• Centennial’s offense will flow through junior midfielder Akwasi Agyei. BURLESON STAR/RICKY MOORE

Spartans hoping hard work pays off this year

When he took over the boys soccer program at Centennial, Brian Boydston knew he had a task ahead of him.

“It’s a program that has struggled for three years now and one of those was with me,” Boydston said.

The Spartans finished with an overall mark of 4-17-1 and a District 9-5A record of 1-13. Boydston is looking to build on that district win over co-champion Everman in the final match of the season.

“About midyear last year when the guys are fighting hard but just can’t get over the hump one thing I told them was the hard work is going to pay off,” Boydstun said. “They stayed together and we were able to get a victory in the last game of the year against Everman.”

To build team unity and chemistry, Boydstun had the team play in a summer league and he said that is paying off. The players know each other better and trust each other.

“Going in this year the guys understand what is expected of them and I have a better idea of what we are going up against in relation to our talent and I think it is going to be an interesting district,” Boydstun said.

If the Spartans have a theme this season is hard work. Boydstun continually reminded his players during the spring and off-season that working hard will pay off in the end. It’s something the players have bought into for this season.

“The level and intensity at which we are training is so much higher that I expect to see a difference on the field,” Boydstun said. “I like where we are at right now and the culture on the team. No predictions but I think we will be more competitive.”

As it was last season, the defense should be solid with senior Josh Emslie in goal and junior Jace Hoover backing him up. The Spartans top defenders will be seniors Corin Seale and Alex Miranda, junior A.J. Pando and freshman Nolan Walker.

Knowing the defense is stout, Boydstun has concentrated on improving the offense. The Spartans lacked consistent goal-scoring last season.

The key for the Spartans will be the play of junior midfielder Akwasi Agyei. The junior is a raw talent who had great speed, Boydstun said whose natural position seems to be in the midfield

“He is going to be the key,” Boydstun said. “The better he plays the more we can press guys forward.”

Another key cog in the midfield will be senior Nick Scarpello. The addition of Walker on defense allowed Boydstun to move Scarpello to the midfield.

Also playing at midfield will be junior Bidauri Trujilo and sophomore Mason McBeath. Boydstun said McBeath would have been freshman of the year had not gotten injured.
Boydstun is counting on scoring from senior Casey Wright and Alex Moreno.

Wright is an extremely fast player that earns hustle goals while Alex is a pure scorer.

“If Alex can just play within himself he’s going to be a dangerous player for us,” Boydstun said.

Junior Chase Epps, who can play in the midfield or at forward, will be the Spartans’ top reserve.

“We are very thin depth wise but we are good where good,” Boydstun said.  “It’s going to come down to staying healthy and playing at the level we have been playing at since last spring. If we can do that I think we will have some success.”

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