Article:    
After several deep runs K-Park looks for state title breakthrough
12/20/2019 7:39 PM

Jess White has high expectations as he begins his 10th season coaching the Kingwood Park girls soccer team.

He’s guided the Lady Panthers to back-to-back state tournament appearances the last two seasons.

K-Park hasn’t won a state tournament game yet and will look to go over the hump this season to make it to the state final and secure a championship.

“I think we have to be our harshest critics and be our best competition,” White said. “We’re going against some tough opponents in our showcase in Cy Woods, Clear Lake, Katy and in our district with Tomball. We have to make sure that each day we’re prepared to force either other to test each other. It’s going to be a challenge.”

White and the Lady Panthers started practice on Dec. 1 and will play their first game of the season against on Jan. 2 when K-Park hosts Katy at noon.

White has complied a 162-36-25 record at K-Park and is looking to continue that trend.

However, a new crop of leaders will have to step up this season.

“On paper we’re deep,” White said. “We will rotate. We just have to have those little tweaks in there that will benefit us.”

Leah Hoyt, Brooke Baldon and Brianna Fuhre are back to lead the Lady Panthers.

“Its exciting and nerve wracking since we have a new roster since last year,” Hoyt said. “We lost a lot of key players, but we have new players this year to fill in those spots. This season is important for the seniors because we want to go out with a bang.”

K-Park has built a tradition in the greater Houston-area and competes for a state championship every season.

White’s culture has gone through his squad and Baldon wants to continue the tradition.

“We have been there before, and we just want to win it,” Baldon said. “That’s the main goal. The bench players last season are the starters now. It helped them prepare for what they’re going to need to help us this season.”

Outside midfielder Fuhre is ready for a long season with hopes of hoisting a state championship in Georgetown.

“I think everyone has the same goal in mind,” Fuhre said. “We have a lot of experience on varsity so I think we have the tools to get where we want to go this year.”

marcus.gutierrez@chron.com

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