We Are......HOUSTON!

Houston Athletics, Writer

Sustaining success is about culture.

That is a buzz word in the modern world of business and athletics. One taken seriously inside the halls of Houston High School. It shapes every student and athlete enrolled, whether they are aware or not. It is the reason we lead the state in ACT scores and consistently win championships year after year.

Never is it more prevalent than with Houston Soccer.

In essence, culture is the standards issued from the top down which involve the entire group. Standards are not rules set down by the coach; they are a collective agreement for identity. Standards are things done all the time and things which teammates hold each other accountable. It is essential your team be able to look at one another and say, “This is who we are!”

When Senior All-American and Vanderbilt signee, Paola Ellis was injured and ruled out for the rest of the season an opportunity was laid at the feet of the Houston Soccer program. Were all the things they talk about just talk, or would they lean on each other, find their new roles and embody what so many others who have worn that jersey before them?

What they found in the games following the Ellis injury was…it would not be easy. They had a week where no offensive goals were scored while their play was very uneven. And like all would be champions, they had a decision to make.

The results of that decision were on display at Collierville High earlier this week. What was billed by some as the meeting of the top two ranked teams in Tennessee never materialized.

Less than seven minutes into the match, Senior Jillian Hildreth gave Us a lead We never relinquished. It was soon followed by a Madeline Eskin goal with around 20 minutes to play in the first half drawing gasps from the student body out in mass to support their team.

The first half concluded with another Jillian Hildreth score which perfectly arched over the outstretched Collierville goalie giving Us a 3-0 lead at halftime.

The second half revealed some of talent that has Houston Soccer ranked inside the Top 5 of several national polls. Sophomore Bailey Rose controlled the middle of the field with her speed and skill. Senior Jillian Hildreth and Sophomore Cara Young were aggressive and decisive while maintaining possession of the ball for chunks of time after the break.

Collierville had opportunities on offense during the second half, but sure handed Senior goalie Kaylee Hammer was outstanding in policing the box.

With under two minutes to play, Senior Jillian Baker found fellow Senior Jayden Hildreth to finish Our scoring for the night. It was a play symbolizing what Coach David Wolff most wants from his team, “I never want us to stop…ever.”

It also spoke to what has been built inside the program over two decades of excellence.

When We faced adversity Our standards made us stronger:

We Don’t Make Excuses
We Work Relentlessly
We Care For One Another
We Don’t Overreact
We Respect Our Opponent
We Are Aggressive
We Play Smart