BHS Soccer Stars Heading to College
Special to the Courier
Three Bandera High School’s senior soccer stars will be heading to play college level soccer in Abilene and Kerrville. Forward Abram Mata and Goalkeeper Aiden Keane have committed to play NCAA Division III soccer with McMurry University while Defender Garrett DeLong will play for Schriener University this coming fall season.
All three seniors assumed crucial roles in leading our Bandera Bulldogs to new historic heights within the high school’s soccer program. For the first time in Bandera soccer history, the Bulldogs reached the regional final game against defending regional champs, the Progresso HS Red Ants this past week. To earn the right to play Progresso, the canines pulled an unexpected upset against the Boerne Greyhounds (1-0) after suffering two season defeats at their hands. The Dogs went on to play the La Feria Lions that ended in a regulation draw (1-1). Still after two ten-minute overtime periods, neither team allowed the other to score which took the intense contest to penalty kicks. DeLong scored the first PK with Nick Aguirre, Mata, and Jackson Short all scoring their attempts. With the Lions only scoring two of their four attempts, the Bulldogs again upset the expected winner in this heart-stopping thriller.
Throughout the 2017 soccer year, Keane stopped an uncountable number of missile-speed shots at the goal to give the Dogs a fighting chance to win or tie a game. DeLong consistently contributed with thwarting an opponent’s run or actually stealing the ball from an opponent with ease to greatly enhance the young team’s opportunities to score. Mata broke his own 2016 high scoring record of 20 seasonal goals to a new school record of 21 goals.
It goes without saying that these three young men did not achieve the teams’s new heights without the other 8 starters (Nick Aguirre, Michael Gonzalez, Jose Gonzalez, Tanner Gibson, Christian Gonzalez, Will Talavera, Josh Jauer and Dimitri Garcia) and Head Coach Clifton Tierney. “I am extremely proud of all these young men and wish them all the best in the future.” Tierney stated.