Boys soccer: Eagles fight for defense
Cy Falls is the one-and-only defending district champion in 17-5A, but one of many teams capable of qualifying for the 2011 playoffs.
"This is the first year in a while that it's 100 percent up in the air," Cy Falls coach Kevin Napier said. "A lot of teams lost a lot of key players, so it's hard to pick a top four that's favored to advance out of district.
"Everyone is better with good talent across the board, so our first goal is to get into the playoffs, and see what happens on some other fronts."
Four seniors who Napier lists as returning starters have been the team's anchor during a 7-2-3 start including defenders Kollin Alford and Gabe Ceballos, and midfielders Braulio DeLa Cruz and Mike Diaz.
"Those are guys with three years of varsity experience," Napier said, "and part of a strong seniors class that's stepped up after we graduated seven starters."
More senior leadership is supplied by goalkeeper Alex Delgado, midfielder-forward Orlando Rodriguez, forward Damir Turko and midfielder Andres Solarte.
"Delgado is in his first season in goal after being a backup, and he's exceeding all expectations," Napier said. "He continues to raise his level of play."
Key juniors are midfielders-forwards Max Gerozini and Adrian Treviño, and sophomores who have quickly stepped up and into the varsity scene are defenders Ty Bicakcic and Alfredo Reyes, and midfielders Tyler Waltman and Christian Diaz (Mike's brother).
"We're pretty excited to come out of what we feel like has been a good non-district schedule at 7-2-3," Napier said. "After losing so many starters, we didn't know what to expect coming into the season, and we're definitely ahead of schedule.
"One of our biggest highlights was coming back from being down 2-0 and beating Sharpstown 4-3. We scored all four goals in the final 40 minutes, and it showed the players what we're capable of doing in a tough situation."
The Eagles start district at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, at Cy Ranch, and at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, at Cy Lakes, and then face Jersey Village at 7 p.m. on Feb. 11 at the Berry Center.
The first 17-5A home outing is at 7 p.m. on Feb. 15 with Langham Creek.
"Langham Creek and Cy-Fair have some good players back, and Cy Ridge has looked good early on, but there really isn't any clear-cut favorites," Napier said.
"It sounds like an old cliche, but anybody is capable of beating anybody, so it's going to be very interesting now that we're getting into district."
With 10 teams in 17-5A, the district uses zone scheduling, and Cy Falls will face Langham Creek, Cy Woods, Cy Lakes and Cy Ranch twice during league play, and Cy Ridge, Cy-Fair, Cy Creek, Jersey Village and Cy Springs once.
The Eagles downed Boerne Champion 2-1 with De La Cruz scoring both goals, and also beat Santa Fe 2-0 and tied Lamar Consolidated 0-0, at the Brenham Showcase last week.
Napier has led the Eagles to six playoff berths in seven seasons.
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