High Hopes; Varsity Soccer Optimistic After Last Season’s Success
The time expired and the boys’ varsity team found themselves on the losing end of the state semi finals to Mesquite Poteat. After winning seven straight playoffs games, including beating their rival Midlothian, their Cinderella story of potentially winning state had come to an end. Seven months have passed and soccer season has re-emerged. The boys take the field with purpose and determination, knowing that this could be the year they win it all.
After last year’s loss to Mesquite Poteat, the varsity boys’ soccer team looks to return to the state playoffs and win the state championship. Last year, Legacy did not rank high prior to the beginning of the season. However, they won district and made it all the way to the semi-finals of the state playoffs. This year, the men’s varsity is ranked number two in the state. The high ranking brings high expectations to the team, who don’t let it get to their heads and become a distraction. Center midfielder, Bryan Zahner, assumes his responsibilities as one of the team captains, leading by example and helping keep his team focused.
“It’s the same gist this year,” Zahner said. “We keep our egos down as a team and try not to get big heads.”
This year’s team has six returning seniors, including captains Bryan Zahner, Matt Munford, and Isaac Pile. The team practices for two and a half hours every day.
Their practices consist of gassers, which are running the width of the field four times in less than 40 seconds. It also includes short sprints, to work on players’ explosiveness into their breaks, as well as agility drills to improve their footwork. The team has watched game film from their previous year’s games, attempting to acknowledge weak points and develop strategies.
“They keep us fit and energized until the end the game,” center back, junior Kevin Spoonemore said. “The other team gets tired and makes mistakes. We don’t make those mistakes.”
This year’s team lacks the players who made a difference last year. Jordan Rodriguez, Bryan Henriquez, and Johannes Gloeckler will not be present on this year’s team and it’s up to this year’s players to fill their positions and perform at their level.
“We have to step up and fill those positions,” Spoonemore said. “We have to make fewer mistakes and work together as a team to make up for those people we lost.”
The team has already taken their weak points into account. In practice, they’ve been executing situational drills, which put players into certain situations offensively and defensively, making them pull through it as if it were in an actual game. Head coach, Aaron Cottrell has also made sure their game plans are memorized so when the games come, players instinctively know their assignments and can adjust to the game’s flow.
“Cottrell has definitely utilized our strong points,” Zahner said. “He knows the game well and he fits our formation around our weak points. I think that if we had any other coach, our team wouldn’t be as successful as we are.”