Like a chef fine-tuning a recipe, area high school soccer coaches are tweaking line-ups, trying to find the best combination for success in the final days of their non-district schedules, leading into district play, which is now just around the corner.
Kilgore High School’s girls and boys did very well again over the weekend in tournament play, as did Sabine’s boys, and district competition for all three teams is coming soon.
Coach Tom Wait’s Kilgore Bulldogs wrapped up their run in the Terrell tournament on Saturday, edging Hallsville, 1-0, and then losing to Paris, 1-0, in the finals.
The ‘Dogs are off until Friday, when they finally play here at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in a rematch against Hallsville – junior varsity starts at 5 p.m., and then varsity.
The Lady Bulldogs, coached by Todd BonDurant, went 3-0 in a tournament in Longview, and ran their record to 6-1-1. They’re up two spots in the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s Class 4A state poll to number eight. The Lady ‘Dogs were to play at Jacksonville on Tuesday night, after the print deadline for this issue of the News Herald, and they’re on the road Friday, too, at Hallsville, starting at 5 with JV.
Sabine went 2-1 in a tournament hosted by Pine Tree. Coach Wayne Borden’s Cardinals were to host Bullard Tuesday night, and then visit Pleasant Grove in the Texarkana area on Friday, a varsity-only night, beginning at 5.
Kilgore boys: The Bulldogs got by Hallsville when Richie Avalos scored on a penalty kick. Coach Wait explained the situation.
“The initial kick was saved,” Wait said, “and then Richie buried the second chance after the save.”
The win gave the ‘Dogs the spot in the tournament’s title game against Paris, who came into the contest undefeated, and unfortunately for Kilgore, remained undefeated with a 1-0 win over KHS. The only goal of the game was an own goal on a miscommunication, Wait said.
“We had plenty of chances,” he said. “But apparently still had a layover from not scoring from the Hallsville game. IN both games, we had a total of 28 scoring opportunities, compared to the seven by our opponents. …Our effort in the final was much improved, and it was unfortunate that we didn’t put up a tally or two.”
Incredibly, Kilgore’s boys have won their district championship 11 straight times – that’s 11 straight years. They’ve gotten past the second round every season since 2010, and have been to four state tournaments since 2010, having won the state title back in 2017.
Kilgore girls: Kilgore gave an outstanding performance in the tourney at Longview, and finished it off with a pair of convincing wins: 3-2 over Lufkin Hudson, and then a 5-0 shutout of Palestine.
Emma Taylor scored four goals combined in the two games: two against Hudson, then two more against Palestine. Taylor leads the Lady Bulldogs with 10 goals this season, in their eight games.
Cristina Rosas scored the Bulldogs’ third goal against Hudson. Others against Palestine were by Samantha Rodriguez, Maliyah Holland and Laramie Cox, who each scored a goal. Coach Todd BonDurant said he played Alejandra Whitaker in goal all weekend, and that she did well.
Sabine boys: The Cardinals started this tournament on a tear, knocking off 5A’s Texas High, 4-1. Fernando Jaimes scored two of the goals, one of them from 60 yards out and all in the air, just getting past the Texas High goalkeeper. His brother, Lalo Jaimes, scored the other two goals. Each of the Jaimes brothers had an assist, as did Oscar Gonzalez.
Later on Thursday against Sherman, Lalo scored a goal, Sherman scored a second-half goal and the teams played to a 1-all tie.
Friday, Sabine (7-4-1 on the season to date) faced Chapel Hill. With the game tied up at 3-all, with under three minutes left, Cam Childress – just a freshman – found the back of the net, coach Borden said, on a header for the game-winner, 4-3. Both Jaimes brothers and Gonzalez all each had a goal against Sherman.
On Saturday, the Cardinals faced Lindale, but fell, 4-1. Lalo had the Cardinals’ only goal of the game – he leads the team this season with 17 goals.
Lalo and Sabine goalkeeper Rodolfo Fierros were named all-tournament.