Eagles gear up for new season

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, January 5, 2019
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Making a Run

MAKING A RUN – Decatur’s Gumaro Inguanzo holds off Bridgeport’s Juan Amador while making a run during the 2018 regular season finale. Bridgeport won the game 5-1. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The Decatur Eagles made history in 2017 winning their first postseason soccer match.

Last year, Decatur continued to build on its playoff success, claiming bi-district and area titles to advance to the region quarterfinals.

The Eagles’ run came to an end against eventual 4A state champion San Elizario, but for Decatur and coach Chris Benjamin, it was an important moment for the program.

“I feel like last year proved that our previous [season] wasn’t just a one-year deal,” Benjamin said. “It showed our program is moving forward. We hope to match that again this year to more solidify our program here in Decatur.”

Decatur finished second in District 3-4A behind rival Bridgeport in 2018. The Eagles upset the Bulls in early March, setting up a winner-take-all match in the regular season finale for the league title.

Bridgeport won that match 5-1 to claim its third league title in as many years.

“Both Bridgeport and us had a good couple of years and players,” Benjamin said. “Some of them have graduated and they were friends, so they knew each other.”

The Eagles lost six players to graduation, including leading goal scorers Sebastian Serrano and Daniel Inguanzo. Decatur’s two keepers also graduated.

“It’s going to be exciting to see these new faces and how things go,” Benjamin said. “Some vital people, like Daniel and Sebastian, and I think it was Juan [Amador] and Eric [Aguilar] for Bridgeport, they were huge for them. It’s just a matter of figuring out this next group of guys and what their story is.”

Decatur averaged 2.4 goals last season, going 16-11-2. The Eagles were 7-2 in league play.

The Eagles return Gumaro Inguanzo, Edgar Rodriguez and Andres Hernandez, who scored two goals in Decatur’s bi-district win over Mineral Wells last season.

“I’m excited about the new, incoming players,” Benjamin said. “Every year is different as far as what positions you’re strong at and where your weaknesses are. We’re going to move some people around and see where they shine.”

Decatur opens the 2019 season at home Tuesday against Wichita Falls Hirschi.

On the girls side, the Lady Eagles also kickoff their 2019 campaign at home Tuesday against Hirschi. Decatur finished third in District 3-4A last year with a 2-13-3 record.

The Lady Eagles fell in the bi-district round of the playoffs to Abilene Wylie.

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