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2021 soccer season kicks off this week

Tournament play launches new year for all 4 MISD varsity teams

Bill Spinks
Midlothian Mirror

This is the week that soccer teams in Midlothian ISD have been looking forward to since the middle of last March, when COVID-19 cut short championship seasons for Midlothian and Heritage high schools.

The Midlothian Panthers and Lady Panthers will both open the 2021 regular season with a tournament starting on Thursday at Highland Park. The Heritage girls will open in the Waxahachie tournament, while the boys will play in a tournament at River Oaks Castleberry.

The Panthers are coming off a 6-4 loss last Tuesday at Mesquite Horn in which Nicholas Arenare scored two goals and Guianny Tello and Nathan Wagner added goals. Tello, Wesley Kimbell, Conner Rodgers and Ryan Tate assisted on the goals.

At Highland Park, the Panthers will open against Dallas Conrad at 3:20 p.m. on Thursday, followed by a contest against Dallas Adamson at 7 p.m. on Friday and a 3:20 p.m. match against Richardson High on Saturday.

The MHS boys finished 9-5-7 overall and 6-1-4 in district during the truncated 2020 campaign and had clinched a playoff berth.

The Lady Panthers will take on McKinney Boyd on Thursday, Highland Park on Friday and Rockwall on Saturday. All three matches will kick off at 1:30 p.m.

The Lady Panthers were 17-1-2 overall and a perfect 11-0 in district in 2020, and ended the regular season ranked No. 4 in the state in Class 5A by the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches.

Both the Panthers and Lady Panthers are ranked No. 9 in their respective groupings in Class 5A Region II by the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches in its 2021 preseason poll.

Meanwhile, both Heritage teams open the season ranked No. 1 in Class 4A Region II in the TASCO preseason polls. Both the HHS boys and girls were undefeated in district play last spring and had clinched district championships before the stoppage of play.

The Jaguar boys (22-3-1 overall in 2020) will begin play in the Castleberry tournament on Thursday. A tournament schedule was unavailable as of press time, but the Jags will face Anna at about 3 p.m. on Friday in the tournament.

The Heritage girls’ team will open against Corsicana at 4 p.m. on Thursday in the Waxahachie tournament at Lumpkins Stadium. The Jags will also face Dallas Skyline on Friday at 8 a.m. and Saginaw Chisholm Trail on Saturday at noon in the Waxahachie tournament.

Both HHS teams will host the Heritage Frostbite Tournament Jan. 14-16.