Frisco Wakeland Looks to Double-Up...Again
For the second time in four years – three if you do not count the cancelled 2020 playoffs – Frisco Wakeland has both its boys and girls soccer teams in the state championship.
Back in 2018, both teams took home the gold medals and the State Championship trophy to display in the Wakeland High School trophy case.
According to the UIL archives, which date back to 1983, there have been only two instances of one school winning both the girls and boys state title – 1983 by Richardson and 2018 by Wakeland. Now four years later, Wakeland has the chance to do it again.
In total, the Wakeland programs own a combined five state titles with the girls having won two (2011 and 2018) and the boys three (2010, 2017, and 2018).
Naturally, the recent level of success the programs have experienced brings a bit of healthy competition amongst the players.
But as Wakeland's girls head coach Jimmie Lankford mentioned, the players on both sides are very supportive of each other.
"When they get the chance, [the girls team] will get back from their game and go watch [the boys] and the other way around," Lankford said.
Boys head coach Andrew Holt expressed the same sentiment regarding the support yet competitive spirit these deep runs have created between the two teams.
"Both programs support each other and try to go to as many games as possible to support each other," Holt said. "I definitely think the competition is there to try to outdo each other, but ultimately, we want both teams to win."
As for the success Wakeland soccer has enjoyed over the years, both coaches attribute it to the foundation set by previous teams and that work ethic permeating throughout the program.
"We have a JV team that hasn't lost in like six years" Lankford said. "It starts at the middle school level and continues on up."
"At Wakeland we have a goal every year to be able to play in the State Championship for a shot to win it all," Holt added. "The talent and work ethic must match those goals.
"We have a lot of talented players at Wakeland, but what makes the team and program special is their work ethic and desire to be great. The standard has been set by so many players and teams before us at Wakeland and we want to keep that tradition going."
It comes down to just one game for both teams. The boys team faces a stout Humble Kingwood Park that is looking for its first state title in its third championship appearance - the second against Wakeland.
The two teams met in the 2010 4A State Finals with Wakeland winning 3-2 on a 2-0 shootout win.
"We are looking strong and hungry heading into Saturday," Holt said. "We are excited to be able to play for a State Championship. I believe the guys are ready for the moment and will be very eager for Saturday to get here."
As for the girls team, it faces a Dripping Springs team that is also in its third championship game and looking for state title No. 1. It fell in the 5A title game to Highland Park in 2019.
"We've had a couple of tough games recently in the Regional Finals and State Semifinals," Lankford said. "We're looking good. I think our team is ready. We're nursing some injuries right now, but we should be ready to play hard [on Friday]."