Junior Damion Passos pushes the ball forward against a Flowermound defender during second round playoff action. He finished the year on nearly every honors list. (Cody Rogers photo)

Finishing in the top of the rankings and showering the All-District, All-Regional and All-State 5A teams with players and giving head Coach Nuno Passos his 100th win of his career was just a couple of the highlights of this year’s Boys soccer team who went three rounds deep in the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

“It was an awesome season, just the combination of hard work with all the kids and all the coaches, it has taken me a bunch of years to reach this milestone in my career but it felt really great.” Passos said

The team was ranked all season being ranked #5 on the Dallas Morning News and Tasco top #10 Region 1 rankings. The Dallas Morning News also ranked their defensive team #1 in the area giving up only 11 goals in 27 games. The boys were the Dripping Springs Invitational Tournament champion as well as the Duncanville Classic Tournament Champions. They finished third place in the North Forney Tournament were District 7-5A. Bi-District Champions. Area Champions. And Regional Quarter Finalists.This year, Passos and the assistant coaches ,Chris Watson and Omar Mercado, went into deep consideration about moving some of the new upcoming freshmen up, and some of the new seniors down. Passos says, the freshmen made an impact of the team.

“We moved up some freshman at the beginning of the district season and they provided tons of energy,” Passos said “They are young kids with youthfulness and energy, so they were a great impact on the team with the energy they had with the team.”

The Varsity guys went three rounds deep in the playoffs, they were District runner ups, and were Bi-District and Area champions.

“I think our biggest accomplishment was a combination of winning a total of nineteen games, and going three rounds deep into the playoffs,” Passos said ”Getting back to the Regional Quarter finals is something that has not been done in a couple of years, and it was great seeing the guys go so far.”

Most of the Varsity team will be graduating this year. Passos started his career as a Duncanville High School coach when the seniors were still freshman.

“Having the seniors leave is a love hate situation, it was a lot of fun to see those guys start with me my first year and you hate to see them go,” Passos said ”But, we have a pretty strong group of juniors, sophomores, and freshmen so hopefully if the academy does not hit us we look forward to having another successful year.”

Winning the state championship is an ultimate goal that Passos and his team want to achieve. But, even after winning a state championship Passos says you never reach your goal as a coach.

“I don’t think you ever reach your goal, I think as coaches you want to try and win as many games as you can and you want to try and win the ultimate goal, which is a state championship, but even if you were to win a state championship you want to come back,” Passos said “I don’t think you can ever reach your goal, because as coaches, we are always looking to set new goals.”

Passos said the team began realizing what was ahead of them in the playoffs and worked hard to want to become state champions.

“It was super exciting, it was rewarding because we talked about some goals that we had set this year,” Passos said “As the kids were realizing their goals, I think they recognized that if you set goals and you work at them and achieve them it is a very rewarding feeling.”

During the season, the team was ranked locally and regionally, and were also runner-ups in district. Passos said he is very proud of the team and all the accomplishments they had this year.

“Im very proud of my team, winning nineteen games and being ranked all season is just very very humbling. I give all the credit to those kids they did everything I asked for for four years and finally reached some of the goals we had,” Passos said “They did the school proud, they did the community proud and they should be very proud of themselves, I think they brought back pride to the school in soccer.”

During the season, Passos and the assistant coaches had a very big decision to make. They needed to drop some of the seniors on the team to try and help in the best interest of the team. Passos said it was a little bit of a risk because he did not know how the kids were going to take the decision, but he appreciated the way they stuck with each other and trusted him in understanding why he made the decision.

“I had a really tough decision to make after senior night, we had twelve seniors on the team going into senior night. After senior night, we lost three or four seniors, it was a very tough decision for me to make in the best interest of the team,” Passos said “They understood that by losing some of the seniors they were going to have to work a little bit harder, and they did. They believed in each other and thought that even without some of the guys, we can do it and they actually did it. I couldn’t be anymore proud of them believing in the team and in the coaches.”

Varsity soccer boys played against Flower Mound for round two on Apr. 5. Photographer Cody Rogers was at hand to cover the game.

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