In the first minute of Castleberry’s first ever playoff soccer match, Mario Herrera connected with a streaking Giancarlo Saldana, who made his run down the right side of Scarbrough-Handley Field before laser-pointing a 25-yard goal to put the Lions up 1-0 on Waxahachie Life.
From there, Castleberry ran away with the Class 4A bi-district win, 6-1, to extend the school’s fairy tale first season into the area round, where the Lions (16-7-1) will face Anna.
“It’s a remarkable thing,” Castleberry coach Tim Van Etten said. “For the first time in their lives, these kids aren’t playing street soccer. They’re playing together like champions, and I think that’s one of the things that makes this amazing, is that weird chemistry of guys who were put together.”
Saldana and Herrera each scored twice, and so did sophomore Kevin Saldivar. Saldana also recorded two assists, as the Lions dispossessed Waxahachie Life (6-8-1) time and again in the midfield.
The Lions scored on six of 18 shots on goal, while Life’s only score came on a penalty kick in the fourteenth minute. Herrera’s first came from 35 yards out and made the score 3-1 in the 26th minute.
Matthew Martinez; 817-390-7760; @MCTinez817