Soccer district play continues at home


Parker Nolan

Goalie Shane Gentry punts the ball after a save against the last varsity boys game.

Kevin Davis, Sports Editor

With soccer heading into the second round of district play, the boys are currently sitting on a district record of 6-1 while the girls are currently 3-3-1.

Both teams face Denison at home tonight with the guys at 5:30 and the girls following at 7:30.

Momentum for the boys team quickly snowballed once the season began. Four games before district play began, the team started what became a nine-game win streak including six consecutive shutouts.

“Our motivation to win games has always been the same, seeing each other have fun playing the sport we all love,” senior Hunter Finner said. “The wins were just icing on top of the cake.”

Although the streak ended with a loss to Wylie, the team quickly bounced back by beating district leader McKinney on penalty kicks.

“We kept our motivation [after the loss to Wylie] with the fact that we are still contenders in winning our district,” Finner said. “And what better way to start a new streak and recreate our momentum than with a win against the top team in our district which we got in a PK shootout to McKinney Tuesday night?”

Senior Andrew Hopkinson said the team is confident heading into the second round of district play, but realizes that they need to stay focused due to the second round being traditionally tougher than the first.

“I think after a pretty successful first half of district, we need to focus on one game at a time as we move into the 2nd half,” Hopkinson said. “Usually the 2nd half of district is a lot tougher and each game is close. So I think if we stay focused in practice and take it game-by-game then we will be fine.”

As for the girls, they head into the second half of district play in a different situation. However, the girls have been missing a handful of players on their starting lineup. Fortunately, a large majority of those players will be ready to play for the second half of district play.

“All three starting midfielders were out,” head girls soccer coach John Baker said. “One of our other good midfielders Kaylee Rekieta was playing basketball, and within the last week we’ve gotten Rekieta, Jensyn Caton, Ashley Johnson, Lizzie Weichel back basically at the same time. That has just been an influx of energy and optimism and excitement it’s definitely been shown on the field.”

With those players out, it was difficult for the team to stay in rhythm due to players having to adjust and play positions they aren’t used to.

“It’s been difficult on everyone having to step up and play in positions they aren’t used to,” junior Jensyn Caton said. “A few people, myself included, are just getting back and tomorrow is our first game with only one person injured, so I’m excited to see how that and the rest of the season goes.”

In addition to the team regaining players that are vital to the team’s success, Baker has seen lots of improvements on and off the field since the beginning of the season.

“I would say definitely the team spirit has been a big improvement,” Baker said. “We are all in a real positive place, we are really supporting each other working together, fighting for every single ball. They all get along and that kind of makes everything a lot easier.”

Despite all the improvements to the team’s play, there are still some things that could be fixed.

“We have got to get a little more disciplined, be better at winning 50/50s balls in the air, we’ve got to finish the opportunities that we get and make less mistakes,” Baker said.