Seniors Tori Bowman, Brooke Ramsey and Taylor Braun are no strangers to competition. All three are team captains and four-year varsity players for the Lady Mustangs soccer team and have been playing for most of their lives. They are hoping that experience will guide their team to a winning season.
“Our season has started really well, in part due to our three captains,” said head coach Ryan Davis. “They are standout players and all three do a really good job providing leadership and encouragement to the team.”
Goalkeeper Braun is comfortable in her leadership role.
“It’s easy to be a leader because my position requires it. I have to have a good balance of verbal encouragement and work ethic,” she said. “I communicate to my back line to keep them organized and in sync.”
Bowman is one of those defenders.
“I think our team has worked really hard in practice, but you can always get better, “ she said. “Every day is a new day and you have to keep pushing and learning new things.”
The girls naturally are looking to stretch their final season as far as possible.
“Each year we have a burning desire to be better than the year before and we have the talent to do it,” Braun said. “Every year we set different goals. It may be less goals scored against than the year before or better communication. Different year, different goals.”
“The past couple of years we have gone pretty far into the playoffs, but we all want to go further than we have before,” Ramsey agreed.
The forward emphasized the need for constant leadership.
“We need to be good role models on and off of the field. If the team gets comfortable, we will fall apart. By working my hardest I hope the others will see that and it will help.”
The Lady Mustangs are 1-1 with two ties in preseason and have only few short weeks before district play.
“There is a good buzz about the season and the team,” Davis said. “It is a very pleasant team to coach. Everyone gets along and enjoys being with each other.”
“I think it is pretty neat that we have grown up together playing on similar club teams with and against each other,” Braun said of herself and fellow captains. “We are all super-competitive and work well together.”
The Lady Mustangs have a great rapport on and off of the field.
“We are really close as a team and a lot of us hang out with the underclassmen,” Bowman said. “We have formed really good relationships which helps us on the field.”
“It is a close group,” Ramsey agreed. “We will get together for lunch or get a group to kick the ball around.”
“These three really have the experience and understanding to draw from. They have all learned well from past leaders and coaches and have really eased into their own roles as leaders,” Davis said. “They are good at setting expectations for the freshmen and sophomores on the team, and helping them learn their way through the program.”
All three girls have signed letters of intent to play college soccer next year. Braun doesn’t let the future deter her goals for the current season, however.
“Since they realigned the districts, this is the last year we (Grapevine) will be playing in 5A,” she said. “We want to show them we can compete with the bigger and better teams. We want to go out with a bang.”
The Lady Mustangs begin district play on Jan. 27 against L.D. Bell at Pennington Field.