This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate
Porter’s Rey Marquez, left, and Lake Creek’s Justin Mayes, right, are a couple of the key players returning in Class 5A/4A soccer in Montgomery County.
Lake Creek forward Justin Mayes (1) celebrates with forward Jayce Morris (12) after scoring a goal to break a 1-1 tie in the second period against Oak Ridge during the Wildkat Showcase soccer tournament, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, in Willis.
Porter’s Rey Marquez (9) reacts after scoring the game-tying goal during the second period of a high school soccer match at Porter High School, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022, in Porter. Marquez scored both of the Spartans’ goals in the team’s 2-1 win over Caney Creek.
Here is a team-by-team preview of the Class 5A and 4A boys soccer teams in Montgomery County.
Magnolia, Magnolia West, Montgomery and Lake Creek will play in District 21-5A. Porter will play in District 16-5A. Splendora will play in 18-4A.
Information was requested from all the head coaches.
Lake Creek graduated 11 seniors from last year’s 14-6-3 bi-district playoff finalist.
But the Lions aren’t exactly rebuilding this season. They’re ready for more after a historic campaign in which they made the playoffs for the first time.
“I feel we are a deeper team this year,” Lake Creek coach George Hourahan said. “I believe we are a little bit more athletic than we were last year and I think we are a little bit better on the ball than we were a year ago. I hope all that brings us the results we are looking for in our new district.”
Lake Creek graduated captain Hunter Robert, the leading scorer in program history, and four-year letterman Nick Colosimo.
But Hourahan is confident he has more than enough with key returners senior forward Justin Mayes, who had 10 goals and 10 assists last season and was second on the team in points with 30, and senior goalkeeper Kaden Harmann, who had 82 saves and allowed 27 goals in 20 games last season.
Sophomore forward Efrain Solis (five goals, two assists) and junior defender Dakota Kennett (district defensive player of the year last year) also figure prominently into plans.
“This year’s strength is their camaraderie together,” Hourahan said. “This group of boys, from one to 20, get along so well. They care for each other; they have each other’s backs. Because of that, they work well on the field and create chances and defend together.”
Hourahan is looking for more from his attack after the Lions posted their best defensive effort in school history last year (31 goals against, eight shutouts), led by Harmann.
“Our defending and goalkeeping led to a lot of wins, but some were unnecessarily close wins,” Hourahan said. “If we could finish more of the chances that we create, it would take a lot of pressure off of the team late in games.”
Hourahan said the goal is to get to state. Beating Jordan in the regular season last year, then watching the Warriors beat them 1-0 in the first round of the playoffs en route to a state appearance, gives the Lions a sense that anything is possible.
“These boys are working every day to win district and make a run in the playoffs,” Hourahan said. “This has been the group that has prepared for this moment for years. It’s their turn to make history. Last year was huge making the playoffs. Now that we have jumped that hurdle, they are ready for more.”
It might be a cliché but it holds true for Magnolia West. This season is about one game at a time.
Step by step, day by day.
The Mustangs graduated their leading scorer Jafet Ramirez, versatile wing/forward Edgar Garcia and talented defender Wyatt Eggleston from last year’s 8-5-8 area playoff finalist.
Coach Jonathan Kauffmann is reluctant to highlight team strengths this early in the season. What he is confident in is he has a group of players that gets along well, though one that needs to play with confidence.
Magnolia West’s M.O. this year is fundamental.
“To come and work hard every day and take one game at a time,” Kauffmann said. “Doing this, everything else will take care of itself.”
Splendora has a lot coming back from last year’s 19-8-2 bi-district playoff finalist.
The Wildcats graduated four key players but return senior forward Fabian Arteaga (27 goals, three assists), junior forward/midfielder Nester Cortes (10 goals, two assists), junior fullback Angel Caballero, senior fullback Oscar Pineda and sophomore midfielder Rogelio Ruiz-Soria (two goals, assist).
A key returner is senior midfielder Fernando Manzo, who accounted for two goals and an assist last year.
Coach Tim Gillespie said the team has good chemistry. If the Wildcats can translate that bond onto the field, the sky is the limit.
Gillespie said the Wildcats have good leadership and are coachable. Playoffs and a high seeding in district play are the goals.
Porter will have plenty of offensive weapons this year. The hope is to have the defense meet that standard.
Sophomore Victor Avila (20 goals, four assists) and junior Rey Marquez (15 goals, 10 assists) will lead the Spartans, who went 19-2-2 last season and won a district championship before falling to College Station in the bi-district playoffs.
“We have multiple players that can score,” coach Paul Kunkel said. “We need to shore up our defensive effort.”
Kunkel said the goal is to get back to the playoffs and make a run.
Montgomery went 2-17-3 last season and finished seventh in district play.
In steps new head coach Thomas Stout, who has head coaching experience with both the boys and girls program at Willis High School and was most recently an assistant with the girls team at Montgomery.
It’s been a rough go of late for the Bears, who last won at least four games in a season in 2018.
The Bulldogs won five district games last year. The seventh-place finish snapped a streak of three consecutive seasons of making the playoffs.
Last year, Gustavo Seglio was a standout for the Bulldogs as he was selected district Newcomer of the Year and totaled seven goals and two assists.
Jeremy Peña, Bun B, Dusty Baker, Aaron Bludorn and Pat Mann Phillips make the list of 2022’s most fascinating and viral Houston celebrities.
Montgomery County Class 5A/4A boys soccer preview – Houston Chronicle
This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate