Players hope to use unity to advantage
Jan. 11, 2011 at 11:01 p.m.
Updated Jan. 10, 2011 at 7:11 p.m.
The split of Memorial has caused new players to take on new roles, and the get to know new players and new styles.
Take Garrett De Los Santos, for example.
The senior was a starter last season for Memorial. This season, he's being looked at to help Victoria West forge a winning tradition with a largely new crew of players.
"We started out on JV, all moved up and we get fill the shoes of those who have left," the senior said. "Now I'm having to be a quarterback for the offense. We all are filling new shoes.
"We know that the next game is the only one," he added. "One at a time through district."
And the early assessment?
"It's a perfect fit for us with these players," said senior Jose Acosta. "We lost a lot of seniors, and we're trying to fill the spots."
The Warriors players know they have to step up. Only one starter from last year's team - De Los Santos - is on West's first boys soccer team, and head coach Bill Tally said he's looking for a lot of players to step up into new roles.
They know that getting to Memorial's 14-4-4 record from the 2010 season won't be an easy task.
But the locker room figures to be one of the team's great strengths as they prepare to open the season on Saturday.
"The main strength is that they play as a unit," Tally said. "It's a good locker room and everyone gets along, and we're sound fundamentally."
And it's not as though the Warriors are fraught with inexperience. De Los Santos said the team has players who had not previously played at the high school level, but played in Sunday soccer leagues and other experience, including playing in the FC Dallas soccer academy.
But they can't shake the feeling that people think they are behind their crosstown counterparts. Victoria East picked up most of the returning starters from last season's Vipers' team.
And, Acosta said, the Warriors like it that way.
"We want to be known as the underdogs going in," he said, which helps to energize the team to play better.