BOYS SOCCER: OHS, Permian shoot for growth ahead of district
Jan 18, 2013 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Odessa High boys soccer players went through a lengthy film session Monday, engaging in self-assessment as they poured over video from their four games at last weekend's Northwest ISD Tournament.
"We noticed some of the mistakes we made and now we know what we have to work on," said junior Robert Galindo, who netted a pair of goals as the Bronchos went 2-1-1 in Justin and made it to the semifinals.
Back on the field the next day, OHS was in preparation mode for its final dress rehearsal, so to speak, starting today as it heads to Midland for the annual Presidents Cup -- three more games to get its act right before opening night in District 2-5A next Tuesday.
Across town, Permian and head coach Luis Carmona spent the early potion of the week taking inventory after a physical two days in North Richland Hills last weekend, where it posted a 1-2 record at Winter Rebel Blast.
"We have a few guys banged up in the back but overall, I think we are sitting pretty well," said Carmona, whose Panthers' first three games this season were all decided by one goal.
Permian also is in Midland today and Saturday, hoping to get through these three final tuneup contests before ringing in the 2013 district slate. The league schedule starts one week sooner than it did the last two seasons ago as a result of one less tournament on the schedule.
The Panthers play at noon today against El Paso Riverside and at 4 p.m. against El Paso High while Odessa High opens the tournament at 6 p.m. today against Del Rio. All three games are at Grande Communications Stadium.
"We have so many new faces on the varsity squad and we are still trying to figure out positions and personnel," Carmona said. "But everybody is in the same boat and we will make the best of it. Hopefully this weekend we will grow up a whole lot."
This year's Presidents Cup features co-hosts Midland High and Midland Lee along with the ECISD schools, Del Rio, El Paso High, El Paso Riverside and El Paso Irvin.
Each team gets to play a total of three games today and Saturday, with most games being played at Grande.
"I think I like how it is set up this weekend. I guess you can say it is Odessa and Midland against the El Paso teams, and one Del Rio team," OHS head coach Noe Cerezo said. "It's kind of neat because when it comes down to the playoffs, we are heading that way. So it's good to have some experience against them."
There's that, and the valuable opportunity that sits in front of the squads to iron out the wrinkles, take a few gambles within the game plan and smooth out the rough edges, all with the idea in mind to make sure everything fits come next Tuesday.
It has created an aura of urgency that is surrounding the Panthers and the Bronchos. Permian senior defender Edgar Galindo said the impending district debut isn't seen as a looming do-or-die date, but merely a kick in the pants to take care of the tasks in the immediate future.
"We have to work faster and communicate better because there's so little time," said Edgar Galindo, who recalled what unfolded against Keller Central in the team's regular-season opener Jan. 10 -- a 2-1 loss -- as a point of emphasis this weekend.
"We just have to play smart. When we played Keller Central, the first 20 minutes, we played great. We just got too comfortable. We take it as a lesson, just because you score a goal, you don't take your foot off the pedal. You have to keep pushing."
In different words, Robert Galindo expressed much of the same for him and the rest of the Bronchos, who feel like they laid the proper groundwork in Justin last week. Continuing to ride that momentum right on through the two days in Midland and into what the consensus predicts to be a rigorous district ride is of the utmost importance.
"I'm hoping we can make a statement going into district and have something good going for us," Robert Galindo said.
--Follow Joshua Weaver on Twitter @OAtheWeave
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