Boys soccer to kick off district play


Courtesy of Joan Lange

Senior Bretton Laboret looks to pass the ball to junior Benji Merrick against McKinney in the Allen High School showcase. The Leopards fell to McKinney 2-0.

Joe Vastano, Staff Writer

The boys soccer team (3-1-2, 0-0) opens district play against rival Highland Park (2-4-0, 0-0) tonight at home. This is the Leopards’ first game in two weeks since the Allen tournament.

“Highland Park is going to bring it because they know we’re ranked pretty high,” junior Haydn Spooner said. “We know how they play from film and previous games playing them, and so in practice, we scrimmage against the formation we think they’re going to bring to game day and learn how to counter it and what to be aware of.”

Last season, the Leopards fell short of going to state. The team has reloaded with a deep junior class after losing key seniors Cal Cranfil and Eddie Silva last year, who both helped the boys win the district championship.

“[Highland Park is] very good technically, and they are going to come out strong against us because we won district last year, so we have to come out just as strong as they do,” junior starter Max Pabin said.

The Leopards finished last season with 11 wins in district and an overall record of 15-6-4, with some of those losses to 6-A programs. Against Highland Park last season, the team won the first match 1-0 and narrowly were defeated in the second match 2-1. Tonight is an opportunity to take back the second loss from last season.

“The energy [around the team] is great,” senior captain Bretton Laboret said. “I know that everyone is eager to take it to Highland Park tomorrow night and get district started. These past weeks we’ve been solidifying our formations and continuing to build team chemistry in preparation for district.”