The Ferris Yellowjackets boys soccer team is looking for their first district win in school history this and so far the team is headed down the right path.
The Yellowjackets are sitting on an 8-1-1 overall record so far, including a fifth place finish in the “Highway 287” Tournament that Waxahachie held at the beginning of the season.
The team graduated five key players from last season, but luckily there have been some freshmen who have stepped up to fill those gaps, said third year head coach Kyle Cottrell.
“Heriberto Diaz has came in and scored seven goals so far on the season. He’s been a fantastic addition at forward,” he said. “I also have a couple of key captains. Arturo Lopez (junior) and Josue Lopez (senior) are my captains and they are psychological and emotional anchors for the team, as well as fantastic players.”
Ferris looks to be a strong competitor in the District 10 Class 4A standings, Cottrell said.
“We’ve just have a solid squad of mixed age, talent,” Cottrell said. “The kids just work so well together, they come together, they’re cohesive. They’re a really good crew of a great group of kids to work with.”
Half of the Yellowjackwets are made up of seniors, the other half is a blend of juniors, sophomores and freshman, Cottrell said.
“I’m really fortunate about having the younger guys play with the older guys and working hard under good senior leadership,” he said.
The Yellowjackets are hot off a tournament win in Kennedale, where Ferris beat China Springs, tied Kennedale before beating Paris High School 1-0 to win the championship on Saturday.
Cottrell and the Yellowjackets are looking to make a strong post season run, after Ferris fell short of the playoffs by one point, with a 4-4-2 district record.
“We built on that emotion from just missing the playoffs last year and started fresh this year in a new division,” Cottrell said.
Ferris, who have competed in Class 5A in previous seasons, are now in Class 4A, where the Yellowjackets look to excel, Cottrell said.
“This is the first year of the 4A state playoffs system,” he said. “Before we would play up with Red Oak, Waxahachie and Ennis, teams like that, but now we have our own division where we’re paired with 4A competition.”
The other teams that are competing for the Class 4A District 10 title, alongside Ferris, are Sunnyvale,
Crandall, Kaufman and Nevada Community.
“Kaufman and Crandall will have fantastic teams and we look forward to playing them,” Cottrell said. “They always have really good players and really good teams.”
The Yellowjackets will kickoff their first district game on Feb. 13 against Sunnyvale. The match is schedule to start at 7:15 p.m. at Sunnyvale.
“Our focus is on one game at a time,” Cottrell said. “Our next goal is to be district champions and not only just go to the playoffs, but we would like to have a district title.”
Through the boys soccer program history at Ferris, the Yellowjackets have yet to win a district championship, Cottrell said.
“We do believe that if we have success in the playoffs we might be able to make a run at it (a state title), but right now we’re focused on district. That’s our goal,” he said.
The Yellowjackets look to continue their goals scored per game and goals allowed per game ratio of 2:1 carry them throughout the season, Cottrell said.
“We hope to just continue to outscore our opponents,” he said. “If my defense can play better than their defense, I know we will win games.”
Ferris will be in action next at 7:15 p.m. Friday, when the Yellowjackets host Wilmer.