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Soccer: Prado makes strong return – Senior ready for shot at playoffs

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, March 22, 2017
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As his team took the field for their bi-district game last spring, Jaime Prado was stuck on the sidelines with a fractured hip.

“I was overwhelmed that I didn’t get to play,” Prado said. “I still have the Stephenville game in the back of my mind.”

BACK IN THE GAME – After injury kept him out of the lineup last year, Jaime Prado has returned to lead the Eagles in goals. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Friday night, the Decatur senior gets his chance to lead the Eagles into the postseason. Decatur will take on Mineral Wells at 8 at Ram Stadium.

“Since my freshman year, I’ve wanted to get us past the second round,” Prado said. “We’re motivated to keep going.”

Last season, Prado was in the middle of a breakout year. Teamed with Juan Tapia, the two made a strong one-two punch. The Eagles started district 3-0 behind the tandem.

After scoring a goal against Bridgeport, Prado tried to punch in a rebound off a shot by Tapia. On the play, he dove and couldn’t get back up. He found out that he fractured his left hip, ending his season.

Without him in the lineup, the Eagles finished as the fourth-place team in 3-4A. Stephenville beat Decatur 2-0 in the first round of the playoffs.

“We started strong. We just went downhill after that,” Prado said.

Prado was sidelined until the summer, but when he could return to the pitch he was motivated to take his game to a new level.

“I wanted to get better and faster,” Prado said.

He’s led the Eagles in scoring this season and has multiple games with two goals, including the district 3-4A title game against Bridgeport March 10. Prado played that game with a sprained ankle.

“He’s a tough player,” said Decatur coach Wes Campbell. “[Against Bridgeport] he played on that ankle. He had to want it.”

He’s also fought through a hamstring injury this year.

But little could keep him from taking the field Friday against Mineral Wells, a team the Eagles beat 3-1 earlier this year.

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