Both Wildcats and Lady Cats begin practice Monday
Alexi Upton has his first head coaching job as coach of the Wildcats. He says he is looking forward to the experience. He expects to be greeted by 70 to 80 players at the Wildcats first official soccer practice Monday. Tryouts will take place first to determine the 30 or so JV players and the 20 or so varsity players. This school year he has been working with players during the sixth period of the school day. Coach Upton says the players have grown physically and mentally and are getting a lot better. He is hoping the varsity develops chemistry so they can begin to click. Coach Upton is pleased soccer teams get quite a bit of practice time, about four weeks, before playing scrimmages. He says early practice goals are to focus on defense, on conditioning and on in game situations. Coach Upton says he has 11 returning players off of last year’s squad. He says it will also be time for last year’s JV players to step up and show what they can do. The annual Alumni Scrimmage will be taking place on December 28 at Prim Stadium. The next day, Coach Upton says the Wildcats will be playing mini-game scrimmages against Kilgore, Forney and Pine Tree at Prim Stadium. The Wildcats will open the regular season January 3 at a Princeton tournament.
Joel Bailey begins his second season as head soccer coach of the Lady Cats. Last year’s team finished 15-8-3, earned the district’s third playoff seed and gave Wylie East quite a scare before losing in bi-district action. The Lady Cats were up by a goal at halftime. Coach Bailey says he looks forward to the first day of practice Monday. He says his initial concern will be working on team cohesion or putting the right puzzle pieces in the right places. Coach Bailey wants his team to find their identity early. He adds he expects good things from this team. Coach Bailey calls last year’s team flashy. He expects this year’s team to be a blue collar team that works hard and out hustles teams. Coach Bailey says this group of Lady Cats is eager to put their uniforms on and get after it. He says they will be tested by some difficult tournaments. The Lady Cats will have scrimmages at Pleasant Grove on December 28 and at Hallsville on December 29. The regular season opens at a Terrell tournament on January 3. Coach Bailey says the Lady Cats will also play in tournaments at Princeton and North Forney.