Soccer teams await word on future of seasons


Kathleen Ortiz

Senior Jacob Bruce dribbles away from a Sharpstown player earlier this year. The Panthers were eliminated by Sharpstown one game away from State last year but avenged that loss this season. The boys were undefeated and dominated the district prior to the season being suspended.

Gabby Norman, Sports Editor

With major events in the sporting world postponed, it was no surprise when UIL suspended athletic activities until at least May 4.

Campuses are closed and teams are unable to meet, leaving the boys and girls soccer teams still wondering if they will get a chance to make the postseason runs for which they had been building toward all season.

“It’s a season that only happens once in a decade or longer,” coach Ryan Searle said of the boys team, which was undefeated when the season was suspended. “It was exciting to see the accomplishments. The success this year has come from the boys working together as a team. They have established a bond that makes them work for each other to accomplish their goal.”

The girls team was also in the middle of an outstanding season, ranked 1st in Region 3 5A. They had accomplished many of their goals already, and they were pushing toward a third-consecutive trip to the State Championships. For the 13 seniors on the team, this was their last chance for a title. They were semifinalists the past two seasons.

We had a great run and seemed pretty unstoppable. I just think sometimes that I could have possibly played my last high school game and not even known it.”

— Cristian Bautista, senior

“Our senior class is huge and has a lot of experience,” White said. “They are driven, selfless and believe in the potential of our team to do great things.”

White believes that with the versatility exhibited by the team, they have a good chance of making it to the state tournament if given the chance. Since he does not know what UIL will eventually decide, he’s making sure his girls are staying connected and in shape.

“Control what you can control and be ready for any change we get,” White said. “They are doing their best to stay in shape and be sharp. They are maintaining or improving their fitness with workouts and runs, juggling the ball and working on their ball control.”

Coaches and players are upset, but seniors are devastated, worried their last chance of a state title may slip away. 

We have a very strong team and are great at playing as a team,” senior midfielder Cristian Bautista said. “We had a great run and seemed pretty unstoppable. I just think sometimes that I could have possibly played my last high school game and not even known it.” 

Bautista said players should take this time to work on their game alone, but he knows it’s tough. 

I know they won’t be working as hard as they should be because we don’t have regular training and that definitely will impact us, and I know this because I’m included,” Bautista said. “Honestly, I’m not really too worried because although it’s very disappointing there are bigger things that are more important right now.”

White is cautiously optimistic, he has hopes that an eventual return in May would allow for the girls to play out their postseason on a compressed schedule.

I think the UIL is handling the situation well by being very deliberate in their decision-making,” White said. “They want to preserve as many opportunities for the student-athletes as possible. I’m not worried but would be disappointed if they ultimately cancel the rest of our season. I want this team and these seniors to have a chance to finish what they started with a great regular season.”

Although there was serious disappointment after the seasons were postponed, coaches and players alike know it is best for them and their community. They simply hope their players get one more chance to chase their dreams.

“It was for the good for all,” Searle said. “There are more important things in this world than soccer. I hope that we get our chance to prove ourselves on the field and not be wishing what could have been.”