Sporting a 5-2 record, the Longhorn boys soccer team travels tomorrow, Wednesday, to Lakeside to challenge longtime rival Blue Ridge.
The Horns have been buoyed in early season play by the play of Nic Creighton, Gabriel Batista and Trae Dunman, who all are currently ranked among the region's best by MaxPreps.com.
Creighton is tied with Batista as the No. 4 ranked scorer in the East. Both have tallied three goals apiece.
Gabi Aguilera and Rico Espita of Holbrook lead the region in scoring, with seven goals each. Dunman is ranked fifth in assists, with two. Holbrook's Gabi Aguilera leads the region with five.
Some East coaches, however, are not reporting scores and statistics to Maxpreps.
Although Holbrook has amassed a 4-1-1 record under the play of Aguilera and Espita, the Longhorns were the better team in a Sept. 8 clash in the Show Low tournament. Payson survived a 1-0 thriller, thanks in part to six offsides and two fouls on the Roadrunners.
The Runners had 10 shots on goal, but Longhorn goalie Anthony Pearce was able to keep Holbrook at bay the entire game.
Also in the tournament, Payson beat Monument Valley 9-0, but lost 3-1 to Snowflake and 4-2 to Round Valley coach Chad Gower said.
During the tournament, Jill Boston was filling in for Chad Gower as coach of the Horns.
The first-year coach has been sidelined with an illness, but hopes to return soon.
"I want to be there Wednesday (vs. Blue Ridge)," Gower said. "I'm missing the team."
In addition to the challenge of taking on the Yellow Jackets on their home field, the Horns will try to find a way to beat powerful Snowflake Sept. 15 at Rumsey Park. Game times are 11 a.m. (junior varsity) and 1 p.m. (varsity).
Game times at Blue Ridge tomorrow are 2 (junior varsity) and 4 p.m. (varsity).