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Dodge City dominates WAC girls soccer team
dodge soccer
2024 Western Athletic Conference girls soccer champion Dodge City


DODGE CITY  When Abraham Rosales was named the head girls’ soccer coach at Dodge City High School last year, he knew he was filling big shoes from the Saul Hernandez era.

Rosales knew he had a solid team returning for the 2024 spring season in the Western Athletic Conference. He used that experience to guide the Lady Red Demons to a 6-1-1 conference record to reclaim the title that had been occupied by Hays/Garden City over the previous two seasons.

“I knew we could make a few moves to improve our offense,” said Rosales, who also was named WAC Coach of the Year. “We had more options on the ball. We had an amazing season even if it didn’t end the way we had wanted.”

Rosales was referring to a Class 6A regional semifinal upset at the hands of a three-win Lawrence-Free State on the Demons’ home pitch at Memorial Stadium.

“Maybe we relaxed a little after winning WAC, I really don’t have a great explanation,” Rosales said. “Still, we were successful and winning WAC is an important goal.”

Rosales could point to game-by-game improvement, which was reflected in many ways, but most noticeably in close games. 

The Demons won a pair of one-goal matches against Hays (2-1, 2-1), an overtime win over Garden City (3-2) and an overtime tie with the Buffaloes (2-2). The beat Liberal 3-0 in the first match but lost their only conference match in the regular-season finale, 2-1, in overtime to the Lady Red. Overall, they finished 11-5-1.

“We gained a lot of confidence through the season and that was a key to our success,” Rosales said. 

Liberal High graduate Rosales is familiar with the WAC.

“It’s a very competitive conference with a lot of skilled players,” Rosales said. “It was a little weird the first game with Liberal, but you just have to put those connections aside and coach your team.”

Rosales had three of his players named to the all-WAC first team including Ruiz, the WAC Player of the Year, along with another junior, Ashley Alonso, and senior Naomy Parra.

Garden City, the league’s runner-up, also had three first-teamers in seniors Ariel Martinez, Wendy Zamudio and Alessandra Tovar. Hays and Liberal had two selections each. Hays (4-4) had sophomore Kinslee Newell and senior Arely Maldonado while Liberal’s picks were seniors Ashley Acevedo and Hailey Contreras. Great Bend’s Jillian Reimer round out the first team.

Jasmine Ruiz, Dodge City

WAC Player of the Year

In her first two seasons of high school soccer, Jasmine Ruiz played striker for the Dodge City Lady Red Demons.

She was highly successful and effective, scoring 43 goals as a freshman and adding 33 more in her sophomore season.

When new coach Abraham Rosales took over the head duties from Saul Hernandez, Ruiz was moved to the mid-fielder position in an effort to put the ball in her possession to help direct the offense.

“I wanted her to be on the ball more and that was my whole thought process,” Rosales said of his decision to move Ruiz.

Despite scoring fewer goals, Ruiz still managed 28 goals and 9 assists from the center position.

“It’s not so much a physical position as it is being to have good vision, speed to move the ball around and she has those qualities,” Rosales said of Ruiz.

Ruiz was surprised and pleased upon learning about her WAC Player of the Year honor.

“I had no idea but it feels really good,” Ruiz said when being told of her selection. “All the girls in the WAC are really good and there’s a lot of good talent.”

Ruiz said she felt she made the adjustment to her new position and enjoyed the team’s success.

“I created more plays with the ball,” Ruiz said. “This year, I had more assists and I see things differently and better from the new position. You kind of go from an attacking mind (striker) to helping your teammates create scoring opportunities.”

Ruiz said the WAC provided a tough schedule for the Demons as Garden City, Hays and Liberal all had talented and successful seasons.

“You know when you play those teams it is going to be a tough match,” Ruiz said. “It challenges us and you’re able to learn new skills.”

While Hays provided some of the toughest matches of the WAC schedule, it was the two overtime matches with Garden City that Ruiz will most remember.

“Those were stressful games,” she said. “One wrong move could cost you the game. The emotions were intense and it’s easy to get riled up.”

Ruiz credited her new coach with keeping her emotions under control early in the season.

“There were the new adjustments to the position and Coach helped me when I felt I would get lost there in the middle of the field,” Ruiz said. “But it all worked out as the season progressed.”

Ruiz scored her 100th career goal in the victory over Liberal and it will be a moment to remember.

“One of my teammates sent me a cross and I was able to get the shot and hit it high into the net,” Ruiz recalled. 

She said her plans are to spend the summer playing soccer and continue to improve her skills along with her teammates. The goal next year will be to repeat as WAC champions and then make a deeper run into the 6A state playoffs.

“We want to get to state next year,” Ruiz said. “That’s at the top of my list.”


Dodge City 6-1-1 11-5-1

Garden City 5-1-2 12-4-2

Hays High 4-4 10-7-1

Liberal 3-4-1 8-7-2

Great Bend 0-8 4-13


DODGE CITY—Jasmine Ruiz, 11; Ashley Alonso, 11; Naomy Parra, 12

GARDEN CITY—Ariel Martinez, 12; Wendy Zamudio, 12; Alessandra Tovar, 12

HAYS HIGH—Kinslee Newell, 10; Arely Maldonado, 12

LIBERAL—Ashley Acevedo, 12; Hailey Contreras, 12

GREAT BEND—Jillian Reimer, 11

PLAYER OF YEAR—Jasmine Ruiz, Dodge City

COACH OF YEAR—Abraham Rosales, Dodge City


DODGE CITY—Kelly Morales, 11; Karime Rueda, 10; Kathia Ramirez, 11

GARDEN CITY—Isabel Espino, 11; Aniya Merjil, 11

HAYS HIGH—Annie Humphrey, 10; Keira Wagstaff, 12

LIBERAL—Nicole Catalan, 11; Isabela Gutierrez, 11

GREAT BEND—Emelyn Luna, 11; Teegan Guerra, 9