Thursday, January 08, 2009

ATH: Ex-Team, Ex-Player

Pulling their weight
From staff reports, The Daily Times, Published January 8, 2009

During his eight years at Tivy, boys soccer coach David Swonke has seen his beard grow longer and grayer over time.

Being coach of the Antlers for close to a decade, Swonke seems to take the team’s mascot seriously.

“(We’re) scrappy, like a bunch of deer running around in a field hunting for corn,” Swonke said. “... It’s just like deer in the field, they’ll run everywhere. They’ll be over here, and over there, do what they have to do. And that’s about what we do out there on the soccer field.”

Whether or not its effort in the field truly emulates Tivy’s real-life mascots that populate the Hill Country, the latest version of the Antlers is sure to provide plenty of excitement this season.

“We play total soccer where everybody plays all positions. We move through the field and for someone watching it, it may look like a bunch of deer running around,” Swonke said. “The style that I have here is from my experience, which is the Latin America style — we do a lot of wall passes, 1-2s, then we’ll do a through ball.”

Featuring just six seniors, most of which will be playing their first season on varsity, the youthful Tivy squad will be thrown into the fire by beginning its 2009 season in the talented Rebel Cup tournament at Buda Hays today through Saturday.

“A lot of growing up has to be done,” Swonke said. “These are youngsters and the desire and heart is there. Experience is tough to come by playing against teams that play year-round.”

Swonke was referring to his ultra-competitive District 53-4A competition with the likes of Boerne Sam Champion, Alamo Heights, Cibolo Steele, Schertz Clemens and Fredericksburg, all of whom made the playoffs last season except for the Battlin’ Billies.

But if the young Antlers have hope to improve on their one-win season last year, Swonke said he’ll be counting heavily on his six seniors including returning fullbacks Robert Garcia and Carlos Aguilar.

Aguilar earned second-team all-district honors as Tivy’s only representative and Garcia is in third year playing soccer.

“Team captains lead and as the seniors go, so goes the team,” Swonke said. “(If you have) good leaders, the team rallies around them.”

Swonke also has high hopes for a pair of fellow seniors including Alejandro Araiza, who’ll be playing his first season of organized soccer, and Chris Moreno.

Joining Araiza as newcomers expected to contribute a lot this season will be junior midfielder Maricio Alverez and freshman Eric Beltran, who will begin the year in goal for the Antlers, who lost last year’s goalie Walter Rivera to graduation.

Although they were considered mostly young last season as well, Tivy lost a considerable amount of offensive players to graduation including Albert Cordova, David Long and Anthony Bosserman.

But without those consistent contributors, Swonke went back to his deer analogy regarding the rest of his team.

“The rest, well we just have to see what big buck steps up is ready to play,” Swonke laughed.

OLH working to finish out strong

Several weeks already into its season, the Our Lady of the Hills boys soccer team is experiencing growing pains having started 0-4.

“It’s a young team, but they’re just struggling this season,” admitted second-year OLH soccer coach Shane Hefferman. “And its nothing that other teams are doing, its problems that we’re having.”

Competing in the largest district in TAPPS — Division III, District 3 — which contains nine teams from 3A, 2A and 1A, the Hawks face a major uphill battle if they hope to make the playoffs in their first season in a district.

OLH started this season much like they did last year — Hefferman’s first at Kerrville’s only private school — losing its first three games before finishing 6-1 in its final seven games.

Hefferman, who played soccer at Tivy before graduating in 1994, said he’s seen his favorite sport begin to take off in the Hill Country, though it still has a long way to go.

“I think soccer is on the rise,” Hefferman said, calling it a “kind of slowly but surely process.

“It will take some time to get there.”


2009 Tivy Antler Soccer Schedule

DATE OPPONENT SITE JV VAR.

Fri., Jan. 25 Alumni (Scrimmage) Home 12:00

Tues., Jan. 6 Bandera (Scrimmage) Bandera 5:00 7:00

Thur. - Sat.

Jan. 8 - 10 Rebel Cup Tournament Hays (Buda) TBA

Tues., Jan. 13 OPEN

Fri. - Sat.

Jan. 16-17 East Central Invitational Away TBA

Tues., Jan. 20 St. Anthony Away 5:00 7:00

Fri. - Sat.

Jan. 23-24 Seguin Matador Tournament Away TBA

Tue., Jan. 27 Uvalde Home 5:00 7:00

Fri., Jan. 30 St. Anthony Home 5:00 7:00

Tues., Feb. 3 Medina Valley Away 5:00 7:00

Fri., Feb. 6 Bandera Home 5:00 7:00

Tue., Feb. 10 *Alamo Heights Home 5:00 7:00

Fri., Feb. 13 *Steele Away 5:00 7:00

Tues., Feb. 17 *Boerne Champion Home 5:00 7:00

Fri. Feb. 20 *Clemens Home 5:00 7:00

Tues., Feb. 24 *Fredericksburg Away 5:00 7:00

Fri., Feb. 27 *Alamo Heights Away 5:00 7:00

Tues., Mar. 3 *Steele Home 5:00 7:00

Fri., Mar. 6 *Boerne Champion Away 5:00 7:00

Tues., Mar. 10 *Clemens Away 5:00 7:00

Fri., Mar. 13 *Fredericksburg Home 5:00 7:00



* DENOTES DISTRICT GAMES

Head Coach: David Swonke Assistant Coach: Brent Neal

Athletic Director: Mark Smith Principal: Robert Jolly

Athletic Trainer: Jesse Hinton Superintendent: Dr. Dan Troxell

Asst. Trainer: Amy Sralla

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