Boys soccer to play Plano East in first district game Jan. 25


Photo by Caleb Wright

Senior captain Sean Simpson kicks the ball toward a goal during practice on Jan. 21. The team practices every day during the 4th period.

Boys soccer will face Plano East on Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Hawk Stadium. The game will be the team’s first district match of the season and first time against Plano East this year.

Head coach Matt Zimmerman has been working on different formations for the team. He has also been trying to hone the players’ general skills to prepare them for anything.

“Thankfully I’ve been here long enough now where the [players] understand how I want things done and the system,” Zimmerman said. “We try to work on formations like a 4-3-3, 3-5-2 and 3-4-3, so in a game, we can change things on the fly. We also learn how to counterattack and how to press offensively on opposing teams’ defense.”

According to, Hebron is currently No. 1 in the state, while Plano East is ranked No. 6 in the state.

“We’ve played against some of the best competitors in the state, such as Allen, Prosper, Sachese, and Irving,” senior captain Sean Simpson said. “We’ve tied and or lost to all those teams, and they are really great. Every team we play has their own playstyle and formation, so by playing [different schools], we learn about other opponents we will play in the future.”

Last year, the boy’s varsity finished seventh in the district. Zimmerman said it was because they missed out on the team-bonding aspect of soccer. This year, they are working on becoming closer together as a team.

“We’ve been focusing a lot on the aspects that we weren’t good at last year,” junior captain Jet Thompson said. “Defensive errors last year led to most of our losses, as well as the mentality, which we really dropped off once we got a lead. We kind of took the other teams for granted, which we are trying not to do as much this year.”

Last season Hebron tied Plano East 1-1 once and beat them once, ending with a score of 1-0. This season, Plano East is undefeated in non-district games.

“We’ve played [Plano East] in the past, and they aren’t the best opponent,” Simpson said. “However they’ve beaten us before, but we’ve beaten them more times. They are good opponents and they are strong, but we are stronger.”

Hebron has only won one district championship in the history of the school in 2017.

“My goals [for the season] are [for] us to play our best soccer at the end of the year and to make the playoffs,” Zimmerman said. “So we have to finish in the top four [in our district]. I’d love to compete for that No. 1 spot. A lot of things need to happen and we have to improve quite a bit to have a chance to do that, but it’s in our reach.”