For the first time in a long time, a new face will lead the Dripping Springs boys soccer program.
Josh Hill, who recently was an assistant coach at Wichita Falls Rider, was hired to helm the Tigers after longtime head coach Brian Ormonde retired this fall.
Hill coached at Rider for the past decade and was part of that program’s 2007 UIL Class 5A state championship team. Rider also reached the 2012 state championship game while Hill was employed.
Hill will be tasked with leading a Tiger program that finished 9-8-6 overall last season, which was good enough for 6th place in 26-5A.
The biggest challenge for the Tigers may be replacing production from last year’s senior class.
The Tigers’ eight seniors last season scored 23 of the team’s total 34 goals a year ago. The team does have some experienced players returning however, led by their leading scorer from last season. Senior Jose Galindo scored six goals and recorded seven assists in 2017 and figures to be the main focal point offensively for the Tigers.
Sophomores Max Gonzales and Jalen Chavez both scored a goal as freshmen last season, while junior Kenneth Gossett could be a big part of the team’s game plan. Gossett is the only returning player, outside of Galindo, who scored more than a single goal last season.
“This is a program that’s had a lot of success in the past,” Hill said. “I felt like this talented team has a lot of potential and we’re looking to get it back to where I think it should be.”
Defensively, the Tigers have three capable goalkeepers who are all seniors.
Senior Ian Arguello served as a kicker and linebacker on the Tiger football team and returns between the pipes. Seniors Cory Blommers, Fernando Montoya, and juniors Colin McCraw and Lukas Koppel could all play a role on the defensive side for the Tigers.
Hill said the Tigers will have to contend against a difficult district slate which includes perenial powerhouses in Alamo Heights and Boerne Champion, along with area powers Marble Falls and Lockhart.
“We want to win games, but more importantly, we need to figure out what we are and what we have,” Hill said. “You never know until you start playing games and see what players are going to do.”
The Tigers open their season on Dec. 29th against the Bowie Bulldogs in Dripping Springs.
Moses Leos III contributed to this report.