The 2013-14 high school soccer season gets underway tonight with several district games.
In District 1-I, defending boys champion Airline faces Southwood at 6 p.m. at Tinsley Park. The Airline girls play Southwood at 7:45.
In other District 1-I games, Parkway plays Captain Shreve at Tinsley and Haughton faces Caddo Magnet at Cargill.
The Benton boys and girls take on North Caddo in non-district openers at Tinsley.
In non-district games, Tuesday night at Tinsley, Benton plays Neville in a boys game and Airline in a girls game.
The Airline boys return only three players who saw a lot of action off last season’s 27-3 team that reached the quarterfinals of the state playoffs.
They are goalkeeper Colin Jimes, defender Gabe Rodriguez and midfielder Coyer and Jimes were first-team selectiona on The Press-Tribune’s All-Parish team, and Rodriguez was second team.
Airline also has a new coach in Samuel “Kiko” Portales, who replaces Sarah Yarina.
Portales said preseason practice has been a learning process.
“Everything is going to be new this season,” Portales said. “I don’t know if I’m going to change the style. We’re going to play a style that we know. Other than that, everything else is new. Hopefully, it’s for the better.”
The Airline girls, who barely missed making the playoffs, also have a new coach in Mike Aguilar, who replaces Jim Jacobe.
First-team All-Parish selections Madi Walter (midfielder) and Rebecca Shumate (forward) return.
The Parkway boys have four returning players off last season’s playoff team — Joe Alvarado, Blake Bertrand, Eli Irizarry and Lorenzo Tunek.
The Parkway girls, who reached the playoffs last season, return first-team All-Parish midfielder Madeline Wheelahan along with second-team selections Sara Funderburk (midfielder), Elizabeth Knight (defender) and Sara Anderson (defender).
The Haughton boys return All-Parish midfielder Benny Broadway.
Goalie John Tomb was a second-team All-District 1-I selection last season. Kade Schufft, a four-year starter, also returns.
The Haughton girls team will be led by double sweepers Taylor Breed and Sydney Post and midfielder Makalyin Lewis.
The Benton girls team was the only other parish squad to win a district title, and coach Kyle Cox has most of the District I-II championship team back.
Leading the way is senior Shelby Plunkett, the MVP on the All-Parish team. Plunkett led the parish with 26 goals. She also had 10 assists.
Also back is first-team All-Parish defender Madi Sessions. Jenny Cox, Bailey Howard and Kayla Laws also return.
Cox expects speed and athleticism to again be the strengths of his team.
“We’ve got some other girls come in that are really going to help us this year,” Cox said. “Some incoming freshmen are going to be huge contributors this year.”
Cox also said softball player Somer Miller is returning to the team to play goalkeeper.
Benton lost to district rival Calvary in the first round of the playoffs last season after sweeping the Lady Cavs in the regular season.
Calvary has moved down to Division III, but Loyola has moved up and should be the Lady Tigers’ main rival for the district title.
The Benton boys return Dillon Rogers, the region’s third-leading scored last season with 19 goals.
Other returnees for coach Bryan George are defender Ryan Muchler and goalkeeper Mitchell Matthews. Rogers and Matthews were second-team All-Parish selections.
Second-team All-Parish selection Alyssa Tuggle and Keonna Sinnie top the list of returnees for the Bossier girls, who made the playoffs last year.
Second-team All-Parish selection Hunter Courtney leads four returnees off a Bossier team that made the playoffs last year.
Courtney scored all four goals in a 4-0 scrimmage victory over Southwood last week.
Jessie Siordia has moved from defense to sweep but will likely play all positions before the season is over, coach Brad Bernard said.
Baha Abdelrahim has moved from defense to center mid. He had three assists in the scrimmage.
Alex Galvan has moved from defense to forward.