Jacksonville boys soccer making most of its 1st playoff appearance in 5 years

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A postseason berth in any sport should never be taken for granted, and for seniors on the Jacksonville soccer team, they knew they only had one more shot to end the half-decade drought.

“We haven’t had playoffs since my 8th grade year so that was even before I was in high school,” said senior keeper Edgar Gonzalez. “So to have playoffs now as a senior, as a captain, as a goalie, it really feels special.”

But the Indians didn’t just sneak into the playoffs, they are coming off a milestone victory over the Lufkin Panthers and on Friday, they will face Frisco Wakeland in the regional quarterfinals.

“I honestly think we are one of the top ones up there because we worked hard,” said junior midfielder Jovanny Garcia. “We deserve to be up there.”

The Indians knew this could be a special season early on when they went to a tournament in Longview, and ended up beating the Lobos 3-0 on their own field.

“Since we came from that victory, we felt confident and we knew that it’s something we could compete with,” said head coach Rudy Jaramillo.

So the journey continues, and two more victories will send Jacksonville to Georgetown and the state tournament.

But no matter how this story ends, these seniors are proud to leave this program better off than when they first took the field, as part of the Tribe.

“I just really want them to be better than us this year, next year, so hopefully this work ethic and this play we made this year, hopefully it travels on to the next,” said Gonzalez.

Jacksonville will take on Wakeland at 5:30 p.m. at Stafford Stadium in Carrolton.

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