Undefeated boys seek big finish


Kathleen Ortiz

Senior Jake Bruce jumps in the air as his teammates celebrate a goal in a huddle around him. The team won the game against Sharpstown, the team that beat them in the Regional Finals last year.

Zoie Rasmussen, Staff Writer

   Last year, the men’s varsity soccer team had an outstanding season, but fell one game short of the State Championships when they lost by one goal to Sharpstown High School. The Panthers are ready for more this year. They are ranked first in the region and remain undefeated on the season.

     “Last season didn’t end very well,” senior attacking midfielder Kaden Banning said. “We didn’t play to our full potential, but we are doing well this year and we’re ready.”

   The team only lost one player last year, but Luke Tiedtke was the team’s leading scorer. A number of players have stepped up to fill the offensive void.

   “It forces our team to work together and build more chemistry,” Banning said.

   The Panthers had an early test this season when they took on Sharpstown in a preseason match at home. Kingwood Park won 2-0.

    “Sharpstown has been the biggest win so far,”  senior midfielder Cristian Bautista said. “They were first in the region and we were a close second but we wanted revenge and took their spot. We wanted revenge from last year because they knocked us out of playoffs, so beating them 2-0 was big for us.”

    Though Sharpstown has been the biggest win this season, they are a newer rival. Caney Creek has been the team’s biggest threat in recent seasons. In the first meeting against Caney Creek this year, the Panthers won 3-2 and will be playing them again February 18 at Caney Creek at 7:30 p.m.

   The Panthers haven’t been to state since 2011 and have hopes this year could change that. Head varsity coach Ryan Searle talks about positive things he sees happening this season for his players.

    “Our goal is to stay undefeated and make it to State,” Searle said. “We also hope to keep injuries down, we have only had a few scratches and bruises here and there, nothing serious. This season is going fantastic so far.”

   The team’s chemistry is high and Searle has high expectations for a strong finish.

   “The team has been it’s best in years,” Searle said. “Everyone is so close and giving everything they’ve got as a team.”