Thus the intrigue turns to second place where the Mission Eagles are clinging to a three-point lead over Donna.
This is exactly where head coach Christos Barouhas envisioned his team, saying in the preseason that the Rattlers were “head and shoulders” above everyone else and that the goal for the other teams would be to compete for runner-up.
Yet, Barouhas is not satisfied because he feels his team needs to play with more consistency.
“With teenagers you never know what to expect. Sometimes they play awesome, sometimes they play mediocre, sometimes they play not well at all.”
That about sums it up for the Eagles so far. The team has had its share of inconsistent play when they fell to Memorial, 2-0, in the second game of the season and then to Donna, 3-0, in late February.
Yet the team has shown it can play “awesome” as they are the sole team in the district that has given the Rattlers any sort of competition. The Eagles scored three goals on a Rattlers squad that previous to the February 11 meeting had not given up one goal in the previous three games. Since then Shary has only been scored on five times in six games and never more than one goal per team.
“That game our kids played very well,” Barouhas explained. “We had a chance to win the game.”
Senior Captain Rolando Garcia says that while his team needs to concentrate better each game, the boys are “never scared of nobody.”
Such confidence will be a must in the next three games as the young team with only three seniors face La Joya tonight, Sharyland on Tuesday and then Donna in a week.
A win tonight at last place La Joya will be crucial for the team to maintain its lead over Donna. The Eagles took down the Coyotes 1-0 in the first game of district play.
Barouhas says the key from here on out is for the team to play not only with consistency but they need to pressure the ball.
“If you pressure the ball you win the game.”
From here on out, pressure is for the team to secure second place.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.