Boys Soccer Wins District

Different year, different district. Same result.

The boys soccer team made a seamless transition into 5A competition, picking up right
where they left off last year and clinching a district title for the second
year in a row.

“It feels good knowing that all our hard work paid off,” senior Marco Alcocer said. “No
one expected us to win but we knew if we played hard we had a shot. And here we
are, district champions.”

The team is undefeated in district, with 10 wins and two ties. Both ties were concluded
in shootouts the Cougars won.

“Our success is due to the fact that our guys always work hard,” head coach John Mark Edwards said. “They stay positive
in every situation and they just love to play soccer, our goal was to make
playoffs. We’ve exceeded those expectations and winning district is just icing
on the cake.”

Last year’s head coach, Patrick deLeon, made a personal decision to concentrate more on his classes, giving Edwards the
opportunity to take over.

“Coach deLeon decided he wanted to focus on more of an academic role at the school than
he has had in the past,” Edwards said. “So he wanted to no longer be the head
coach. He knew I wanted to eventually coach guys again and we have very
similar, if not the same philosophy’s on the game, so it was really just an
easy seamless transition when I joined this team to become head coach.”

To level the playing field against other 5A opponents, the soccer team has instituted a
weight lifting program under the direction of assistant coach Kevin McKinley.

“The teams we’re playing are bigger physically, bigger in numbers, faster, stronger,”
Edwards said. “We are getting that way also but in the meantime we make up for
that with our speed and we’ve been in the weight room. Coach McKinley has done
a great job with the weights. The guys have really embraced it and have gotten
a lot stronger and it has helped us out a lot.”

Going into playoffs, the Cougars have the additional motivation of proving their critics wrong as they have done
throughout the whole season.

“The team has been motivated by the fact that no one thought we could succeed at this
level,” Edwards said. “When we went 5A almost everyone outside of the program
felt like we couldn’t win. We heard it from players [and] coaches. We even
heard it from people within our on school saying that being 5A was going to be
too big of a hurdle to overcome. Nobody believed we could do it outside the
program, but we always knew what we were capable of.”

The varsity soccer team will play its final district game against Pflugerville at home today at 7:45 p.m. and then play a first-round playoff game against the fourth
place team from San Antonio’s district, March 24.

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