against Central Sequoia League opponents.
Hodges started coaching at Kingsburg High since the 2013-14 season and during his first five seasons as coach, the Vikings qualified for the Central Section playoffs every year. Kingsburg also won the Division IV title the past two seasons. Teams coached under Hodges never went under .500. The worst record for the program under Hodges was at 9-9-1 in the 2014-15 season.
“When I started, I wanted to build a quality program that not only that the kids would be proud of, but that the school would be proud of, and the town that would be proud of” Hodges said. “Not only on the field with how we play, but how we conduct ourselves off the field.”
Sophomore Shelby Reed said it was great to part of Hodges’ 100th win.
“It’s just great to be part of this team, they’re fantastic players,” Reed said. “The coach is amazing.”
Reed was responsible for one of four goals for Kingsburg, which came in the 7th minute. At the time of Reed’s goal, the score made it a 2-0 lead for the Vikings.
Marissa Montelongo had a hat trick for Kingsburg, scoring her goals in the 4th, 31st, and 47th minutes of play. It was her first hat trick of the year and it was the fifth time Montelonogo scored multiple goals in a game this season.
Hodges said all those goals were “tough” scores against a “well coached” team.
“We knew this was going to be a tough game,” Hodges said. “I know that score showed 4-0, but those four goals were tough goals to get. Dinuba played hard the whole time.”
So far this season, Kingsburg has shutout its league opponents 20-0. Outside of the Dinuba game, the Vikings defeated Immanuel 6-0 and Hanford West 5-0 in December and Kingsburg shutout Central Valley Christian on Jan. 10.
“I think it’s just the competition,” midfielder Emma Price said on the team’s league dominance. “It’s the riviarlies, this is Dinuba, they’re only 15 minutes away, so we have to beat them. Playing Selma, it's our rival, so it’s a lot more intense.”
Kingsburg has won 25-straight CSL games dating back to the 2015-16 season.
Hodges said the league schedule is important for the girls.
“League is a big deal to us,” Hodges said. “When league games come, the girls know that is when we switch from preseason and into league. So they have to step up their energy and focus and play. Our whole season is getting ready for league, getting ready for playoffs.”
The Vikings will visit rival Selma at Washington Union High School tonight. The Bears (5-5-1 overall, 0-4 in CSL) will aim for its first league win of the season. The rivalry matchup is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.
On Friday night, Kingsburg will be back on its homefield for CSL action against Immanuel (7-5-4, 0-3 in CSL) at 6 p.m.