KILGORE — Through the years, the Kilgore High School soccer team has provided Palestine with a good foil.
That was the case again on Friday at R.E. Saint John Memorial Stadium; however, the Wildcats still topped the Bulldogs 3-1 in this non-district match.
“They played direct through balls over the top, and they always play well against us,” said Palestine head coach John Absalom.
Palestine improved to 16-0-2 heading into tonight's District 18-4A opener.
Riley Harper scored two goals for the Wildcats, and Luis Rangel also scored in the victory. Javier Leonor, Arturo Nieto and Rangel all were credited with assists.
The varsity match was stopped at halftime to help ensure Palestine safe travel back with the mix of rain and sleet that fell that night.
In the junior varsity match, Palestine and Kilgore finished in a 2-all deadlock. Jhan Vazquez blasted home the Wildcats' first goal — with an assist from Raul Ramirez. Gary Munoz also scored, on a feed from Yerry Ayala. The JV “A” group is now 11-1-3.
Warm-up match changed
Absalom reported on Monday that Palestine's warm-up opponent in preparation for the playoffs has been changed.
The Wildcats will play at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 22, at Life Waxahachie High School. The Mustangs are a solid team with a current record of 8-4-4, and they play in District 12-4A.
Westwood games scrapped
Westwood's boys' and girls' soccer matches scheduled for Friday at home versus Tenaha were cancelled on account of poor traveling conditions.
District 18-4A opens
District 18-4A games begin tomorrow, with Palestine visiting Crockett while Westwood travels to Mexia.
The Palestine boys play first at 5:30 p.m., with the girls' game to follow at about 7:15 p.m. at Driskell Stadium in Crockett.
Palestine's girls come into the match with a 5-6-5 record, and the LadyCats haven't played since a Feb. 1 loss at Henderson.
Westwood's boys (0-4-1 in varsity matches) will play Mexia at 5:30 p.m. tonight at Blackcat Field. This is the first-ever district match in school history.
Mexia Independent School District gave the stadium a facelift recently, installing a new artificial surface — complete with lines for both football and soccer.