Boys soccer to compete against Flower Mound Jan. 29


Andie San Luis

Senior Garrison Hatley prepares to kick the ball during a game against Tyler on Jan. 8. Hatley has been on varsity for three years and is one of the team captains.

Boys soccer will play its second district game of the season against Flower Mound on Jan. 29 at Neil Wilson Stadium at 7:30 p.m. The Hawks had their first district match on Jan. 26, a 1-1 tie against Plano East Senior High School.

Due to positive COVID-19 cases and contact tracing, many team members were unable to attend practices and preseason games prior to the first district game on Jan. 26. Head coach Mathew Zimmerman said the team is now healthy, only dealing with two minor injuries.

“We did go through a stretch in the last couple of weeks where about 30%of the varsity team was out of the loop,” Zimmerman said. “We were playing tournament games with a couple of subs. Preparation for district was thrown off a little bit — we didn’t get as much continuity playing together as I would have liked, but one of our mantras in the program is the ‘next guy up’ mentality.”

After the cancelation of the playoffs last season, Zimmerman said the main goal of the team is to finish in the top four overall and make it back to the playoffs. 

“We have used the games in preseason to get ready for this Friday’s game, trying to figure out what the identity of this team is going to be,” Zimmerman said. “Currently, we are top heavy and bottom heavy, meaning we have a lot of seniors who can provide leadership while we are also playing a lot of sophomores who bring their energy and intensity; it’s been a good balance. With those challenges, we have gone through a couple formations this fall, trying to find what’s going to fit best for this team and lack of bodies.”

LISD approved the hiring of an assistant coach for soccer programs in the district, leading to the addition of coach John Summers to the boys soccer program. Previously, Summers taught at Independence Elementary, with an extensive background in coaching club soccer. Zimmerman said he serves as another set of experienced eyes when evaluating the team.

“He is very insightful and certainly very knowledgeable when it comes to soccer,” Zimmerman said. “He has been able to step right in and help me out in determining what is going to be the best course of action for us when it comes to setting practices or doing small stuff. He is someone that I can trust to step up and lead if I am not available to do so, or if I ask him to.”

Flower Mound currently has one tie, two losses and four wins. Zimmerman said last year was a lull for the Jaguars, after graduating upwards of 28 seniors, but after rebuilding the team, they will likely have a stronger season. 

“Flower Mound is always going to be one of the top district programs,” Zimmerman said. “Every single time we play against Flower Mound it is going to be a dogfight no matter what, so I’m looking forward to it. We are excited about getting the season kicked off and getting to see Flower Mound right away is never a bad thing for seeing what we are made of.”