Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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2018 Boys Soccer Preview Capsules

Jan. 6, 2018 at 3:48 p.m.

Rudy Gutierrez is a key returnee for Longview  this season.


Mascot: Lobos

Coach: James Wright (272-139-60)

District: 11-6A (John Tyler, Tyler Lee, Mesquite, Mesquite Horn, North Mesquite, Rockwall, Rockwall-Heath)

2017 record: 10-5-7

Top returning players: Rudy Gutierrez ... Mac Henderson

Newcomers to watch: Jesus Galvin

You can count on: "Good team unity. Lots of talent and experience." — Wright

Needs work: "Leadership." — Wright

Did you know: The Lobos finished third in the district race a year ago and lost to College Park in the bi-district round of the playoffs ... Henderson was a first team all-district and TASCO first team all-region selection last season.


Mascot: Pirates

Coach: Andre Lo (223-71-36)

District: 16-5A (Hallsville, Marshall, Mount Pleasant, Sulphur Springs, Greenville, Texas High)

2017 record: 19-3-6

Top returning players: Luke Yoder ... Joel Gonzalez ... Valentin Gimenez ... David Rivera ... Colten Lybarger ... Tony Molina ... Jafet Rodriguez ... Jose Vasquez ... Michael Molina ... Bryan Alfonso ... Andres Beserra ... Juan Gimenez

Newcomers to watch: Devin Taylor

You can count on: "We had a young team last year. The current seniors have provided outstanding leadership on and off the field throughout the preseason. Combining with their preseason attitude and the experience gained in our early exit from the playoffs last season, they will surely be the difference in this year's success." — Lo

Needs work: "We will need to improve on defending in both technically and tactically during the preseason." — Lo

Did you know: The Pirates finished second in the district race last season ... Michael Molina was the district's Newcomer of the Year last season


Mascot: Bobcats

Coach: Hector Rodriguez and Marcos Rodriguez

District: 16-5A (Pine Tree, Marshall, Greenville, Mount Pleasant, Sulphur Springs, Texas High)

2017 record: 6-8-1

Top returning players: Caden Zulliger (nine shutouts in goal; allowed 1.1 goals per game) ... Seth Morgan ... Alan Acuna (25 goals, 6 assists) ... Geovanni Alvarado ... Kaleb Wagner ... Morgan Wolverton ... Alan Dilday ... Pablo Juarez ... Jaime Martinez ... Angelo Fradella

Newcomers to watch: Emilio Villegas

You can count on: "A higher competitive level." — Rodriguez

Needs work: "Transition of play." — Rodriguez

Did you know: Acuna was a first-team all-district pick last season, and Zulliger was named the district's top goalkeeper.


Mascot: Mavericks

Coach: Brian Speer

District: 16-5A (Pine Tree, Hallsville, Mount Pleasant, Greenville, Sulphur Springs, Texas High)

2017 record: 14-6

Top returning players: Michael Galvan ... Roberto Navarro ... Eber Jaimes ... Hector Tello

Newcomers to watch: Brian Gomez ... Kevin Olvera

You can count on: "Passing ability." — Speer

Needs work: "Everything else." — Speer

Did you know: The Mavericks fell in the opening round of the playoffs last season to Mesquite Poteet


Mascot: Panthers

Coach: David Plunk (154-201-12)

District: 16-4A (Kilgore, Henderson, Carthage, Gladewater, Tatum, Waskom)

2017 record: 8-12-3

Top returning players: Manuel Flores (8 goals, 8 assists) ... Hunter Martin (2 goals, 2 assists) ... Israel Peralta (121 saves in goal) ... Braden Herman

Newcomers to watch: Chandler Thaden ... Jonathan Alvarez ... Grant Fisher

You can count on: "More depth at all positions, more balanced scoring from several players and an older, more mature team in spite of having only two seniors." — Plunk

Needs work: "Continued team chemistry, learning a new system/formation along with individual roles and playing a little more physical." — Plunk

Did you know: Flores was a first team all-district pick, and Martin earned second team all-district honors last season.


Mascot: Bulldogs

Coach: Tom Wait (255-97-39)

District: 16-4A (Spring Hill, Henderson, Carthage, Gladewater, Waskom, Tatum)

2017 record: 23-5

Top returning players: Jordi Contreras ... Kaleb Jett (11 shutouts in goal) ... Diego Huerta ... Jovany Gonzales ... Daniel Sifford ... Raul Cedillo

Newcomers to watch: Jonathan Hinojos ... Gavino Baldoza ... Brandyn Hinojos

You can count on: "Strong work ethic, strong defending and lots of experience." — Wait

Needs work: "Attacking." — Wait

Did you know: Kilgore has been to the UIL State Soccer Tournament three straight seasons, winning the program's first championship last season. The Bulldogs defeated Mineola (5-0), Pleasant Grove (5-2) and Palestine (4-2) to reach the regional tournament and A-Plus Academy (6-2) and Ranchview (4-3) to earn a state tournament berth. After blanking Houston Washington (4-0) in the state semifinals, the Bulldogs defeated Bridgeport in the title match (2-2/4-2 on penalty kicks).


Mascot: Eagles

Coach: Jose Angel Rocha (45-42-4)

District: 16-4A (Kilgore, Spring Hill, Henderson, Carthage, Waskom, Gladewater)

2017 record: 12-7-2

Top returning players: Cristian Hernandez (9 shutouts, 77 saves in goal) ... Marco Vasquez ... Jesus Aguirre (15 goals, 4 assists) ... Erik Gonzalez (3 goals, 6 assists) ... Ismael Vazquex (2 goals, 2 assists)

Newcomers to watch: Omar Rodriguez ... Rodolfo Barrera ... Landon Richardson

You can count on: "The Eagles will look to a junior-filled offensive third to supply their goals as their defensive third will be led by a few seniors." — Rocha

Needs work: "The Eagles will be young in talent as they graduated nine seniors from last year's team, six of which were starters." — Rocha

Did you know: The Eagles lost to Chapel Hill, 2-1, in the opening round of the playoffs last season ... Rocha is a 2005 Tatum graduate.


Mascot: Bulldogs

Coach: James Watson (7-13)

District: 16-4A (Spring Hill, Kilgore, Henderson, Tatum, Gladewater, Waskom)

2017 record: 7-13

Top returning players: Junior Salazar (15 goals, 9 assists0 ... Hunter Stevenson (18 goals, one assist) ... Jacob Cabello (1 goal, 4 assists) ... Jose DeJulian (2 goals, 7 assists) ... Damian Salazar (1 goal, 3 assists) ... Shooter Stevenson (4 goals, 9 assists) ... Josh Garcia ... Eric Canada ... Jesus Roman ... Billy Miller

Newcomers to watch: Jose Moises ... Tucker Smith ... Miguel Olvera ... Pedro Garcia

You can count on: "We only lost one full-time starter off last year's squad, so their is a lot of chemistry and familiarity with this year's team. It is also the second year in our 3-5-2 scheme, so there is a lot of trust and effective communication on the pitch. We also have multiple seniors who will be four-year starters for the Bulldogs. Tremendous senior leadership on this team will help propel us to our goals as a program this season." — Watson

Needs work: "We lost several games last season by one goal, in overtime or in penalty kicks. If we can remain calm in high-pressure situations and execute, we can turn those one-goal losses into one-goal wins and get where we want to be as a team — having a winning record and making the playoffs." — Watson

Did you know: Salazar was the district's sophomore of the year last season, and he recently earned a spot in the South Texas Youth Soccer Association Olympic Development Program


Mascot: Wildcats

Coach: Jeremy Kubiak (13-12)

District: 16-4A (Spring Hill, Kilgore, Henderson, Tatum, Carthage, Gladewater)

2017 record: 13-12

Top returning players: Jua Carlos Castillo (26 goals, 8 assists) ... Adolfo Sanchez ... Hugo Tapia ... Ivan Sanchez ... Luis Sanchez

Newcomers to watch: Marcy Blas

You can count on: "We will always play you tough for a full game." — Kubiak

Needs work: "We will be very young. We graduated eight starters from last year's team." — Kubiak

Did you know: Waskom, a seventh-year program, is the smallest team in the district enrollment-wise, but the Wildcats have been to the playoffs two of the four seasons the program has been eligible for district play


Mascot: Cardinals

Coach: Art Busha

2017 record: 8-8-2

Top returning players: Pedro Alamilla ... Jose Govea ... Kobi Renfro ... Gozalo Cazares ... Eric Cazares ... Luis Rosas ... Saniel Acosta ...Fernaodo Jaimes

Newcomers to watch: Eduardo Jaimes ... Rodolfo Fierros

You can count on: "This year our soccer team has both talent and depth to do very well. We have 25 players who have the desire to win and the passion to play soccer. Overall, I see this team have a great season ahead if we play with passion and unity. We like to control and pressure the ball, and we have the speed and skill to dictate the game. We will be exciting to watch this season." — Busha


Mascot: Leopards

Coach: Joe Ward (8-30)

District: 10-4A (Pleasant Grove, Pittsburg, Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill, Atlanta)

2017 record: 0-16

Top returning players: Steven Goben ... Jose Aguilar ... Corey Cox ... Devonte Vaughn ... Gerald Webster

Newcomers to watch: Deshaun Dickerson ... Greg Aguilar

You can count on: "Offensive attack." — Ward

Needs work: "Possession game." — Ward



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