OHS soccer teams kick off 2019-20 season

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee High School football team played its last game of the regular season on Nov. 1, which means it’s time for the soccer goals to come out and for the Okeechobee boys and girls soccer teams to kick off their 2019-20 season.

The boys team is scheduled to host South Fork at 7 p.m. on Nov. 12 and the girls team will be traveling to face Clewiston at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 11.

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
The Okeechobee High School Lady Brahmans soccer team will have the tough task of replacing Ashton English this season. After graduation, English accepted an offer to play soccer at Daytona State College for the Falcons. English holds the all-time scoring record at OHS.

The Okeechobee boys team is coming off a 7-9 season last year. The team had some close games throughout the year and had enough talent to go on a run in the playoffs, but ultimately inexperience held the team back.

In 2017-18 the boys team advanced all the way to the regional tournament. The Brahman defense proved to be crucial to their playoff run during that season, Okeechobee’s defense had seven shutouts that year.

If the Brahmans can limit the mental mistakes, they just might go on another run similar to their 2017 season.

During the offseason the Florida High School Athletic Association reshuffled districts statewide in multiple sports, which means the Brahmans will have some new competition in their 5A Region District 14.

Out are Dwyer, Forest Hill, South Fork, Jensen Beach, Palm Beach Lakes and Martin County. The Brahmans’ new district will consist of Port St. Lucie, Boyd Anderson, Boynton Beach, Northeast Oakland Park and Suncoast.

The boys will still face some of their old district foes. Jensen, South Fork and Martin County are all scheduled to face Okeechobee this year. But the teams won’t play each other in the district playoffs.

The Lady Brahmans are attempting to rebound from a disappointing 2-11 record last year. Similar to the boys, the girls had a lot of talent on their team last season, but offensively the Lady Brahmans seemed to lose focus and struggle in their games. That inability to close out games and keep their foot on the gas came back to bite them too many times in 2018-19.

The team lost eight seniors to graduation last year, including Ashton English, Cansady Pasillas, Andrea Ramirez, Natalie Saucedo, Sandy Leon, Alani Garcia, Giselle Leal and Jennifer Baltazar-Chavez.

One of the biggest losses the team will have to overcome is Ashton English. English proved to be one of the more dangerous attackers for the Lady Brahmans and consistently out maneuvered and out ran her opponents on the field.

The girls are also affected by the district reshuffling. Out are Dwyer, South Fork, Forest Hill, Jensen Beach, Martin County and Palm Beach Lakes. In are Port St. Lucie, Boyd Anderson, Northeast Oakland Park and Suncoast.

The Lady Brahmans are scheduled to host their first home game of the season at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 against Sebring.

Richard Marion is a staff writer and photographer at Lake Okeechobee News and can be reached at rmarion@newszap.com.

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