There were too many key players to name.

Normally, A&M Consolidated boys soccer coach Stefano Salerno has a few leaders he can point to, but a big core of Tigers graduated from last year's team, leaving the 2018 squad full of role players ready to take over.

"For the first year in a very long time, we don't have those three or four superstars," Salerno said. "We have a cohesive group that's working very hard."

Consol (2-0-1) beat Round Rock Westwood 2-1 and Kingwood 3-1 while starting the season strong against Class 6A teams at last weekend's Kilt Cup in The Woodlands.

"It was a good start to the season for varsity, and now we're hosting our tournament this weekend," Salerno said.

Consol played Mayde Creek on Thursday to open play in the Aggieland Classic at Tigerland Stadium. The Tigers also will face Tomball Memorial at 10 a.m. and Jersey Village at 6 p.m. Friday with an opponent to be determined Saturday.

Cade Williams is returning to soccer after a one-year hiatus to focus on football and is one of many seniors taking the field for Consol. Salerno also pointed to Felix Avellaneda as a leader.

"They're a very versatile group, and they have good chemistry," Salerno said. "They're adjusting easily."

Salerno said chemistry got the team through tough moments in the first week. Consol is improving other intangibles like time management, character building and bonding.

"Our motto is ''Til the end' and that's what we keep doing," he said. "We work through problems together, and I hope we keep doing that."

The expectations for the Tigers are just as high as ever. Winners of three straight district titles will begin their campaign toward a fourth on Jan. 26 with a home match against College Station.

Salerno says Consol's past success puts a target on its back when District 18-5A action opens.

"Everyone is going to come out to play Consol as if it's the most important game of the year," he said.

Salerno said the district slate promises to offer an intense race for the four playoff spots, but for now, he's enjoying figuring out the best strategy for his team.

"With such a huge senior group this year, we've been talking about the legacy they leave behind," he said. "It might be a cliché to say you fight for your family, but that's exactly what this is."

2018 A&M Consolidated boys soccer team

No. Name Class

00 Graham Peterson Sr.

1 John Ramirez Sr.

2 Amado Alaniz Sr.

3 Chris Pierson Sr.

4 Cade Williams Sr.

5 Jacob Hrncir Jr.

6 Brittan Rhome Sr.

7 Oscar Martinez Soph.

8 Trey Gage Soph.

9 Eric Leland Sr.

10 Cisco Avila Soph.

11 Ryan Lovingshimer Sr.

12 Sam Cook Jr.

13 Felix Avellaneda Sr.

14 Jack Ealy Jr.

15 Jeremy Mwarabu Soph.

16 Ulises Sixtos Sr.

19 Xavi Noyola Jr.

21 Will Crosby Soph.

22 Zac Hedge Sr.

23 Darragh Farrell Sr.

24 Daniel Mwarabu Sr.

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