Everything is in place for the Cedar Park High School boys’ soccer team to make the jump.
With 14 seniors and head coach Brian Pollard starting his third season at the helm, he said this is the time the Timberwolves need to come together and put everything in place.
“We expect to be a district champion caliber team,” Powell said. “Finishing tough matches is something we’ve put a focus on this year.”
Powell helped the Timberwolves complete a massive turnaround in his first season in charge. They won one district game in 2015 before he came to Cedar Park and helped get them to the playoffs in 2016.
Last year, his second year, Cedar Park finished in fifth place in District 19-5A.
Five All-District players are back on the roster this season: first-team honoree Jack Dooher, second-team defender Griffin Bacher and honorable mention players Lucas Bardshar, Jorge Martinez and Maizer Sparkman.
Powell pointed out Dooher and Lance Radtke as key cogs in the midfield, while Jacob Bohrer is the anchor on the back line.
“Those guys right the ship when we’re going wrong,” he said. “For us, we’re trying to be a possession-style team. We’re not the biggest or fastest, but we can play with a pace and a tempo through each other that I don’t think too many people can match us."
The most successful span of the young season so far was back-to-back wins against Royse City and Bastrop. The Timberwolves beat the Bulldogs 2-0 on Jan. 6 and opened district play with a 4-2 win against the Bears.
“We’ve played well defensively,” Powell said. “We’re only giving up about a goal and half a game and that’s something that we pride ourselves as a team on. If we continue to do that and we continue to tinker with the pieces up top, I think anything is possible for us.”
Cedar Park hosts Georgetown Friday night at 7:15 p.m. before traveling to face defending district champions Connally next Tuesday night.
Pressure to win is what they’re used to.
“We’re Cedar Park — pressure is just what we have here,” Powell said.