Coach confident Bobcats can deal with time off

03/17/2014 2:15 PM

03/17/2014 2:16 PM

From Byron Nelson’s boys soccer game on March 7 through the Class 4A Region I bi-district playoff opener on March 25, this team will have played only once. That would be the regular season finale on Tuesday against Argyle.

Figure in the week for spring break, where the team did not play a game but only practiced. Then add to the team having the rest of this week off before the postseason. There’s definitely no rhythm in a schedule like this. However, head coach Howard Putter has been through this before and has learned how to handle all of the extra time.

“We’re going to pick up some hard practices and they are going to have to be quicker, harder and faster,” Putter said. “We have to do some things without hurting the players. We just need to compete twice as hard to keep an edge.

“We have a very good group of kids who are pretty sharp. All of my seniors are academic all-state guys who also know how to pace themselves through this type of situation. I think we’ll handle it fine.”

Nelson (19-1-2, 7-0-2 in District 9-4A) has clinched the district championship. The Bobcats know they will be playing White Settlement Brewer in the Class 4A Region I bi-district round. But none of the particulars have been decided.

There is a chance that the girls soccer team could also be playing Brewer in the bi-district round. Should that happen, Putter said the boys and girls teams would schedule a doubleheader with the Brewer boys and girls teams. However, Tuesday’s results would determine if that was going to materialize.

Injury update

In case you missed this from last week, here is the latest. There wasn’t much of a change as the status remained similar. Within the last two weeks, the Bobcats had two players return from injuries and Chris Pratt and Brendan Woodock. The two had been suffering from knee and ankle injuries.

However, Nelson lost two others in senior defender Zack Ullman (concussion) and Brett Powell (ankle). It’s unclear if the two will be available for the regular-season finale against Argyle. If not, the goal is to have them ready for the postseason.

“With Powell, there is no way he would play against Argyle,” Putter said. “There are still questions about Ullman. They made some progress with spring break but we’re not there yet.”

No question at keeper

Junior keeper Chase Theirren decided to return to the Nelson boys soccer team after spending his sophomore year with an academy team.

Good move, because not only has he won the position, he’s owned it. In 22 games, he’s allowed only eight goals.

“He’s just been real steady,” Putter said. “He’s serious back there and reads the game really well. We just try to force people to adjust to us. And usually we’ve had success doing that. But (even) if that didn’t happen, I would have confidence in him.”

Northwest update

Following an off week, the Texans (1-14-4, 0-8-4 in District 4-5A) resumed district play on Tuesday against Richland and then finish the season on Friday at home against Keller Central.

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