Tompkins, Seven Lakes Atop Region III Soccer Poll

By Terry Carter

It doesn’t happen often, but the Tompkins Falcons and Seven Lakes Spartans sit in the top two spots of a new Region III-6A boys’ poll among soccer coaches and media.

If that the District 19-6A rivalry between No. 1 Tompkins (16-6-2, 6-4-2) and No. 2 Seven Lakes (19-2-1, 10-1-1) proves valid once more, then the Falcons and Spartans are destined to collide in the postseason as they did in 2020. It’s a fierce battle for supremacy among Region III frontrunners.

No. 3 Kingwood, No. 4 Strake Jesuit, No. 5 Ridge Point, No. 6 Spring Woods, No. 7 Dobie and No. 8 Humble will make this Region very competitive again. But one team needs to take charge before postseason action kicks in to be ready for the strong teams in other regions.

Making this ranking more interesting is that Taylor enters 2022 ranked No. 9, and Cinco Ranch sits tied for No. 15 with Clements, ahead of No. 10 Jersey Village, No. 11 Cy Ranch, No. 12 North Shore, No. 13 Deer Park and No. 14 Bellaire.

THE RIVALRY

In 2021, Seven Lakes won a competitive district race ahead of runner-up Cinco Ranch (16-3-2, 8-2-2), third-place finisher Taylor (8-7-2, 7-3-2) and fourth-place Tompkins. However the Falcons played the Spartans close in both district matches, earning a 1-1 tie on Feb. 26 after dropping a 4-3 match in the first half of 19-6A play.

It was the rematch Tompkins wanted in the playoffs, and finishing fourth in district meant nothing to the determined Falcons.

The rivals met in a Region III quarterfinal at Rhodes Stadium, and Tompkins edged the district champion 1-0 on a solo goal, a blast by senior Jose Maria Ojeda. The Spartans lost only twice in 2021, once to Cinco Ranch in league play and once to Tompkins three rounds deep in the playoffs. Tompkins subsequently defeated Humble, 3-1 in overtime in the Region III semifinal before dropping a 2-1 regional final to Jersey Village. Something similar happened in 2020.

District 19-6A held so much diversity and talent in 2021 that four Katy ISD teams earned All-State or All-Region recognition in postseason awards.

TOMPKINS

The Falcons return talent this winter, and they are testing their mettle Jan. 13-14 with scheduled tournament matches at defending 6A state champion San Antonio Johnson (28-1), at Region IV finalist Lake Travis, which lost to Johnson on a 4-3 shootout last season.

Tompkins returns the following recognized standouts from 2021: Honorable All-State junior midfielder Luis Lugo (15 goals, 10 assists), First Team All-Region senior Rafa Gonzales (six goals, nine assists).

SEVEN LAKES

Seven Lakes opens the season in the Helotes tournament, and the Spartans expect to play San Antonio O’Connor, Kingwood and Fulshear on Jan. 6-8. Among the Spartans returning standouts for 2022 include: Aidan Morrison returns after winning Newcomer of the Year in the All-District 19-6A boys’ soccer selections from 2021. Senior Ty Koc was an All-District selection too.

CINCO RANCH

Cinco Ranch enters the 2022 season with great hopes as two junior standouts return after taking All-District MVP honors and All-Region recognition. Cougar Dany Vargas earned Second Team All-Region and 19-6A Offensive MVP honors for his sophomore season. Junior defender Jake Manzi raked in 19-6A Defensive MVP honor and Second Team All-Region notice.

These standouts will keep Cinco Ranch on the radar after the Cougars placed second in district and played three rounds deep in the playoffs. They also won 3-of-4 matches against Tompkins and Seven Lakes; Cinco Ranch will be a playoff threat for certain. The Cougars also return junior First Team All-District selection Julio Colmenares.

TAYLOR

Taylor also returns recognized talent in two seniors: First Team All-Region goalkeeper Aidan Bousleiman and Honorable Mention All-Region defender Luke Skelton. The Mustangs can make a strong push into the playoffs again. Taylor was strong in key district matches last year, defeating Tompkins once  and tying Cinco Ranch. They lost in the first round of the playoffs however. They also return Gabriel Zagastizabal and seniors Lukas Piotrowicz and Lewis Paterson.

MORTON RANCH

The Mavericks (5-9-1, 3-8-1) missed the postseason in 2021, but they looked solid against Cy Ranch during a recent scrimmage that ended 1-1. Senior midfielder Kevin Sanchez, a First Team All-District choice, will lead the team as they regroup for a push toward the playoffs, Morton Ranch head coach Oscar Marquez said on Friday.

All-District returners Kevin Resendez and Chris Hernandez Honorable Mention All-District pick Andres Garcia to build the team into a contender in this fierce district. Goalkeeper Jonathan Onwusa will also be a team leader and a defensive force in the goal, Marquez said.

MAYDE CREEK

The Rams (5-14-1, 2-10) will be back in form with seniors Italo Rodriguez, Brandon Gasca, Charly Gomez and Austin Ledford. All received All-District recognition in 2021.

KATY

The Tigers (2-17-2, 1-11), like Mayde Creek, need to find more offensive goals this season. In 2021 District 19-6A play, Katy scored nine goals in 12 matches; Mayde Creek scored 11 times according to stats from MaxPreps.  The Tigers will be led by returning All-District standouts junior Tyler Morgan, senior Jack Flores and senior Emanuel Ruiz.