With a victory over Fort Worth Eastern Hills on Monday, Fort Worth North Side boys soccer coach Garth Briggeman reached a milestone, earning his 200th career victory.
It was an accomplishment almost 13 years in the making. All 200 victories have come since Briggeman took the team reins in 2000.
“Looking at it at the beginning of the season, I thought, ‘Eh, it’s not going to be that big of a deal,’ but now it’s a relief and at the same time it’s pretty exciting to think about,” Briggeman said.
The Steers (13-7-4, 6-0-3 in District 13-4A) hiccuped last week in their first attempt to earn the notable victory, losing March 8 to Fort Worth Wyatt in a shootout.
“I think a lot of people were thinking about the 200th win and the kids were a little more wrapped up in that than in the game. So, I think it will be good for us to have it done so that we can move on and focus on winning the next two games and hopefully winning another district championship and then a push into the playoffs.”
With one milestone passed, Briggeman has designs on other accomplishments while coaching at North Side.
“Team-wise, Arlington Heights won eight or nine straight district championships,” he said. “I look at that and I’d like to equal or surpass Heights’ streak of district championships.”
A little me time
Spring break falls right into the homestretch of the high school regular soccer season, and depending on a team’s situation, it can prove to be a blessing or a burden.
For the Fort Worth South Hills boys, who had district games on Monday and Wednesday, it presents an extra challenge.
“It’s a little bit taxing,” coach Steve Andrews said Wednesday. “For the kids that play club ball, like my son, for example — and he’s not the only one — he played last Friday night, he played Saturday morning, two games on Sunday, then he played Monday and today. That’s very taxing on the legs.”
Andrews also said they have a player preparing for the Dallas Cup, which forces him to drive to Frisco every morning and then return in time for games.
“That’s the bigger impact, just the back-to-back games that can be tough on the body,” Andrews said. “So that’s why you have a bench and you have to get some kids to step up.”
On the flip side, the Southlake Carroll girls can use spring break as an opportunity to rest some injuries and step back from the game for a bit.
“Lucky for us we clinched the district title already,” Dragons coach Matt Colvin said. “So we’re in a little different boat I think than some other teams in the area.”
The Carroll girls played Monday and then were given the remainder of the week off.
“They’ve played 24 games since Jan. 10, which is a lot of games,” Colvin said. “Physically and mentally, playing that many games can be pretty strenuous. Just a little bit of a break is good for them to re-energize.”
The time off for the Dragons is in some ways a reward for what they’ve accomplished already this season.
“I think it would be a lot different if we still had our two games left and we hadn’t clinched a district title or a playoff spot,” Colvin said.
Feeding on success
Winning the District 16-4A title in just its second varsity season, Burleson Centennial is laying the foundation for a winning tradition at the new school.
“When you start tradition off in a successful manner, that success breeds success and it’s going to get passed on,” boys coach Chance Rose said.
In its inaugural campaign last season, the Spartans finished third in their district and won a playoff game. That team comprised only underclassmen, since the school didn’t have a senior class. The upside was that the team returned virtually intact this season. The experience gained last year translated to an 19-3-3 record (11-1-1 in 16-4A) this season with one game left to play.
“If we just keep our head down and stay focused, I think there’s still plenty more to come from us,” Rose said.
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