The location may be a little different from previous matches but don’t expect the intensity to lose its luster.

The location may be a little different from previous matches but don’t expect the intensity to lose its luster.


Getting district play started with a strong effort could go a long away for playoff seeding as Denison (6-3-1) faces Sherman (4-6-1) in the District 17-4A opener Saturday at noon at Denison High School after being pushed back from Friday night due to the weather.


With Munson Stadium and its artificial playing surface under construction, the Jackets are playing their home matches on their grass, but mostly dirt, practice field behind the high school.


"There’s definitely some adjustment," Denison head coach Scotty Voight said. "It’s a challenge coming from what we’ve had in the past. If you’re able to go out and play the way we play, it should be fine."


Last season the rivals were on virtually on the same level in making the postseason. With four teams advancing in the five-team district and Anna going winless, the only question by the end of the regular season was seeding.


"Any game in district is going to be important," Voight said. "You don’t want to have that mentality to make it up on the other end. You look a third and fourth but with this team you want to be No. 1."


Sherman won the first match-up, 3-2, before Denison rebounded in the re-match with a 3-1 victory and that turned out to be the slightest difference in the final standings.


The Jackets took third place with nine points, just a point in front of the Bearcats.


"That’s the biggest difference," Sherman head coach Chico Aleman said. "We will be competitive for a playoff spot. If you get in, who knows? You can never predict what will happen."


Denison, which is attempting to make consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in program history, has almost equaled it victory total from last season. The Jackets won their first four games and need just one more win to match a season ago when they finished with a 7-12-2 mark.


"We want to do things people talk about years from now," Voight said. "They put that mindset in place during off-season and it’s carried over to where we are now. The leadership we have with this group, guys stepping up, taking on their roles."


Brandt Krasovic leads the way in scoring with 10 goals and a pair of assists while Orlando Macedo has totaled five goals and five assists after moving to the midfield.


"Orlando’s really taking to being unselfish," Voight said. "He’s matured and grown as a player. He’s really taken to that role."


Humberto Ortiz and Adam Green also have scored on multiple occasions and outside of a lopsided bi-district rematch against Frisco Liberty, Michael Moran has been strong, allowing a goal or less in six of the 10 matches.


Jacob Garber, Harrison Talley and Chance Speigel along the back line have kept the senior keeper’s workload to a minimum.


"Our guys are doing a good job of getting back," Voight said. "Across the board it’s the group. The possession is good, keeping it away from the opponent. We’ve got guys in back who can track the ball down, clear it out and give us a chance to recover."


Sherman comes into the match-up trying to regain the form it showed from non-district play last season although the weather has been a factor in that regard.


"We haven’t started as hot as we did last season," Aleman said. "We were starting to play together and then we had to take a little break."


Keeper Joseph Kahlaf has faced an increased number of shots as the Bearcats are finding their way defensively. Van Thawng, who may miss the match due to sickness, along with Jonatan Luis, Emmanuel Garcia, Christian Salazar and Eduardo De La Cruz are finally coming together in the back end.


"We have a brand-new defense. They don’t have much varsity experience," Aleman said. "These guys are starting to get to know each other."


Offensively Sherman doesn’t not have a main weapon, relying on a cumulative effort from Jason Chavez, Jorge Sosa, Manuel Gutierrez and Christian Casco.