After beating the Hutchinson Salthawks 7-0 Tuesday night, the Dodge City Red Demons boys soccer team faces the Wichita-East Blue Aces tonight in Dodge City’s Memorial Stadium.
The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
Red Demons head coach Saul Hernandez said the Blue Aces bring some athleticism to the field.
“They’ve got some creative guys that are gonna cause us trouble if we don’t take care of em properly and they’re well organized,” Hernandez said. “The Wichita-East team, they’re always hungry. Whether it’s (the) boys or girls (team) they’re hungry to win, they’re hungry for that W and we’re gonna have to be on our toes.”
At stake is a trip to the 6A State Tournament in Topeka, Kansas on Nov. 3 and Nov. 4. There are four regional brackets, meaning the winner of tonight’s game will be just one of four teams still competing for a state title.
“It’s a regional championship and both teams know what we’re playing for and that piece of silverware and everyone’s gonna give it their best,” Hernandez said.
Despite being the higher-seed, Hernandez said tonight’s game will be nothing new in terms of teams giving Dodge City their best effort.
“Playing against a team like that, we’ve had our targets on our back the whole season, and hopefully we’ve learned to play with that by now,” Hernandez said. “If we haven’t, we will have some problems, but there’s a group of young guys on our team that are hungry, that they’ve never held one of those plaques before, so I think those younger guys are gonna give us the spark that we need there in the game.”
That group of young players, Hernandez said, are now going to have some of the experience need to continue the program’s competitiveness for years to come.
“This group (of seniors) had it when they were sophomores and they instilled that drive for it and I think this group of freshmen and underclassmen, they want to get a taste of what these guys got last year,” Hernandez said. “That drive’s gonna keep em playing their hardest, and as you can tell (from) how they played (in the) second half (Tuesday) a man down, I mean they came out with some inspiration and a point to prove and that’s what they want. They want a taste of the success that we’ve had.”