Written By: Mitchell Williams, Staff Writer
The stands empty out at the end of a tough loss at home for the Tigers. It was their first loss in Tiger Stadium in the last two years. However, junior captain Max Gonzales left with shining hope.
“We lost our first game at home in two years, but I think we’ve learned from that and hopefully we’ll be undefeated for the rest of the season and hopefully finish at the top of our district. We have pretty tough competition this year.”
His admiration for the game of soccer goes deep. It’s not just about the game, he says.
“My favorite part is being able to spend time with my teammates and like, as a captain, try to bring everyone together.”
As an individual, Gonzales has received attention from a few colleges for his talent level in the sport.
“I have been talking to a few schools from around the area like Incarnate Word and Saint Edwards. I’ve gone to a few camps. Just looking at the programs and seeing if I like it or not. If I want to be in state or out of state.”
The early blow in district play has not taken a hit to the hopes of the team. Gonzales believes that it will only help them grow as a unit, as there have been some moments of conflict amongst teammates.
“That’s our biggest problem in games, when everyone turns on each other and you know things start going badly for the whole team.”
That is where his role as a captain comes in. The athlete emphasized that his leadership is something that he needs to put more effort into as the year goes on when asked about things he wants to get better at.
“Individually as a captain, just trying to bring everyone together and just like not let our team turn on each other.”
As for the regular season, there are a few schools with teams that present a good challenge for the team that will help them prepare for postseason, he says. He also says that they are still getting a grasp of some new competition.
“The best team so far, it’s kind of been up and down between multiple teams like McCallum and Lockhart, but we don’t really know yet because we’re doing good on the road. We’re undefeated but at home we’ve lost one game. So we don’t really know yet.”
It seems that aspirations in the group of guys are very high for this season. The program has been doing consistently well the past few years, and are embracing the challenge of a new district to conquer. Their dreams for this year do not stop at district, though.
“Right now, hopefully we’ll finish at the top of the district and make it pretty far in the playoffs. I think we have a good chance of winning state because we played a few 6A teams in preseason and we beat a couple of them and like, comparing us to those 6A teams we’re pretty close to them.”