Keller Citizen

Fossil Ridge boys soccer quartet working on “unfinished business”

Four players on the Fossil Ridge soccer team are looking to pick up where their brothers left off.

This year’s Panthers have brothers who all played on the 2014 playoff team, and they’re focused on taking care of what the team refers to as unfinished business.

Noah Powell, Josh Bruton, Mason Wallak and Matthew Nuss are playing this year not in the shadows, but in the legacy of what their older brothers were able to accomplish a few years ago.

But the battle is far from being won, as Fossil Ridge is in a fourth-place tie with Keller after Friday’s games.

One of those brothers is one of the leading scorers in the area, but still has large shoes to fill left by his older brother.

Powell, a senior forward, already has 16 goals for the Panthers but he’s chasing his brother’s, Anthony, senior-year mark of 27.

“This year is more about what I can do for the team,” Powell said.

Powell said before this season, he personal best was eight goals last year.

Now as a fourth-year starter, Powell said it’s not just him that is having success, though.

“It’s really been Josh, Ivan Canales and Mason,” Powell explained. “We’ve all been on varsity together for all four years and we have a good connection with each other. Whoever’s in front of the goal, we’ll give it up for the other person.”

Although Powell said he uses his quickness, power and speed, opponents can’t just focus on him.

“It’s not about how to defend me but how to defend those around me,” Powell said. “Those are the ones that feed me the ball. It’s more about trying to defend the whole team. They just are able to find me in the crease.”

With Powell at 5-11, 170, he has honed some of his moves playing with his brother against whom he couldn’t always push off the ball, as Anthony had 25 pounds more on his frame.

“He was always bigger so I had to figure out a way to be smarter,” Powell said. “I had to find something or somehow to get past him. He just wants me to do the best I can.”

Powell said he wears No. 8 on the field because in his sophomore year, he wanted to get a number as close to his brother’s No. 10.

Matching his brother’s goals scored isn’t much of a concern, though, to Powell.

“Either way, I’d rather win games. It’s more about whether we win games and trying to get to the next game. We say it’s ‘survive and advance’ as a motto for the team,” Powell said.

The Panthers are working on a return to the playoffs after a heart-breaking end to their season when a goal was not allowed in their game with Byron Nelson.

“We’ve kind of moved on as a team,” Powell said. “We have a different goal and we’re a different team and we’re not going to let what happened last year hold us back.”

Powell, after this year will continue his football career at Harding University.

“Soccer is my first love but I think it will be time to hang up the cleats and just play football,” he said.