Jacket Soccer Starts 2012 Campaign
The Howard Payne University men's soccer program had 29 players report for preseason workouts which began on Thursday.
Of the 29 players to start workouts for the Yellow Jackets, fifteen are newcomers for first year head coach Estevan Arbaiza.“The young guys are players who are ready to work,” said head coach Estevan Arbaiza. “But we still have to see who is going to step up, and fill a couple spots.”
Three of the newcomers to HPU are college transfers, Edgard Rodriquez and Kevin Ruiz from Ranger Junior College and Edgar Villa from Hastings College. Howard Payne returns fourteen players from last year's squad which finished 7-9 overall and 5-7 in conference action in 2011 under former head coach Kevin Wright.
Howard Payne did lose three key players from last year's team due to graduation, defender TJ Mayfield, forward/midfielder Jaime Benitez and forward Shane Cazad.
Coach Arbaiza and his staff look to find replacements for the graduating seniors and took the first step toward that goal conducting the first practice of the 2012 campaign on Thursday at Citizens National Bank Field.
“Very positive, lots of energy, good first step for us to continue moving forward, Arbaiza added.
The Jackets will start the season with an exhibition match with NCAA Division II Dallas Baptist University on August 25th (3:00 pm) at Citizen National Bank Field.