The boys and girls soccer season is in full force, and you don’t want to miss the exciting action on the field. From stingy defense, to pinpoint crosses and electrifying goals, Spring Branch ISD’s soccer teams have something to offer each type of fan. Read the season overviews for each squad with exclusive commentary from head coaches.
Memorial High School – Coach Jason Zimmerman
The Memorial Mustangs return eight starters, including five All-District selections, from last year’s playoff team, and look to make another run to the post-season. "This is one of the strongest returning groups I have had in a long time,” Zimmerman said. “They are talented, hard-working, and 100 percent committed. Just such a fun, dynamic group to coach and be around.”
Zimmerman said the maturity and growth that this team developed, especially the seniors, since the start of their freshman year brings him a sense of pride. Their ability to hold each other accountable to perform at their best has helped to change the culture of the soccer program at Memorial. “The positive impact these young men have had in soccer will be long felt and will serve as a model of what leadership means for any team,” he said.
Fans should be on the lookout for seniors Jack Bergen, Stephen Mucher, Jose Mesa and Alexander Kelly. Juniors Max Penel and Zidane Allan , and sophomore Yadiel Cardona-Lopez will also make an impact on the field.
Northbrook High School – Coach Bryce Hackett
It’s all about buy-in for the Northbrook Raiders this season. Pursuing on-field excellence, coach Bryce Hackett and the staff tried some new strategies, and the team has taken to it, starting off the season 2-2. “Anytime you try something new as a coach it is exciting to see the players unite and thrive as they adopt the ‘newness’ as part of who we are as a program,” Hackett said.
Hackett raved about the amount of work and dedication that the team is putting into its preparation, adding that it is fun to be a part of an environment where everyone shares the same vision and goals. “Additionally, I am always proud to see how much our boys grow and develop into young men before they leave us and graduate,” Hackett said.
The Raiders put in work in the off-season. Hackett said the players are extremely fit this year and everyone is working very hard to earn their spot. This level of competitive spirit has made it so that any player who steps on the field will be fun to watch.
Spring Woods High School – Coach Wadey Yaya
The Spring Woods Tigers are hungry to prove themselves on the field and bounce back after missing the playoffs last year for the first time in 10 seasons. Coach Wadey Yaya has led the team to a 4-1 record to start the season with a talented group of predominantly sophomores and juniors.
“Spring Woods boys soccer has a history and a deep tradition of success,” Yaya said. “That pride comes from the people in our community, the former players who played on the same field the current ones play on today. It comes from the wins, continued success, and various regional tournament appearances. It comes from a hard work mentality that is instilled from the time they arrive as freshmen.”
Yaya added that for some players the pride begins in elementary school when they come as little kids to watch an older brother or cousin play varsity. When those players make it to the varsity level, they set the bar high. Yaya said this team will stand out as a unit of 11 players working together.
Stratford High School – Coach Marvin Blake
The Stratford Spartans hit the field with a new formation this season, and coach Marvin Blake is excited about how it can translate to on-the-field success for his team. He believes it will mesh with the style and level of play that the Spartans have.
“Our boys are dedicated to the sport and our team,” Blake said. “They seek to constantly improve and learn ways to better understand daily objectives on the practice pitch.”
The Spartans are a well-rounded team. “The players that I feel will have the strongest impact for our squad this year would be our defenders Edmond Ndaye, Patrick Ndaye, Eduardo Sanchez, and Jason Castro,” Blake said. “These gentlemen have been given a new objective in the backfield, and they have taken that new role in stride.”
Memorial High School – Coach Lindley Amarantos
The Memorial Mustangs are a talented group poised to overcome adversity on the field. Coach Lindley Amarantos is excited to see how the girls will come together and grow as teammates. “I love to watch them push each other to be better and to find a way to be successful,” Amarantos said.
The team worked hard in the off-season to recover from injuries, improve technically, get stronger in the weight room and faster on the field. “They have the ability to inspire those around them to continue to improve,” Amarantos said.
“Key returners from last year are senior midfielder Lydia O’Neill, junior forward Adelhia Ghonda, midfielder Logan Patterson and sophomore defender Cara Chaffin,” Amarantos said.
Northbrook High School – Coach Ruben Espinoza
The Northbrook Raiders have the potential to do great things this season and have shown flashes of excellence as a young team with a budding second-year coach in Ruben Espinoza.
The Raiders are undefeated to start the season with a 3-0-1 record, and Espinoza is ecstatic about the effort he’s received from his team. “The leadership, hard work and growth of my junior class brings me pride coming into the season,” Espinoza said.
He added that fans should be on the lookout for returning junior Alexzandra Robledo and returning sophomore Yuvier Borjas on the field.
Spring Woods High School – Coach Sarah Pollicove-Yaya
The Spring Woods Tigers are driven to make noise this season to earn a qualifying spot in the playoffs. They look to overcome injuries and adversity in the 2020-21 season and compete at a high level. “The girls have been working extremely hard to prepare for the upcoming season and they are ready for the challenge,” coach Sarah Pollicove-Yaya said.
Pollicove-Yaya is confident that the strong bonds built between her and the team over years of organized soccer, starting from middle school, will pay dividends as the season progresses.
“There are so many strong connections with this group,” she said. “The sense of pride I have for these girls since I’ve seen them grow up for much longer than their four years in high school is indescribable. I can’t wait to see what they accomplish together on the field.”
She added that the squad will thrive on team chemistry. “It’s really exciting to see things click between the new and returning players and watch them develop together,” Pollicove-Yaya said. “I have a lot of returning juniors and seniors who led the 2020 playoff qualifying team. I can’t wait to see what this group accomplishes this year.”
Stratford High School – Coach David Walters
The Stratford Spartans return a plethora of lettermen from last season’s explosive squad. Coach David Walters looks forward to what the team can do with so many student-athletes returning from last year. “Our future looks bright,” Walters said.
Walters raved about his team’s commitment to being amazing overall student-athletes. “Our kids are outstanding students,” Walters said. “They care deeply about the classroom and the list of universities they get accepted to is inspiring. I am extremely proud of how we all work together and look after one another.”
The Spartans have a terrific class of seniors, all of which will contribute this year. Seniors are Hope Coltrin (3-year letterman), Rileigh Toner (4-year letterman), Mia Thames (2-year letterman), Cameron Ballard (3-year letterman), Kennedy Mayer (2-year letterman), and Claire Holcomb (3-year letterman).