For the first time in 18 seasons, the Grapevine boys soccer team is on track to win a district championship, and coach Heath Bullard said that is a big deal for his team.
The Mustangs wrapped up the season on Tuesday night after the press deadline; see www.dfwvarsity.com for results. Grapevine will open the postseason with Azle at a time and date to be determined.
“I went and scouted them,” Bullard said. “They've lost two top players this year, one with a torn ACL and one with a broken finger. They were a quality team when I saw them. We've got to start marking out better and getting more goals. A lot of teams have been playing defensive against us lately.”
Grapevine defeated Birdville 1-0 in a shoot-out victory last Tuesday, and Bullard said it was an impressive victory for the Mustangs given the team’s situation.
“I thought we did all right,” Bullard said. “We were kind of banged up. I've got one starter who hasn't played since the Lake Dallas game (Feb. 20) and another kid come to me and say he didn't know how long he could play because his Achilles was killing him. A lot of them looked a little leg-dead because of a tournament they had played in.
“Birdville also played very defensive in the game. They kept four behind our two forwards the whole time. That's why it went to a shoot-out.”
Bullard said that he is feeling good about how his team is team is competing heading toward the postseason, but added that there is an area of concern for him.
“I think we've got to clean some things up, to be quite honest,” Bullard said. “We've got to get some people healthy. We lost another player in the game against Birdville and another came off the field limping, so hopefully this spring break we got well.”
The only way that the Mustangs could have lost the district championship on Tuesday night would have been by a five-goal lost to Eastern Hills, and Bullard said bringing home the top spot means a lot for his team.
“We've been in the playoffs and come close to winning a district championship a couple of times, but we haven't won one outright since 1997,” Bullard said. “I think it's huge for us. It's a pride thing for one, and then, when you win a district championship, you go into the playoffs thinking, 'Hey, were the top team in this area, we need to prove we're the top team in other areas, too.'”