The top compliment a player can get from his coach is when the coach wishes the athlete could stay around for another year.
Sulphur Springs head soccer coach Andy Holt thinks that way about Erick Robles, Tony Bravo and Jose Garcia. They just don’t have any more high school eligibility.
They were all key members of this year’s Wildcats soccer team which went four rounds deep in the playoffs, posting a 20-4-5 record.
Gaining Texas Association of Soccer Coaches recognition were Robles, second team all-state defender; Bravo, honorable mention forward. Garcia, Bravo and Robles also were named first team all-region.
“I wish they could stay, but they can’t. They have done it all for me,” Holt said. “They are very deserving of this honor. They did everything I asked. They were some of the team leaders this year.”
The Wildcats featured a senior-heavy class this year with Garcia, Bravo and Robles as top contributors.
Bravo ends the season with 29 goals during the year, which featured a long playoff run. In one stretch Bravo had five goals in two games, despite playing with an injured right foot.
Bravo finished his career at Sulphur Springs with 77 total goals from four years of being a starter. The record of 77 goals, is the new standard and all-time mark for a career.
Garcia played midfielder for the Wildcats and controlled the game from that position. He kept possession of the ball and was a good passer, often setting up teammates for goals. He is one of the reasons for Bravo’s success as a scoring machine.
Robles was a tough, unselfish player who took on the role of sweeper with vigor and excitement. Robles used his size and speed to keep opponents at bay.
“All three of the guys are going to be missed and hard to replace,” Holt said. “They all get the chance to continue their playing careers at Northeast Community College. They are very talented and versatile. They will make the transition to very easily to college. All three players should be productive for NTCC.”
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