The weather is getting colder, which means the Waxahachie Indians soccer season is just around the corner.
The team will hold try-outs on Monday and Tuesday to determine who will be placed on the JV team and who will be on varsity.
“We’ll probably keep 40 kids,” Riley said. “20 on varsity and 20 on junior varsity.”
This season’s mens’ team has some big holes to fill on the roster after losing their center-mid player Ivan Anaya.
Anaya was a key player for the Indians last season and finished the year as the district’s Most Valuable Player.
Head coach Seth Riley is in his first season over the men’s team, but has been the assistant head coach for both boys and girls for the past 10 years. He said even though this team is young, he has plans in the works on how to help fill the big shoes left behind by Anaya.
“We’ve got three sophomores who will try to fill his void: Jordy Ortiz, Tyson Beechum and Rodolfo Guardno,” he said.
This year’s team will also have a lot of new players on the varsity roster, he said.
“We’ve got 13 seniors, but a lot of those seniors don’t have much experience,” Riley said. “Some of those guys on varsity this season played on junior varsity last year, and half those guys have only played in high school. Plus I have two guys who have never played before.”
Despite all the newcomers to the team, some shining stars are returning to their roster. One of those is the team’s goal keeper Miguel Munos.
“He was one of the better players in the district last year,” Riley said. “We’ve got a lot of experienced guys, but they’re not like Ivan was, in the sense of being able to take over games. They’re good, experienced, role model guys.”
Riley said there are a few seniors he hopes will have a good season and the team’s expectations on the season are to be contenders.
“We just want to be competitive,” Riley said. “That’s all you can ask of them — wins or losses. But if you play competitive and did everything you can, then you just have to tip your hat off to the next person.”
Riley said that the team is going to rely on a lot of sophomores and even one freshman, Raymond Kennedy, starting with them.
“So we’re having to depend on a lot of these youth to carry over some of the seniors,” Riley said. “We’ve got some great seniors, of course, but overall we’ve got a lot of hard workers, is what they are.”
Last season the Waxahachie Indians men’s varsity soccer team finished in fourth place out of a six team district and this season doesn’t look like it will get any easier for the squad’s newcomers.
Riley said he believes some of the toughest opponents the team will face this year will be from within the Indians’ district.
“The top two that carried over into our district is Red Oak and Ennis,” Riley said. “They’re really strong. Last year, Red Oak won the district championship. Plus, we’re in there with all of the Mansfield teams, where Summit won the district over there.”
Riley also said that Mansfield Legacy is a strong team and that Arlington-Seguin has given the Indians trouble in years past.
Yet, Riley is expecting a good, exciting season, he said.
“The guys have worked hard all off-season,” Riley said. “They have a motto: ‘Everything is earned.’ That’s how they feel and they’re hoping to finally play their senior year.”
The team’s first scrimmage is Jan. 2 against Frisco Heritage, Fort Worth Trimble Tech and Kaufman at Lumpkins Stadium. It’s a three-team scrimmage, with the junior varsity team playing the first half and varsity team playing the second.
This way all the teams can get in and play 30 minutes against everybody, the coach said.