The Waxahachie Lady Indians varsity soccer team kicked off its second round of district 14-5A play with a 1-1 draw against Red Oak High School on Friday at Lumpkins Stadium.
“When we went to play them earlier in the season, we felt we had opportunities to either win or tie,” said Jason Venable, the Lady Indians head soccer coach. “This game was probably one of the most emotional games of the season and there were tears.”
Despite going 79 minutes without a single score, the game was decided in the 80th minute.
After allowing the Lady Hawks to score, Lady Indians freshman Savannah Duvall raced down the field and was fouled, leading to a junior Abigail Martinez penalty-kick goal.
“It was a crazy game,” Venable said. “Two goals in less than a minute and emotions were running high. That doesn’t usually happen against Red Oak, one of the best teams in the district.”
Yet, the near-insanity of the soccer game wasn’t the only excitement of the night. Venable and his staff unveiled the inaugural Lady Indians girls soccer Hall of Honor class.
WHS girls soccer inducted Veronica Najera Mann (class of 2006), Katie Hinds (class of 2007) and Brandi Battles Sanchez (class of 2007), women who helped the Lady Indians reach their first University Interscholastic League playoff appearance, as the first three members of its Hall of Honor.
“My favorite memory was when we were on fire as a team and winning each game to move forward and get to the playoffs,” Najera-Mann said. “ We began to get cocky one night while celebrating a win, when coach Venable said to us, ‘You aren’t good yet.’”
She said a few weeks later, on the bus ride home after beating Cleburne in the first round of the playoffs, she asked Venable “Are we good yet?”
Najera-Mann, Hinds and Battles-Sanchez all agreed that moments like Najera-Mann’s are the ones they carry with them and the ones that made their time as Lady Indians special.
“I’m grateful to have been part of this program and to have such a humble, strong leader like coach Venable. I want them to never, ever forget these days and play every game like it’s their last,” Hinds continued. “They should remember they’ll never know who’s watching, to always show their skills and make themselves the people everyone wants to beat.”
It’s a new tradition Venable hopes catches on like wildfire.
“We’ve been so successful in the last 10-12 years, so we felt it was fitting to open this Hall of Honor,” Venable said. “Instead of hearing about the girls who helped build the program, they actually had a chance to meet them face-to-face. I think them telling the girls about their experiences in Waxahachie soccer helped put their own careers in perspective and made it a special night for everyone involved.”