Weatherford Sports

Area soccer teams open new season

The calender has turned to a new year and it's time for another type of high school football.

In Weatherford and Aledo, boys and girls soccer teams are hitting the field for another season. All are also entering new districts this season.

Both Aledo teams are vying for another postseason berth, with each advancing to the second round last season. Meanwhile, the Weatherford Lady Kangaroos narrowly also reached the playoffs, and the Kangaroos are hoping to build off the return of many players.

The Ladycats have advanced to the playoffs in 15 straight seasons, while the Bearcats have gotten there in 14 of the past 15 campaigns. The Lady Roos are going for a fourth consecutive postseason spot, and the Kangaroos have not been there since 2010.

Aledo is now a part of District 6-5A with Azle, Fort Worth Boswell, Fort Worth Chisholm Trail, Justin Northwest, Haslet Eaton, Saginaw and White Settlement Brewer.

Weatherford is now in 3-6A with Abilene, Haltom, Keller, Keller Central, Keller Fossil Ridge and Keller Timber Creek.

Here is a preview of the area teams:

ALEDO LADYCATS

2016 record: 17-4-3 overall, 11-2-1 in district (second), area round of playoffs.

Returning players/starters: 12/5 starters.

Returning starters: Senior Peyton Laughley, forward, first-team all district/second-team all region; sophomore Brooke Jones, midfield, first-team all-region/district newcomer of the year; sophomore Vanessa Rajan, midfield, all-district honorable mention; junior Kristen Burns, defender, district defensive MVP; junior Makenzie Covington, goalkeeper, first team all-district/second-team all state.

Key newcomers: freshman Reagan Knesek, midfield; freshman Sydney Pierce, defender; freshman Cheney Huddleston, midfield; sophomore Lauryn Crawford, defender; sophomore Hunter Jones, forward; sophomore Josie Bush, midfield.

Notable: The Ladycats outscored their opponents 74-14 and posted 14 shutouts. Aledo has not advanced past area since reaching the regional finals in 2008.

Coach Bryan Johnson's thoughts on the new district: "This will be a very competitive well-rounded district. Every game will be extremely important and we will need to be at our best each time we take the field."

Johnson's general thoughts on the season: "I am very excited and looking forward to starting the season. I believe the girls are pumped looking forward to the increase in competition as well. Can’t wait for the first game."

ALEDO BEARCATS

2016 record: 15-7-2, 9-3-2 in district (second), area round of playoffs.

Returning players/starters: 20/8 starters.

Returning starters: Senior Caleb Hill (121 saves), goalkeeper, first-team all-district; senior Noah Hill, defender, first-team all-district; senior Jarrod Nelson, defender; senior Reed Vierling (4 goals, 3 assists), midfield, first-team all-district; junior Max Owens, mideield, second-team all-district; junior Mickey Maloney, midfield, second-team all-district; senior Tanner Vancuren (13 goals, 9 assists), forward, district utility MVP; senior Danny DeLaCerda (6 goals, 3 assists), midfield, second-team all-district.

Key newcomers: Sophomore Alvaro Huerta-Martin, midfield; freshman Micco Little, midfield.

Notable: Bearcats outscored their opponents by an average of 1.93-1.25 each game. Aledo returned to the postseason after a year's hiatus that ended a 13-year streak. The Bearcats have not advanced past the second round since 2011.

Coach Derek Vierling's thoughts on the new district: "It's going to be very competitive. Northwest is dropping from 6A and shoulld be strong. Eaton will be young, but that area and (school) district is soccer strong. Byron Nelson won state a couple of years ago. Boswell and Saginaw are always strong with good coaches, and Brewer and Azle have been great soccer rivals for us over the years."

Vierling's general thoughts on the season: "We are senior-heavy with lots of experience. Six of the seniors made varsity as freshmen. I think we should be pretty competitive. I'm excited about the prospects."

WEATHERFORD LADY KANGAROOS

2016 record: 10-14-1, 7-7 in district (fourth), bidistrict.

Returning players/starters: 12/7 starters.

Returning starters: Sophomore Britt Ogle, goalkeeper, honorable mention all-district; junior Sylvia Watson, defender, first-team all-district; senior Emma Moorman, defender; senior Maggie Bustos, midfield, first-team all-district; junior Eliana Harmer, midfield, first-team all-district; senior Rachel Knesek, midfield, second-team all-district; senior Lally Vazquez, midfield.

Key newcomers: Sophomore Juni Ejere, forward; freshman Abbie Griffin, defender; freshman Shanna Young, defender.

Notable: The Lady Roos are hoping to advance past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

Coach Tyler Kernan's thoughts on the new district: "Keller and Timber Creek will prove to be a task, but I think we match up well with everyone else and will be fighting for the last two playoff spots."

Kernan's general thoughts on the season: "Same as last year, girls play well together and compete hard, just need to find one or two that have the knack to put the ball in the net."

WEATHERFORD KANGAROOS

2016 record: 7-12-1, 1-11 in district.

Returning players/starters: 14/9 starters.

Returning starters: Junior Will Cowan, defender; junior Levi Duvall, defender; junior Uriel Nunez, defender; senior Cesar Merino, defender; junior Vicente Santibanez, striker; senior Tony Santibanez, midfield; senior Preston Spivey, mideield; junior Jesus Hernandez, midfield; junior Juan Villanueva, midfield.

Key newcomers: Greggor Scmerl, sweeper from Germany, foreign exchange student.

Notable: The Kangaroos got off to a fast start last season, winning the Springtown Tournament and finishing second in the Azle Tournament. However, by the time district rolled around they had lost six starters.

Coach David Barclay's thoughts on the new district: "Very good soccer district."

Barclay's general thoughts on the season: "Our young players got a lot of experience that will help us out this year. Our depth this year is the best I've had since I took over team three years ago. I'm looking forward to a great season in the new district. Playing in our old district will have us prepared for the high level competition from Abilene and Keller schools this year. After playing in the Arlington district we will be ready."

  Comments