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Tiger Times

Somebody to Leon

Girl's soccer experience coaching changes

Photo by Grace McGuire

Photo by Grace McGuire

Story by Eleanor Schroeder, editor in chief

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After six years under head coach Dustin Holly, the Lady Tigers soccer team changed leadership. Coach Jesus De Leon from Sulphur Springs replaced Holly, who accepted a position in his hometown as boys head coach.

Holly coached many of the players in the local club soccer team, Texarkana United Soccer Club, beginning when they were 10-years-old. Many of the players are apprehensive about the change.

“Coach Holly has coached some of us since we starting playing soccer, so obviously this change was hard for us to adjust to, but we have,” junior Sarah Jane Paddock said.

Although the team is sad to see Holly leave, they completely support his decision.

“Although it is difficult, our team knows it is what’s best for Coach Holly because he can be closer to his family now,” Paddock said.

Despite uncertainties for the upcoming year, the first few weeks of practice with Coach De  Leon have been positive.

“Coach Holly was an amazing coach, and he will be missed, but Coach De Leon has big plans for our team this season,” senior Jillian Ross. “I think we are all ready to work our hardest to not only win district, but also make it past the first round in playoffs.”

Texas High and Sulphur Springs have a long-standing rivalry making the transition interesting for both parties.  

“I’m very happy to be here because everybody has very welcoming to my family and me,” De Leon said. “I have have competed against Texas High in the past and I have always admired them. Now that I’m here it has been even better than I expected.”

As after-school practices are about to begin, the team is preparing for a competitive yet successful year.

“The administration and athletic department have been very accommodating and supportive,” De Leon said. “All the ladies on the soccer team are great. They care about the the team and about each other. We have high hopes for the year and I am confident that we have the talent and drive to reach their goals.”

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