The Sparks boys soccer team started its 2016 season on Friday with a pair of non-league victories over 4A schools in the Howell Memorial Tournament.
The Railroaders (2-0, 0-0) bested Galena, 1-0, then Bishop Manogue, 2-0. All games played in the tournament at the South Valleys Sports Complex were played with 25-minute halves.
In the first game, Genaro Vazquez scored the lone goal of the match with nine minutes left in regulation. Jesus Partida, who missed all of 2015 with a torn ACL, assisted the tally.
Keeper Jose Cerritos made a big save from just six yards out in the final minutes to preserve the lead.
In the second game, Partida again assisted Vazquez to open the scoring 16 minutes in. Partida found later found the net for the first time, with an assist from Eric Cervantes, to stretch the lead.
The Railroaders play 3A North foe Elko, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, followed by a match against Damonte Ranch at 11 a.m.
If Sparks wins its pool, it will play for the tournament title at 3 p.m.
Sparks girls fall to Reno, beat Elko to open season
The Sparks girls also opened their 2016 season Friday in the Howell Memorial Tournament in walked away with a split in two games.
The Railroaders (1-1-0, 0-0) played Reno even in regulation in the opener, 1-1, but fell in PKs, 4-3. They rebounded in the second game, besting league-rival, Elko, 2-0.
In the loss to Reno, Sparks allowed a PK goal at the end of the first half and drew even in the second. Angie Hurtado assisted the Lizeth Garcia equalizer.
Hurtado and Garcia both scored in the win over Elko.
Sparks will wrap up the non-league tournament Saturday with matches against Damonte Ranch at 11 a.m. and Bishop Gorman at 1 p.m.