Sports > Schools
Stallion boys ready to make another run at the district crown
Two years ago, North Mesquite rolled to the district championship. Last season, the Stallions came up just one point short, in settling for a runner-up finish.
As the 2013 season gets started, North Mesquite once again carries high hopes, as it hopes to regain its spot atop the 12-5A standings and make the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years.
The Stallions got off to a solid start to the season last week, winning two of three games at the Jesuit-Meinster Tournament.
North Mesquite is scheduled to continue its non-district slate on Thursday through Saturday at the Mansfield Tournament and then play a road game against Rowlett on Tuesday as the 12-5A opener fast approaches on Feb. 1.
"(We want) to get better at our timing, learn about our new players and learn about different situations for subbing," said North Mesquite head coach Morris Thompson of the team's early season objectives. "Most importantly is seeing these guys compete."
Thompson already has a good idea of what he can expect from the returning nucleus of the team.
Senior Juan Mendez was named the district's offensive most valuable player a year ago. The center midfielder was an integral part of the Stallion scoring attack, accounting for 20 goals and 12 assists.
Mendez is not the only North Mesquite player with scoring punch, as forwards Oscar Ocampo and Juan Gonzalez also return after earning all-district honors last season.
Ocampo, a junior, tallied 13 goals and 10 assists to earn a spot on the first team, while Gonzalez, a sophomore, made the second team after registering six goals and eight assists.
The defense will be anchored by goalkeeper Ivanne Berumen, who had two shutouts and allowed two goals or less in nine of 10 district games to earn first-team all-district honors, as well as defender Gustavo Rosas.
Among the newcomers the Stallions will welcome into the mix is sophomore midfielder Abraham Vazquez, who moved to Mesquite after being a starter on a California team that won the sectional state championship.
North Mesquite has enjoyed a nice run of late. In 2011, the Stallions qualified for the regional tournament. Last season, they posted an 18-5-1 record before being edged out of the area finals with a shootout loss to McKinney Boyd.
Like any top team, though, North Mesquite is not satisfied.
"(We want) to continue to get better and hopefully have a better year than last year," Thompson said.
The Stallions will continue with non-district play through the end of January before their 12-5A opener on Feb. 1 at Rockwall.