As one of three senior captains on the Martin boys soccer team, midfielder Stanley Smith sets the bar high for himself and others.But Smith, who was honorable mention all-district in 2012, tries not to let lofty expectations affect his role as a mentor to younger teammates.Case in point: During Martin's season-opening performance this month in the Coppell Tournament, Smith resisted the urge to scream at a sophomore forward who failed to cash in on several apparent scoring chances."I told him it's all right," Smith said. "It's fine. I just told him to make sure to put his chances away. I try not to be so hard on them."If Smith and fellow captains Reese Cain and Aaron Hawkins seem particularly understanding, it's because they've been in those young players' cleats before. The second-year varsity players were called on to play a significant role as varsity rookies last season for a Martin team that reached the area round of the 5A playoffs under former coach Cory Elolf.The trio take partial credit for helping instill a heightened sense of team chemistry this season compared with recent Warriors teams.But at the same time, the captains give full props to first-year coach Brady Cagle for placing a high emphasis on lifting weights and keeping well-conditioned."We've definitely gotten a lot stronger," Cain said. "We're pretty physical as far as regular soccer teams go. We're definitely in good shape for a high school soccer team, I'd say."The players didn't have to wait long to find out what kind of shape they're in. The Warriors last week hosted the 21st annual Martin Invitational. The three-day tournament featured 12 of the area's top teams, including a Mansfield squad that reached the state semifinals in 2012."We always have motivation to try to win," said Cain, who was a second-team all-district forward/midfielder last season. "But I'd definitely say we have more pride in this tournament than other tournaments."Cain didn't lack for motivation last season. But around the time of the Martin tournament in 2012, he still felt he was trying to get up to speed on the high school game."I think it's like a confidence thing," Cain said. "When you're a junior, you know you're playing against seniors, and now I'm senior and you're playing against everybody younger or your age."Smith had a similar experience last season. The varsity game was played at a higher tempo than he expected, and last year's team had little patience for rookie mistakes, he said."They expected a lot from us because we were going to play a lot," Smith said. "Our senior captains expected a lot. If you didn't do it right, they would get really frustrated."Cagle, a 2003 Arlington High graduate who is in his first year as a head coach after spending the past four seasons as an assistant soccer coach in Victoria, sees little reason for the seniors to be frustrated with anything that's happened on the field so far this season.In the Coppell Tournament, Martin lost its season opener 2-1 to McKinney Boyd in a performance that Cagle described as flat until the second half.But the Warriors finished the tournament with 2-1 victories against Haltom and Grapevine."That just shows you where we're kind of at right now," Cagle said. "I'm still putting the puzzle pieces together."Cagle's juggling lineups a bit, but the usual starters comprise eight seniors, including Hawkins, a second-team all-district goalkeeper a season ago."I feel like our whole team is more of a team this year," Hawkins said. "As a whole I feel it's more together."An example of that togetherness is the team dinner each Thursday night, which involves all two-dozen soccer players heading to a different house each week for an evening meal and bonding time. Over pasta or baked chicken, the teammates share laughs and their lofty goals for the regular season and postseason.Until they start hitting on all cylinders, Smith and his fellow seniors will have to remain patient. So far, that approach is paying off."The seniors will lead us in the right direction," Smith said. "I don't think it's happened just yet. We're going to play well together. As the year goes on, it's just going to get better, I think."