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Farmers ready to compete as season opens

by | Jan 4, 2024 | Sports

It’s January, which means the soccer season is getting ready to kick off for most high schools in Texas. For Farmersville, the new year brings another new face steering the ship in Coach Barrett Clark.

Coming off a long tenure at Rockwall High School, Coach Clark is eager to get his first season in Farmersville underway. While it’s a Farmers program that has seen several others in Coach Clark’s shoes in the recent years, Coach Clark is simply ready to start building a program that can compete in Farmersville.

“A realist expectation for this season is to push to make the playoffs.” Coach Clark said. “We have never done that. Farmersville has had multiple coaches over multiple years. What I’m most excited about is the chance to build. I was at Rockwall since 2009. We had something established year in and year out.”

Indeed, the Farmers will get an experienced coach with the ability to teach the game of soccer. Fortunately, there are a lot of players that have come out to be part of the new season. Coach Clark sees that as a great start.

“These kids are fired up to play,” he said. “No matter who is coaching, they want to go out, play and compete. They love the game. We have a great group of seniors, but at the same time, we are really young. Half our starting lineup may be sophomores and freshmen.”

The Farmersville roster will be a tricky one to navigate this season. Coach Clark has some reliable veterans that have high school experience, albeit under different coaches.

On the other hand, he also has some skilled underclassmen that can help this team compete. It’s a combination that can come with perks and consequences. For Coach Clark, he is implementing some creative measures to ensure that all the pieces on his roster come together to form a competitive team.

“One thing I did this year was meet with all the seniors,” he said. “We had a senior dinner and I assigned each one of them a group of underclassmen. These are guys that I want the seniors to help out. We want to create a brotherhood. They are responsible for making sure those guys are behaving in class, taking care of their grades, showing up to practice on time. If they aren’t here, I go to ask the senior where he’s at. It’s putting these guys in a leadership role that forces some of them out of their comfort zone a little. No one ever did that for them growing up, but they are going to do it.”

During their early season practices and scrimmages, the Farmers have looked competitive, and more importantly, they are learning. That is something Coach Clark preaches to the team.

Farmersville has a tough schedule and at the end of that schedule is a difficult district slate. The team that takes the field to start January can’t be the same as the one that is fighting for a top-four spot in February.

There must be growth. The kids must work hard for their success and learn from their mistakes. Even if wins come early, building on the skills it took to earn them will be important once the district schedule comes around.

“I think we are really talented, but we are also in a really tough district,” he explained. “Six of the top 25 teams in Class 4A, we are going to play. It’s going to be a challenge. This preseason, we aren’t playing in any (Class) 4A stuff. Our tournaments are 6A and 5A. I scheduled the toughest preseason I could because I want them to be used to our district when we get there. This a bit of a marathon, and I want to look better by the end of the season than we do when we start.”

Farmersville will take part in their first tournament next week in Mesquite, Jan. 11-13. Talented teams like Ennis and North Mesquite are on the schedule for that event, with their first game coming against Greenville at 10 a.m. on Thursday. 

By Austin Smith • [email protected]

For more stories like this, see the January 4, 2024 print, or digital edition of The Farmersville Times. Subscribe today and support local journalism in your community.

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