W.T. White players and coaches wanted to end their season on the field, but their hopes of a lengthy playoff run were dashed instead by the COVID-19 pandemic.
That won’t erase the memory of a historic season, however, as the Longhorns clinched the District 8-6A title in their final game before the season was suspended in mid-March, tallying a 10-1-2 record in league play.
Their offensive proficiency was the primary reason, with WTW scoring at least three goals in 11 of 13 district games — and 50 goals total.
“The key to our success is having the experience of some great seniors and the hunger of a group of younger players,” said fourth-year WTW head coach Rolando Tovar, whose varsity roster includes six sophomores.
A year ago, WTW tied Richardson Pearce for the regular-season crown in 8-6A, then was ousted in postseason play by state champion Flower Mound in the Region I quarterfinals.
“Our expectations are higher every year.” -Rolando Tovar
But this season, the Longhorns (14-2-3 overall) earned two victories over Pearce while also going unbeaten in two games against perennial power Duncanville. They were slated to be the district’s top seed in the Region I bracket.
“Our expectations are higher every year,” Tovar said. “We knew we had the team to win district, but our real goal [was] to make it past the third round of the playoffs.”
Dynamic striker Jorge Gonzalez, a junior, paced the attack with 18 goals this season, which led the district. Senior midfielders Byron Aguilar and Angel Escorza also were valuable contributors.
Aguilar, who had nine goals this season, is on the under-20 national team roster for Guatemala — where his parents were born — and hopes to play in upcoming qualifiers for next year’s U-20 World Cup in Indonesia.
The versatile Escorza was the team’s top scorer last season but was valuable as a multipurpose player this season, primarily as a center midfielder but also on defense when needed.
As they waited at home, hoping for a postseason opportunity, Tovar shared plans to his players over social media so they could remain focused and connected through the extended break.
However, the Longhorns will have to wait until 2021 for another playoff chance, with a new roster in a reconfigured district at the Class 5A level.
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