(Story by Ryan Ronan, Ranger College SID)
One of the many beauties of sport is that championships can come in all different forms. A perfect example of that came this season in Region V North Men's and Women's soccer.
The Hill College women started the season nationally ranked and were tabbed as the preseason favorites to win the conference. After reaching the No. 15 overall ranking and going 13-0 and 6-0 in conference play the Rebels fulfilled those lofty preseason expectations.
"This group of women came together early on the year and maintained their chemistry and rhythm throughout the season," said Hill head coach Paul Davenport. "The team has shown strength in all areas of the game from the defensive third to the attacking, with only conceding 4 goals all year."
On the other end of the preseason rankings were the Ranger men. Picked to finish third out of three teams, the Rangers captured their first outright conference championship with a 5-1 win over Western Texas. The same Westerners team that handed them their only conference loss of the season.
"My goal for them all along was to have a winning team, not just to win games that we should win, but win conference games and be in first place," said first-year Ranger head coach Rafael Gonzalez. "I am very excited for this team and thankful for this opportunity."
The reward for winning the conference title is that each team will receive a bye to the championship match.
Hill will face the winner of Cisco College and Western Texas Oct. 25 at 5 p.m.
Ranger gets the winner of the semifinal match between Hill College and Western Texas. That match will follow the women's championship match.
The tournament starts Monday, Oct. 23 at The Depot in Cleburne.