Panther Soccer Notes
10 days ago
January 6, 2018
It's that time of year again...SOCCER. The Panthers started the new year with an annual trip to Port Neches for the PNG tournament. On Thursday, the Panthers faced off against the host PNG Indians and played a thrilling first half that stayed close. Some late second half goals pushed the score in the favor of PNG. The Panthers would rebound on Friday with two wins against Little Cyprus-Mauriceville and Bridge City. Freshman goal keeper Jaime Lopez recorded his first career shut out against the LCM Bears, while his brother, junior midfielder Giovanni Lopez, would score the go-ahead goal in the 54th minute from a Victor Lopez free kick. 1-0 would be the final against the Bears. Later in the day, the Panthers bested the Bridge City Cardinals 2-1. Junior midfielder Jesus Landaverde buried an 11th minute penalty kick and senior forward Xavier Montez would secure what would be the winning goal shortly before halftime in the 39th minute. The Panthers travel to Livingston on Tuesday January 9th to face the Lions, with start times at 5 pm (JV) and 7 pm (V). Go Panthers!!
On Saturday morning the Panthers faced off against 6A Beaumont Westbrook. Normally, I do not give too much press to the sub-varsity squads, however, what happened Saturday was not normal. In what seemed like something straight off the pages of a movie script, the Panthers overcame some very long odds indeed. Because of illness, injury and work, the Panthers were left with only 7 available players (the minimum required to start an official match) to get on the bus. Those 7 Panthers faced off against an 11 man side, with another 15 waiting on the bench, for an ENTIRE match and went toe to toe, securing a 1-1 draw. Giovanni Ruiz leveled the score early in the second half with a 15 yard power shot that found the upper right corner. Watching the game unfold from the sidelines and seeing and hearing the boys talk to each other, move in harmony with each other and most importantly, believe in one another, made every single early morning practice, every long bus ride, and every heart ache that I've experienced in coaching worth it. In a sub varsity match that most people, aside from family, will never care about, 7 boys found their moment and exposed the very best of what they're made of. Later on in life when the storm clouds circle them while Goliath taunts them and they are tempted to give up thinking all is lost, it is my prayer that they will remember this day when they looked into their hands and found a sling and some stones and realized that no situation was too big for them. Edgar Reyes, David Gerardo, Jonathan Ruiz, Eric Jimenez, Miguel Galvan, Giovanni Ruiz and Jesus Landaverde have henceforth been dubbed the New Magnificent Seven.
Liberty HS Theater Arts Director
Head Boys Soccer and Cross Country
By Lindsay Matlock