Victoria West, Victoria East kick off district soccer season
By BY WILL BROWN - WBROWN@VICAD.COM
Jan. 28, 2013 at 11:01 p.m.
Updated Jan. 27, 2013 at 7:28 p.m.
Play time is over.
For the boys soccer coaches at Victoria West and Victoria East, the hope is the kinks have been ironed out and both squads can hit the ground running as the district soccer season kicks off this week.
"For us, we've set some goals and I tell them 'That was the regular season, now we're in district, which gets you into the playoffs,'" said West boys soccer coach Bill Tally. "We have some goals for district and we have some goals to keep playing beyond that. We tell the kids to come ready to play to achieve the goals that we've set."
West (9-1-1) will host Rockports-Fulton to open District 59-4A.
Victoria West has won six straight matches and shutout eight of its 11 opponents.
However, one of the teams to breach the Warriors defense, Gregory-Portland, is a district opponent.
Sophomore forward Corbin Perez said the recipe for West's form is simple.
"It's definitely because of Coach Tally," said Perez, who scored two goals in West's final non-district tune-up, a 6-0 win against Kingsville. "He's a great coach and he has really helped us. We're playing as a team. We work hard in practice, but we also have fun."
Despite the early results, West will rely on its experience and seniors like Hector Mendoza, Danny Valadez, Isai Martinez, Korey Parks and others to navigate through district play.
East, however, will not have that luxury.
Tuesday night the Titans will travel to Corpus Christi to face Moody High School.
The Trojans narrowly missed the playoffs last year - they were eliminated in the last game of the season - which allowed West to eke into the playoffs. However, Moody returns a trio of 2012 All-District selections including MVP Eden Gonzales.
The Titans (2-7-1) are certainly a different team from the one that split its district contests with the Trojans last year. For starters, East's entire midfield and forward Cole Fimbel graduated.
"We're not trying to repeat last year's district championship," said Victoria East head coach Bobby Ramos in a recent interview. "We're trying to attack this year's district championship."
East will start five sophomores or freshmen Tuesday. Cole's brother, Wyatt, is one of the underclassmen Ramos said he will depend on to lead the Titans. Midfielder Isaac Ramirez, defender Ben Flores and senior forward Pablo Aviles will be the others.
Ramos and Titan fans can only hope the youthful boys team is able to replicate the success of the underclassmen on East's girls team.
Misty Boenig's team is 7-3-1 entering district play with a starting lineup that has four sophomores and two freshmen.
A year ago, the Titans girls didn't win their seventh game until the last week of February.
This year they enter district with confidence after winning one tournament and finishing second in another.
As for the Warrior girls (5-4), they will also host Rockport-Fulton Tuesday night. It's a contest that may be determined by which team's forward is on form.
West sophomore Anhila Rocha has already passed the 10-goal plateau and scored at least once in every West win this season. Meanwhile, Rockport's Kennah Leal was the Offensive MVP for the district a year ago.