After a historic campaign on the soccer pitch in Sealy, it seemed fitting that the squad was acknowledged accordingly around District 25-4A.
A trio on the first and second team as well as three honorable mentions on top of the co-MVP goalkeeper all shared the field for head coach Juan Perez wearing the black and gold of Sealy. The Tigers reached the third round for the first time in over a decade following a pair of postseason victories on their home field over Brazosport (3-1) and Booker T. Washington (1-0).
The Sealy soccer team compiled a 7-5 record in district play, earning them the No. 4 seed behind Fulshear, Royal and Stafford. In the regular season, the Tigers swept the season series with the eventual top-seeded Fulshear Chargers, split with the Falcons from Royal, and fell twice to the Stafford Spartans although they never scored more than two goals in their meetings.
A big part of that lack of scoring against was due to the big body of David Gomez in net, taking up nearly the entire height and either width with a quick jump. The senior keeper recorded a pair of shutouts over the seven wins in district play while adding another in the postseason on his way to recording a 0.83 goals-allowed average in that stretch of 15 district and playoff games to close out his final year in Sealy.
In comparison, the offense in front of him racked up 44 goals against the opposing goalies to register a 2.93 goals-for average in the games with the higher stakes. Altogether that made for a .600 winning percentage to accomplish a regional quarterfinal berth for the first time since these players were in elementary school.
Another player in his last year at Sealy High School was Alex Avila who, despite his defenseman status on the roster, potted six goals in the back of the net over all 26 games while serving as one of the team captains. Avila was joined on the first team by junior Jose Luis Arriaga and sophomore Sergio Alvarado, both of whom will take the lessons learned into next year.
Arriaga supplied three goals on the year, none more important than the last-minute, game-winning mark in the Area Championship over Booker T. Washington. With just over two minutes remaining, he was on the receiving end of a Ricky Avila corner kick that snuck inside the post before the keeper could react to shock the opponents and extend a playoff run to greater heights.
Avila, a sophomore, was joined by a pair of classmates on the second team in Erick Balderas and Joshua Paz who will all return to wreak more havoc for the next two years. Avila and Balderas specifically were two of the driving goal-scoring forces for the team, both reaching the double digits this year with 10 and 14 respectively.
A pair of juniors and another sophomore represented the Tigers in the honorable mentions with Emmanuel Aviles and Mario Arriaga assuming the roles of seniors next year while Angel Guerrero still has another year after that. All three will return to solidify the defensive end in front of the next Sealy goalkeeper who will look to take all he learned from Gomez to apply it to next season and another playoff berth to extend a streak that has now been stretched to six years in a row with extra soccer.