After splitting the first six games of its Region 1-AAAA schedule, the Hillcrest High boys soccer team will begin the second half Thursday when its hosts Greenwood.
Rams coach Ryan Parker said he’s confident his team will fare better in the second half.
“I hope we learned a lesson the first time we played those opponents,” Parker said. “I hope we learned from our mistakes.”
The Rams were scheduled to play the first of their two games against second-ranked J.L. Mann on the road Tuesday. That would complete their first run through the region.
Parker said he believed Hillcrest would make the Class AAAA state playoffs, and with the exception of a couple of matches, the season had gone about the way Parker had anticipated.
“A couple of games we should have won, but we didn’t,” he said. “We had expected to be second in the region at this point, and we are third or fourth.”
Hillcrest has eight seniors, six juniors, two freshmen and one sophomore.
The starting forwards are junior Marshall Perkins, senior Quinten Gulledge and sophomore Jesse Smutzer. The midfielders are senior Daniel Torres, freshman Jack Chenette and senior Matthew Wyatt-Ingram.
The defense consists of seniors Ramon Barahona and Oz Rios, juniors Emil Munoz and Wylie DeLorenz and junior goalkeeper David Robinson.
“We play hard. We are a hard-nosed, physical team,” Parker said. “That is the strength of our team.”
Parker said Hillcrest has had to play without two experienced players because of nagging injuries.
“We didn’t practice Friday because of the rain, so they got some rest,” Parker said. “I hope with them having the weekend and Friday off, they will be healed by Thursday.”