Soccer Teams Kick Off Their Seasons


As students are arriving back to campus for the start of the spring semester, the Plano West Varsity Soccer teams return to the fields with hopes of successful upcoming seasons.  

After defeating the reigning 5A State Champions, Wakeland High School, 1-0, the Plano West Men’s Soccer team starts off the preseason with a 3-1 record. After this exciting win for the Wolfpack, Rizwan Khan, a junior center defensive midfielder, believes the team’s offensive strengths have been crucial to their success.

“Our biggest strength is definitely our attacking presence, which will be racking up goals left and right,” said Khan. “We have an impressive front 3 combination of speed, strength, and agility that is sure to win us a lot of games. Our speedy attacking midfielders provide the extra element that takes our attack to the next level.”

One of the most significant changes the Men’s team underwent this year was the addition of Head Coach Clint Cobb. After a four-year head coaching career at Paris High School, Coach Cobb’s hopes of having a winning season at Plano West are looking promising.

“I believe the season is going well with regards to a new coach and a younger squad,” said Christopher Nezianya, a junior forward. “We are nowhere near our potential just yet so we look forward to seeing just how good we can become.”

Nezianya was named the 2022 District 6-6A Newcomer of the Year and has already had an impressive start to the season, scoring three goals in West’s 5-1 victory against Jefferson. With only nine seniors this year, Nezianya believes the young team needs to improve on unified playing.

“One area we can improve is our ability to play together as a group,” said Nezianya. “A majority of our team the previous season were seniors, so we are relatively young this season with a lot of new faces. As we go along we should be able to click and perform better each game.”

With their first district match coming up on January 24th against Coppell, the Wolves are striving for a successful season and a state championship.

“All of us on the team know that there has been a negative stigma about West soccer for many years now. The fact is that we are here to change that, and we all believe that we can go out and accomplish our end goal of winning it all,” said Khan. “If we can continue to win and build a promising culture around the sport, then nobody will be able to stop us on the field.”

Meanwhile, the Lady Wolves Varsity Soccer team starts off their 2023 season with a challenging preseason schedule to prepare them for district competition. Despite a recent tough 0-2 loss against Highland Park, the Lady Wolves are looking to bounce back in their upcoming tournament matches.

“While it wasn’t the result we wanted,” said Claire LaBlanc, junior defender, “the game gave us a great chance to grow as a team and set a standard that we can then grow off of during the rest of the season.”

On January 17th, the Lady Wolves will take on the Coppell Cowgirls in their first district match. Amaya Haley, senior and 2022 First Team All-District defender, believes one area of the game the team needs to improve in order to aim for the District Title is a greater offensive presence. 

“Our finishing is our biggest weakness only because of our inconsistency,” said Haley. “There are times when we capitalize on every goal and there are other times when we do the complete opposite. Luckily, shooting is a skill that can be mastered and with more practice, we should be able to perfect it.”

Under the leadership of Head Coach Jackie Kerestine and the positive and hardworking culture the program emphasizes, the Lady Wolves are hoping to earn the chance to compete in the playoffs and represent West. 

“We work together very well and I think that is going to be crucial to our success for the rest of the season,” said Campbell Polze, a senior center back. “Although we have just started and haven’t played too many games, I am confident in this team and I am very excited to see what this season has to offer. I am pumped to see all of our hard work in the preseason pay off.”