The magic is back with Caddo Magnet soccer this winter thanks to a goalie with no prior soccer experience, a guy with a 34 on the ACT, some senior leadership and a pair of coaches with championship pedigree.
The Mustangs ran through the Division I, District 1 race like a group of thoroughbreds at the Kentucky Derby. It was the first league title for Magnet since 2008, the same year head coach Nick Flowers and assistant Steven Bush led the Mustangs to the state title.
The crown comes in the school’s final season competing at the D-I level, since they’ll drop to D-II next season.
“It was really nice for our seniors and it puts Magnet soccer back in the forefront,” Flowers said between practices Thursday afternoon. “This team lost to Captain Shreve in the first game of the season, but they haven’t lost to a Shreveport-Bossier school since.”
The No. 19 seeded Mustangs (13-7) will play at No. 14 Bonnabel (19-4-4) Saturday at 2 p.m. at Joe Yenni Stadium at East Jefferson High School.
The move to D-II with Benton, Haughton and Parkway should be seamless.
“It’ll serve the kids the best,” Flowers said.
The Mustangs didn’t have a goalie entering the season, but All-State swimmer Thomas Siskron stepped out of the pool and into the net shutting out every team in the district.
“Thomas has been a great keeper and that was big for us,” said Flowers who played collegiately for Centenary and LSUS.
The six seniors are highlighted by Alex Witt, who is in talks with Cal Tech about a soccer scholarship at one of the country’s premier educational universities. Even with a 34 ACT (36 is perfect), Witt is having difficulty gaining acceptance among the 250 or so students the school admits annually. But he’s enjoying what’s left of his senior campaign heading into the playoffs.
“A lot of our success this year was fueled by two losses to Byrd last year, including one in the second round of the playoffs,” Witt said. “That rivalry helps. Also, coach Flowers has done a good job creating a different atmosphere for us that has enabled our team to bond.”
Other key players have been center-back Jack Rossi, center-mid Gage Gonzalez, senior forwards Ali Ibrahim and Jordan Hooks, Jake Witten and Ben Nguyen.
Flowers said he doesn’t know much about Magnet’s first-round playoff opponent.
“They’re from the North Shore and they’ve pretty much stayed down there,” he said.
Witt said he would like to see the Mustangs advance further than the second-round they made last season.
“We lost in the first round in our freshman and sophomore seasons, and Byrd knocked us out last year,” Witt said. “We want to build on that and we’re going to give it our best shot.”