All across Southlake and Keller, high school sports fans have probably noticed by now that their Friday schedule is a little less business-as-usual this week.
With Keller and Carroll's football teams taking a week off, might we suggest going to see the biggest game of the District 4-5A volleyball season?
That's certainly what Carroll head coach Arthur Stanfield would recommend.
"With no football game Friday, we're hoping that we'll pack the gym," Stanfield said. "Usually, our Friday night crowds are pretty small, as all of Southlake goes to the football game, but we're hoping this Friday we'll get a lot of turnout for this big match."
Carroll and Keller entered Tuesday's action 3-0 and tied for first place in the district, with the Lady Dragons taking on Richland and Keller visiting Fossil Ridge. Not only were they both undefeated entering Tuesday's games, which were played after the press deadline, but they'd combined to lose just one set between their six wins.
For the Lady Indians, once they've faced the Lady Panthers of Fossil Ridge, they'll have seen almost every 4-5A opponent, and it is apparent that the game in Southlake could have a seismic impact on the top of the standings.
"We are 3-0 right now, and obviously every match in district is a big match," Keller head coach Sylvia Ortiz said. "In the preseason poll, most people picked Carroll to repeat as district champions, and we have seen everyone else in district at this point, except Haltom, and after that, I feel like the way we're playing, we should be able to keep our game intact and get to compete with anybody in our district."
In such big games, it is easy for players to become too preoccupied with the other team and what they are trying to do strategically and lose sight of their own team's gameplan. Ortiz says that the team has to prevent that from happening.
"The main thing we need to do is just stay within ourselves and play within ourselves to keep our team going," Ortiz said. "Volleyball is a game of errors, and we're playing together as a team. As long as we keep our errors down, we can compete with anybody."
Stanfield, for one, believes the one of the two teams will be the class of the district, and Friday's game will go a long way in determining which team ends the district season on top.
"In all reality, it's probably going to decide who is going to win district," Stanfield said. "This and the second game. Keller's got a real good team. We're gearing things to be ready for them, and if we can stay healthy and do things right, hopefully we'll show up and have a good match on Friday night."
The Lady Dragons usually do not alter their practice schedule for district games, but Stanfield said the team is going through the rare step of preparing for this game like the team does for playoff games at the end of the season instead of just another district game.
"We'll do more team stuff and less physical stuff, and hopefully have their legs ready for Friday," Stanfield said. "We don't want to wear them out on Thursday with a big match on Friday. We'll probably find a video of Keller and watch some video of them."
Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/09/17/4266150/distraction-free-clash.html#storylink=cpy