When you ask Colleyville Heritage soccer player Layton Lyons which position he plays, you’re likely to hear a silent pause.
It’s not that he doesn’t know, it just that he’s been plugged in at so many positions, he has to think about his response.
Lyons said he’s played about every position now in his senior year, including outside back, defensive mid and sometimes forward.
“I’ve played a lot of positions due to injuries, and we’ve switched up formations,” Lyons said. “It’s according to how well we’ve been playing in those formations.” He’s usually in some defensive spot on the field.
The opportunities to play several positions afford Lyons and about two dozen other seniors the luxury of experience as Heritage heads towards its district schedule.
That experience includes having a bad taste in their collective mouths after finishing second in the district behind Coppell, but then going one-and-done in the playoffs.
“It was only our fourth loss of the season,” Lyons said of the loss to Duncanville. “Our expectations were a lot higher. We were a better team than just a first round [exit].”
That experience from last year is shared among the returnees this year as well as those that have come up to the varsity squad.
Lyons, in addition to sharing that understanding of what could have been last season, also contributes his skill set, which includes strong passing and speed. His experience also lends to a high soccer IQ, as he’s been playing since the age of four.
After over 10 years of playing select league soccer, Lyons opted to focus on his high school team, academics and having a more routine social life balance.
“I want to improve on playing more physical and finishing shots when I have the opportunity,” Lyons said. “We spend a lot of time in the weight room and being prepared mentally throughout the season.”
Lyons feels the game of soccer is 50-50 in terms of mental vs. physical.
“You always have to be physically fit and ready to play,” he said, “but you have to know where to pass and what you’re going to do with it when getting the ball.”
That sort of focus helped Heritage win a tight rivalry game over Grapevine, 2-1 last week.
Playing in that game was one element which Lyons said would start him thinking about the fact he and his fellow seniors are playing their final varsity season.
“I want to take every moment in but it hasn’t hit me yet,” he said. “[The Grapevine game] will definitely make all the seniors realize how important this last season is.”
One of those moments in Lyons’ mind was the Keller Central game last season in the Kyle Fritz Memorial tournament when he scored a goal en route to the team title.
Looking ahead, Heritage should get another shot at advancing past the first round in the playoffs, but the district will again be loaded with Coppell, Southlake Carroll and Haltom.
Lyons thought briefly of even further down the road and the ability next year to come back and play as an alum in the preseason game with the varsity.
“I expect with all the seniors we have this year, it will be a hard time for them to compete with us next year,” he said.