Don Sparks

DFW HS teams tops in Texas

It was a big weekend for two Dallas-area schools as Jesuit (25-0-0) captured the Class 5A title in boys’ soccer with a 1-0 shootout win over Houston Strake Jesuit. However, the unbeaten Rangers weren’t the only local school to win state. In the 4A boys’ title game, Frisco Wakeland (28-2-3)  also emerged victorious with a 3-2 win over Humble Kingswood Park.

“I’ve been in sports for 31 years now and have been playing soccer since I was four, you always dream about what it would feel like when you see Duke win a national title or see your buddy, Steve Warren at Abilene High, win a football championship,” Wakeland head coach Rusty Oglesby said. “He’s a really close friend and that’s my alma mater. I saw that game. It was a cool feeling but nothing can equate to what I experienced Saturday night when that final shot was saved.”

The Wolverines’ 4A crown is especially impressive considering the school just opened four years ago.

“I knew coming in, I just had a feeling. We prayed about it and I knew this was the place to be,” Oglesby said. “I was leaving a great situation at Sachse High School. At one point last year, they were No. 2 in the nation. I knew what I had there but I still felt this was a special place to be. I knew it was going to take at least four years to do it. When I met the freshman class that first year, we knew how talented they were.”

“We just had to hope they wouldn’t get discouraged and run away to club, state and stay gone. Those kids bought into it. It would have been so easy when we were losing. We lost 10-1 to The Colony our first year. We also lost a few 6-0 and at any point, those kids could have walked away. There were a few who did and didn’t think it was worth it. They didn’t want to fight for it. It’s that old cliché of those who stay will be champions. They stuck it out. We hoped it would happen in four years. We didn’t know for sure if it would but we had a dream, a plan and we stuck to it.”

Wakeland won in the semifinals, 3-2 over Dripping Springs, getting a hat trick from Aaron Reifschneider.

“The semifinal was an anomaly. We had held their top player in check all night,” Oglesby said. “We made some wholesale changes at the 10-minute mark to allow some kids to get on the state championship field. We let a kid slip on the backside and he hit a great header. Then, literally a minute-and-a-half later, a ball is sitting in the middle of the field and had a kid strike one from 25 yards out. That was one of the best goals I’ve seen all year. We immediately had to remove some kids and had to settle down. We put our starters back in and they never got another shot off. The true group didn’t give up any goals but as a team, we gave up two goals."

The final was equally compelling.

“The final was just a dogfight. Without a doubt, those were two of the most evenly-matched teams I’ve seen in a long time,” Oglesby said. “It was magical. It was matching each other back and forth. They scored. We scored a minute-and-a-half later. I felt like in the first half, we really had the run of play. Their header off a corner was kind of against the run of play. Second half, they scored on a redirected free kick similar to what we did in the first half. Then, we fought and clawed through. With about five minutes left, for the first time the whole year, the thought of us really not winning the state title entered my mind. Then, we moved Walker White into the middle of the field. He dominates play for 30 seconds, wins a ball, plays it wide to Gabe (Arriaga) and he takes advantage of this incredible opportunity. He hits a ball and whether it was going to be a cross or a shot, who cares? It ends up in the back of the net. Teams of destiny still have to have a little bit of luck and that’s what we got.”

Jesuit finished the year unbeaten and became the first private school to win a UIL title in boys’ soccer. It was a nice ending for a team that had lost to the eventual state champs, Flower Mound Marcus in 2008 and Plano in 2009, in each of their last two playoff appearances.

Charles DeLong’s team placed four players on the 5A all-tournament team. Goalkeeper Ryan Aubrey was MVP of the state final after stopping all four Strake Jesuit attempts in the shootout. Also earning all-tournament honors were senior defender Matthew Fredericks, junior defender Kristian Garciamendez and senior midfielder Parker Bergeron.

Both the Jesuit and Wakeland coaches also coach in the FC Dallas developmental system.