Soccer awaiting kick-off on home turf

The boys and girls soccer teams have begun their seasons but have yet to play at home.


Stu Mair

During last years game against Prosper, goalie Abby Henning directs the other leopards on the field.

Kevin Davis, Sports Editor

The turf of Leopard stadium is awaiting its first action of 2016 as both the boys and girls soccer teams have begun their seasons but have yet to play at home. Currently in tournament play, both squads have their cleats laced up and are preparing for pre-district and district play.


The boys are currently sitting at a 2-2 record with wins over North Garland and Thomas Jefferson and losses from Colleyville Heritage and Kilgore.

“The best team we have played so far is probably Kilgore; they went to state tournament last year,” senior Matt Marlow said.

Although the season is just beginning, a 2-2 record is not satisfactory for the Leopards. One point of emphasis the team is finishing when given opportunities to score.

“Right now we are working on finishing in practice, because we don’t really shoot that much,” Marlow said. “We do shoot, but we don’t score that much, so that’s probably the reason we haven’t won that many games.”

Senior Johnny Grado agreed with the idea that scoring needs to be a point of emphasis moving forward into the season.

“We haven’t done a lot of scoring so we have been working on that,” Grado said. “We have been changing formations to mix some things up a bit.”

Formation changes have been made to freshen up the team’s scheme and to try something opposed to last year’s formation.

“We have changed our formation a little bit as opposed to last year,” Marlow said. “Instead of a 4-4-2 the whole time, we have been working with a 4-1-4-1 to get a little more balance in the back.”

One pre-district matchup sticks out on the schedule in JJ Pearce, a team that the Leopards beat last season. Also, multiple teams in the district have a target on their back before district play has even begun.

“Wylie East, Prosper, and McKinney North will be the toughest district teams that we will play this year,” Grado said. “We have our first home game against JJ Pearce coming up; they are pretty good. We beat them last year, so it is a big pre district game.”


For the Lady Leopards, the beginning of the season has somewhat been the same story as the boys’ season.

“Right now we really need to work on scoring; we are having trouble scoring,” senior Kaylee Grigg said.

Team chemistry is a reason that Grigg thinks the product that has been put on the field hasn’t been up to the standards of the team.

“I personally think it is lack of team chemistry up top,” Grigg said. “I think since it is just the beginning of the season we aren’t really clicking. We haven’t figured it out yet as a team yet. We have lots of chemistry off of the field but not great chemistry on the field, and we haven’t figured out how to work together on the field yet so out results aren’t really showing our true skill.”

With a coaching change this year came a new practice regimen for the team. Practices have been centered more around soccer and less around fitness and cardio this season.

“This year in practice we have been practicing with the ball more as opposed to last year, it was all fitness, while this year it’s all scrimmaging,” Grigg said. “It’s actually soccer practice, we are using the ball way more. We actually have warmups and things are more concrete this year.”

However, even with a coaching change, the strategy on the field hasn’t changed much.

“We have the same formation this year, so it hasn’t really changed,” Grigg said. “We have two freshmen that came up that are really good, so that is helping us in different positions that I think would have helped us out a lot last year as well, but there is nothing really different on the field.”