LA FERIA — As the old saying goes, “the more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.”
And the La Feria boys soccer team is the perfect example of this saying.
The team learned early on this season that the mistakes that kept them from making any type of deep playoff push in the past didn’t have to hinder them moving forward this season.
Many credit the Progresso Tournament as the Lions’ aha moment, when the team figured that the key to success was simply teamwork.
Others feel their first and only loss in district action is what lit a fire under the team.
This week, the road through the playoffs pits the Lions against Bandera in a Class 4A regional at 2 p.m. today at McAllen Memorial Veterans Stadium. The winner between the two meets the winner of Progreso and Fischer-Canyon Lake in Saturday’s regional finals.
“Our team chemistry this year has been the main reason; we’re not individuals,” said senior right back Jonathon Marroquin. “We had a rough start in district play, but we saw that we do have a team and we’ve gotten better game by game.
“Individualism is gone and it’s just one team now. We don’t have just one guy; from the goalie to the forward everybody takes a part in it.”
“I feel that the team is very united and we have confidence in one another,” added junior defender Eliud Rodriguez. “The coach and the practices make us better. You can see on the field that with each day that passes everybody dedicates themselves more and more to the team.”
This season the team had an impressive 10-0 winning streak, won the District 31-4A championship and made school history in the process. Before this year’s 4-0 victory over Somerset in the area round on Tuesday, no school soccer team had ever made it past the second round.
“We made history winning our area-round game,” said Marroquin. “After that we went on with the mentality that we can do this; we’re not just another La Feria team that messes up in the second round.
“We won a tight game against Grulla on Tuesday and hopefully against Bandera it’s the same. We’re fired up and we want to go to the regional finals.”
And with Progreso and a number of Brownsville teams making it to the UIL state finals in recent years, confidence that the team can also achieve the same level of success is running high within the team.
“Everybody is really hyped up for the game, but our goal is to reach state,” said freshman Tony Torres.