By BRAD KEITH
(February 24, 2018) — Head coach Taylor Smith doesn’t feel he’s being too optimistic in believing his Stephenville team will prove to be the best in District 4-4A.
There isn’t a lot of evidence suggesting he’s wrong, except for a 1-2 record following the first of three loops through the four-team grouping.
The Jackets waited until the last of the first-loop matches to record their lone victory thus far, and hat came on an own goal charged against Brownwood.
“They were playing really well against us back there, but they made a mistake passing the ball back to the keeper, and we were fortunate,” Smith said.
The last Yellow Jacket to touch the ball before it crossed the line was Luis Eliut.
It proved to be only goal between the rival sides, and the only district win so far for a team believing it should have won all three. The others went 1-2 against Abilene Wylie and 3-4 at Mineral Wells.
“Our defense is playing really well. Alfredo Rocha is outstanding and Ethan Nehring, our fullback is also doing a good job,” said Smith. “We just had a couple things working against us in the two losses.”
Like the red flag Kevin Martinez pickup for taunting the crowd in Mineral Wells, leaving the blue and gold side shorthanded their highest scoring district match. Wylie scored the only goal late in what was previously a defensive masterpiece.
Two more loops remain, and the second will be all at home if allowed by weather, which became inclement and forced two matches to be moved away from Stephenville. Mineral Wells and Stephenville begin the second loop Tuesday at Lem Brock Field.
The second third of district action starts Tuesday at Lem Brock Field, where the Yellow Jacket side hosts Mineral Wells. Play begins about 7 p.m. following a girls contest at 5.
“We’re going to be fine. We’ve dealt with some injuries but have had some other guys step up, and that’s what you have to have as the season progresses,” said Smith. “There is a lot of soccer still to come.”