Sports > Schools
Finally on top, West Mesquite boys hoping to stay there
It has been a steady ascension for the West Mesquite boys soccer team in recent years.
The Wranglers have taken a series of steps since 2009--breaking a postseason drought, winning a playoff game, advancing to the regional tournament--and last season, it added a district championship to the trophy case for the first time in school history.
What was once an optimistic goal has become the expectation for West Mesquite, as it now wears a target on its chest as the defending 23-4A champion.
"Our goal is always to make the playoffs and make a successful run," West Mesquite head coach Alex Figert said.
The Wranglers will try to build on a season where they set a school record for victories with 20, and tied the program's top mark with 11 district wins.
Leading the way will be senior forward Isai Velasquez, who has done some rewriting of the record book on his own.
The reigning district most valuable player, Velasquez set a school record for goals in a season with 31 last year and his 67 career goals eclipsed Mikey McGee's record of 62 set between 2004-2008.
Joining Velasquez up front will be senior Emmanuel Hernandez, who was among the team scoring leaders that helped the Wranglers tally a school-record 83 goals last season.
Versatile midfielder Omar Loera, the 23-4A utility player of the year last season, and first-team midfielder Miguel Garza are back to stabilize the middle of the field.
West Mesquite will feature a new goalkeeper, but that transition should be eased with first-team defender Daniel Rodriguez, Kevin Irraheta and newcomer Javier Garcia.
The Wranglers' recent success has gone beyond the notice of local high school circles, as Velasquez, Loera and Rodriguez are all receiving attention to play at the collegiate level.
Many of the pieces seem to be in place for another strong season for West Mesquite, but they will use the next two weeks, starting with their host duties of the Wrangler Cup starting today through Saturday, to work in some new faces and finalize the rotation.
West Mesquite will also compete in the Skeeter Cup next week as part of its early-season schedule before starting 23-4A play on Feb. 8 against Crandall.