Wildcats win first tournament in school history; Holt becomes all-time winningest coach
From Staff Reports

Jan. 23, 2006 - Last weekend was an historical one for the Sulphur Springs soccer Cats and their head coach, Andy Holt.

The Wildcats won the first tournament in the program's history, beating Amarillo Tascosa in the finals of the Corsicana tourney, and making Holt the all-time winningest coach in the process.

With a win Thursday against Copperas Cove, Holt notched the 61st victory in his fourth season at the helm of the Wildcats. The Cats went on to go unbeaten in five games over the weekend, giving Holt 65 victories and making the Cats 9-2 this season. Sulphur Springs outscored its opponents 15-1 during the tournament.

"It was an historical weekend for us," Holt said. "Winning a tournament has never been done before. It felt good to get over that hump and win an important game, and we did it pretty much convincingly."

In the championship game on Saturday, the Wildcats beat Tascosa, 2-0, behind goals from forwards Chris Rodgers and Daniel Santillan. Rodgers put in his goal into the net about 10 minutes into the match, and Santillan scored with about 15 minutes left in the second half.

Holt said the Wildcats had opportunities to increase their lead as they dominated the title game.

"We had several opportunities, but the keeper made a couple of good saves or we'd hit it just wide," he said. "We played well that game."

Sulphur Springs opened the tournament on Thursday with a 2-0 victory over Copperas Cove behind two goals from Santillan. He scored off assists from Rolando Larios and Spenser Daniel, who headed a throw-in that Santillan controlled and put into the net.

Larios ended the tournament with a goal and two assists, while Daniel had two goals and two assists. Santillan and Rodgers each had three goals.

In their second round, the Wildcats beat the Corsicana JV, which was filling in for Springtown which canceled two days prior, by a 6-0 margin.

That left them with a match against Waco University, which the Cats won, 2-1, behind goals from Daniel and Rolando Larios. Waco scored on its only shot of the game, a penalty kick in the second half.

"Our guys played well all weekend, and that was the only goal we gave up," Holt said. "Looking at shot totals, we didn't give up many shots."

He attributed that defensive success to a change in the line-up where he inserted Brent Holly at sweeper and moved Graham Northcutt to right fullback. Wilfredo Larios is steady at the left back.

"I think that solidified our defense," Holt said. "Brent Holly really played well, and I think we've found who's going to play sweeper for us, and that's good going right into district.

"Wilfredo did a good job at left back. I forget about him sometimes because he's one of those guys who is real quiet and goes about his business. I don't ever have to worry about him. I never worry when they go down that left side."

In the semifinals, the Cats blanked Corsicana, 3-0, one of four shutouts put up by goal keeper Jeremy Potter. Offensively, the Cats received two goals from Rodgers and another from Daniel, while Northcutt and Cole Lancaster each had an assist.

The Wildcats will try to continue their winning streak on Friday when they travel to Terrell to take on the Tigers at 7 p.m. (the JV games starts at 5:30 p.m.).

The Wildcats then kick off District 13-4A on Tuesday, Jan. 31 when they face Mount Pleasant.

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