BY RAUL GARCIA
WESLACO — Weslaco East Wildcats had finished their practice drills Wednesday when they huddled to listen to their coach’s pep talk about being ready for their next game.
“You have to play with urgency and dedication,” Weslaco East head coach Bobby Contreras preached to his team.
Contreras was preparing his team for a three-day tournament, where they will be participating at Hidalgo and McAllen Memorial beginning today.
The Wildcats will face the McAllen Memorial Mustangs at 2 p.m. today at McAllen Memorial’s Boxer Hernandez Field.
They are two of 16 area teams that will clash at the Hidalgo-McAllen Memorial 14th Annual “Copa La Forntera” boys soccer tournament.
“We use our tournaments to go in there and play as many kids as we can look at who we have, and of course the end goal is to win it,” Contreras said. “In the end, it’s to prepare us for district competition and evaluate our players.”
The Wildcats showcase their skills in the tournament regularly over the years, but have yet to win it all.
“It’s always going to be a battle every match, but the end goal is to win the game,” Contreras said. “We have some good kids and we are going to do whatever we can to get the win.”
Further down the road in Mercedes, the Tigers were working out to get ready for the same tournament Wednesday afternoon.
Mercedes midfielder Cesar Del Angel Del Angel is leading the team back to the Hidalgo tournament where he scored two goals last year.
The Tigers will face off against Sharyland High at 3 p.m. today in Hidalgo.
“We have been preparing everyday for the Hidalgo Tournament,” Del Angel Del Angel said.
The Tigers are going into the tournament riding a 1-3-1 record after they defeated Hidalgo 1-0 at the Heart of the Valley Boys Soccer tournament in Donna. In their final match, the Tigers tied San Benito Greyhounds 0-0.
“I liked how the defense played that game, and how the players played tough that game,” Mercedes head coach Jose Almazan said.
Almazan said the Tigers have yet to win the Hidalgo Tournament, but he enjoys going up against the competition to prepare his team for district play.
“This year we want to make a run for the trophy,” Del Angel Del Angel said about the Hidalgo tournament. “And we are going to fight for the championship trophy.”