The season opening match for the Stephenville High School varsity boys soccer team was also the first-ever game as a head coach for the Yellow Jackets’ Taylor Smith.
The Jackets came through with a 1-0 road victory over Class 4A Liberty Hill on Tuesday to open their regular season schedule. Then on Thursday afternoon, the Jackets tied Gainesville, 3-3, but lost the match on a penalty kick in the opening round of the Boomtown Tournament in Burkburnett.
Ivan Cabrera provided the only goal the Yellow Jackets would need against Liberty Hill, on a penalty kick in the 28th minute, according to Smith.
"As a team, we played tough and an overall great game,” Smith said. “Liberty Hill was well coached and a solid all around team. We knew going into the game it would be a tough one. I am proud of the kids.
“A.J. Brown played the best I've seen him play, and stepped up as a leader of our defense. Kevin Martinez played at the highest level I have seen him play making key runs, and helping set up a lot of opportunities.”
Smith indicated he was pleased with the result.
“I have a great team here and I couldn't be more proud of the way we played,” Smith said. “Yes, we have a lot to clean up to get to where we want to go, but it's a great start to the season and I couldn't ask for a better group of kids to help get this first win.
“Overall, the toughest team won and I think we just played more physical than them. The guys really set the tone for what I think is going to be a great and long season.”
In the tie game against Gainesville, the Jackets got goals from Isidro Manzano, Ivan Cabrera and Kevin Martinez.
In the second round of the Burkburnett tournament on Friday, the Jackets were scheduled to play Springtown.