Ready At Moment’s Notice: Kingwood Park girls soccer will have to be ready when, if the playoffs happen
HOUSTON – Coming off Spring Break, Jess White and his first place Kingwood Park women's soccer team was looking forward to their regular season finale.
It was set for Wednesday, March 18 against Huntsville. It was going to be senior night.
Due to Humble ISD closing and cancelling all activities for next week, paired with the UIL announced the suspension of all events through March 29, that game will have to wait.
"It's really fluid," White told VYPE in a phone interview. "We'll just have to take our cues from [Athletic Director Troy Kite] and our district leadership once they make a decision on how to get things ramped back up.
"I think the UIL does a good job of pulling the plug when it needs to be. I don't think they'll hesitate if they decided if it's not the best idea [to continue games]. At the same time, they're trying to maintain the opportunity for the student-athletes as best as possible."
White's program has become one of the soccer powers in the city of Houston the past few seasons.
For the past two years, Kingwood Park has advanced to the UIL State Soccer Tournament in Georgetown and were favorites to reach that height again in 2020.
The UIL announced on Friday that the playoffs, which were supposed to begin on March 26 with the bi-district round have been pushed back to start on April 14. Because of that, the state tournament also was moved to April 29-May 2.
"I told them, we don't know when or if we're going to play," White said about his message to the team. "We have to be ready at a moment's notice as far as staying fit and staying sharp. If there's a group that can do that, these girls can."
Kingwood Park has been led this season by freshman Emma Yeager, who has 36 goals. Jacqui Daspit has eight, Mia Wehby has seven and Brooke Baldon has six. In the assists category, Baldon has 14 and Daspit has 10. Samantha Valadez and AJ Weeks have led in goal recording a combined 106 of 113 shots taken.
The district certification date was also shifted to April 11. In District 20-5A, White said a few teams had just one match remaining on the slate, while others had two.
As far as the playoff slots, White said those are set, with Kingwood Park, Tomball, Porter and Montgomery making it. The only thing the final matches could decide what places Porter and Montgomery end up taking.
Looking towards the first round of the playoffs, White said his team would line up against either Bryan Rudder or Magnolia West.
Right now, though, it is a waiting game. Team's aren't allowed to practice and with that in mind, White knows when they do get the green light to get back together – whenever that may be – they will have to be efficient with everything they do.
"You don't try to cram an extra two weeks of work into the time that you have," White said. "It'll be that much more important that everybody is ready to contribute. Whatever practice time we do have we use effectively and efficiently, so that they're sharp and not worn out."
With this affecting the entire soccer community, White knows whenever soccer does resume and the playoffs begin everyone will be in the same boat.
"We can't use it as an excuse if we get an opportunity to pursue that, because everybody else is faced with the same thing," he said.