Written by Corbett Smith
Soccer preview: McKinney Boyd enjoying smooth transition after title
Consider the plight of McKinney Boyd coach Michele Estes.
On one hand, the first-year head coach earned a fantastic position — moving up after four years as an assistant under Jimmie Lankford to take over one of the top girls soccer programs in the country.
The defending Class 5A girls state champions, Boyd is No. 1 in the nation in the Powerade Fab 50. It starts its season Thursday, the first day of the National Elite Prep Showcase, formerly the Nolan Showcase, in Fort Worth.
On the other hand, with such a sweet gig comes lofty expectations.
Lankford was wildly successful in his tenure in McKinney, winning a state title at McKinney North in 2006 before starting the program at Boyd.
He won the 2008 Class 4A title, and advanced to the Class 5A final in 2009 and finished last year 28-1-1, beating Colleyville Heritage in overtime for the 5A crown.
“The neat thing about Jimmie is that he let me coach,” Estes said, “He let me be a part of the big decisions. … He was the head coach, but it’s definitely my program as much as it was his, as far as being involved.”
There’s good reason to think that Estes’ transition in her new job will be an successful one, despite losing All-Americans Kelley Monogue and Meghan Streight to Texas A&M.
Amanda Elertson, last season’s unanimous District 10-5A MVP, is back, as is star goalkeeper Kara Dugall and midfielder Caity Heap. Elertson scored 23 goals and added 16 assists as a junior, while Dugall had 19 shutouts, including Boyd’s final three wins. Heap was on the all-state tournament team last year.
Estes will have a full schedule to start the season. Currently on maternity leave after having her second child, daughter Addison, in December, Estes is working half days in the afternoon to get her team ready for the start of the season.
“It’s the last time I’m going to have a kid right before the season,” Estes joked.
More changes at the top: Plano West girls, Coppell boys
McKinney Boyd’s Michele Estes isn’t the only new coach stepping into some nice digs.
Carley Phillips will be in her first full season as Plano West’s girls coach. Phillips played on two of Plano West’s state tournament teams, winning a state title in 2002. Plano West last won a state title in 2007.
Chad Rakestraw takes over the boys program at Coppell, one of the top jobs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, coming over from district rival Justin Northwest.
Coppell has made the playoffs 11 straight seasons, winning a title in 2004.
Rakestraw said he’s excited about creating a new atmosphere around the program, and is not really thinking too much about the community’s high expectations.
“I’ve got high demands for myself and expectations for myself, so I feel that I fit in the position here,” he said.
TEAMS TO WATCH
Colleyville Heritage: Took McKinney Boyd to overtime in Class 5A final; lost star goalkeeper Jackie Kerestine to North Texas.
Coppell: Ranked No. 2 in the Powerade Fab50, behind McKinney Boyd; finding a replacement for Stanford star Chioma Ubogagu will be tough
Frisco Wakeland: The 2011 Class 4A champs have a strong core back from last season’s 25-2-1 team.
Grapevine: Three major college pledges at every line provide quality for last season’s regional semifinalist.
Ursuline Academy: Already 10-0; shooting for its unprecedented 22nd straight TAPPS title.
Allen: Bumped from the first round of the playoffs by Keller but enters the season No. 13 in Powerade Fab50.
Frisco Wakeland: Graduated 10 seniors who played college soccer, but coach Rusty Oglesby is one of the area’s best.
Jesuit: The 2010 Class 5A champs have strength up the middle but have an inexperienced front line, losing St. Louis signee Ini Bryce.
McKinney Boyd: Last season’s Class 5A Region II semifinalists are No. 9 in the country in the Powerade Fab50.
Southlake Carroll: Class 5A champs were 28-0-3; loss of Mac McGuire — SportsDay’s player of the year will be felt.