Howard Putter has a good feeling about his Byron Nelson boys soccer team. The Bobcats are streaking into the playoffs.
Nelson (19-1-2, 7-0-2 in District 5-4A) played arguably its best game of the season when it defeated Birdville last Friday, 3-0. With it being senior night along with other distractions, the Bobcats played efficiently and were comfortable throughout the contest. They went into spring break with control of first place.
“They were feeding off each other being pretty efficient with the ball,” Putter said. “Birdville is a pretty good team. But we had a good game plan. The guys stuck with it and we played together. I like how we are reacting.”
The Bobcats are now in a stretch where they’ll play only one game in 16 days. With no games during spring break, the district and regular season finale is March 18 against Argyle. The playoffs do not start until the week of March 24.
Putter will take advantage of the break. He gave his team Monday and Tuesday off and planned to practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The workouts will be demanding moving toward the playoffs.
“They’re going to be hard practices, and we need them to be,” Putter said. “I’m really hoping what we’ll do is fine tune and polish some things. But we’re going to pick up the pace. The great thing about this team is the players don’t say a word. They just go out there and work and do what they’re supposed to do.”
Porter sets record
Senior forward Devin Porter added to his single-season school record goal total with his 15th in the Birdville game. Porter already has shattered the record that both he and the now graduated Jalen Jones set in 2013. Each scored 11.
“He does such a great job stretching the defense,” Putter said of Porter. “When it’s compacting, he can create some space. If he wants to play the ball or relocate it, he can.”
Porter’s future in the game is a bit of a mystery. He hasn’t signed to play in college yet. Putter said Porter has extended family back in Indiana and hasn’t decided whether he will remain in Texas or if he will move back. Porter may also opt not to play in college, Putter said.
Within the last two weeks, the Bobcats had two players return from injuries in Chris Pratt and Brendan Woodock. The two had been suffering from knee and ankle injuries.
However, they lost two others in senior defender Zack Ullman (concussion) and Brett Powell (ankle). It’s unclear if the two will be available against Argyle. If not, the goal is to have them ready for the postseason.
Coach Brett Beeson’s team took away some positives last week. Although the Texans didn’t score, they also didn’t lose twice either. Northwest lost to Carroll, 3-0, and tied Keller Timber Creek, 0-0.
The Texans (1-14-4, 0-8-4 in District 4-5A) resume district play on Tuesday against Richland.