Robert E. Lee plays its regular season finale today on the road against Longview at Lobo Stadium. The Red Raiders (12-5-5) have already accomplished one goal under first-year head coach Marty Germany, making the playoffs.

Lee clinches a third-place finish with a win and North Mesquite loss. It is a long way from where the Red Raiders were last year at this time, playing out a season in which they failed to make the playoffs.

Longtime assistant Germany was promoted to head coach and returning starter Reed Pool was ready to do whatever it took to help his now head coach get the Red Raiders back to postseason.

“I kind of felt like it was my senior year and so I had to take control of the team more and be more of the captain rule and lead by example pretty much,” said Pool, a three-year starter predominantly on defense, but has responded to a more offensive role with 11 goals.”

“I get moved around between (offense and defense) a lot. It can by tough because you have to change your whole mentality, but this year especially, I’ve been really offensive-minded, so it’s kind of helped to be up top because I already (have put pressure on myself to be a goal scorer).

Germany said it’s not a position change as Pool remains in the center of midfield, but he’s given the freedom to go forward in attack.

“If we are looking for a goal (that happens) whereas if we are leading by a couple goals, we may ask him to hang back more and be more defensive-minded,” Germany continued. “I came into the year thinking Reed would play sweeper for us, but then things changed.

I saw Mikey (Wilkins) could handle that roll and be that dominant presence … It allowed me to free up Reed and push him into the attack.

Pool adjusted well to his hybrid role and goals have followed. Entering today’s game, he has scored 11 times with three assists.

Last Friday in REL’s win over DeSoto, the Red Raiders were held scoreless in a sluggish first half. Pool helped spark things in the second half with a pass through the defense to forward Tanner Tebbetts, which led to the game’s first goal. Pool also scored himself in the 4-0 win.

The Red Raiders now need a win or tie against Longview today to guarantee their third-place spot in the standings.

Germany knows Pool will do whatever it takes to get Lee the result it needs.

“He comes into every game, every week ready to play mentally and physically,” Germany said. “It’s going to be a tough job (tonight) because Longview needs to win for district and we need (a result) to make sure we stay in third place and not drop to fourth. I think Reed will want to go out with a win.”

RAIDER RAP: Pool is the youngest of three siblings that has soccer in their blood with all three playing club and high school. Ryan played at Tyler Christian Heritage and is now a respected referee who was asked to call the 4A state championship last year … Rachel played at All Saints and is currently a member of the East Texas Baptist team … Pool said he is considering scholarship offers from Tyler Junior College and UT Tyler, but has not made a decision.

District 11-5A Girls Soccer Standings

W L SW SL GD Pts

Longview 6 0 1 2 +16 22

Robert E. Lee 5 2 1 1 +13 18

North Mesquite 5 3 1 0 +3 17

Mesquite 3 4 1 1 +1 12

Mesquite Horn 4 5 0 0 +8 12

DeSoto 0 9 0 0 -37 0

Win – 3 pts; SW – shootout win 2 pts; SL – shootout loss 1 pt; Tiebreakers determined by goal differential (GD). Maximum goal differential for single game is +5.

Friday’s Scores

Longview 2, Mesquite Horn 1

Robert E. Lee 8, DeSoto 1

North Mesquite 2, Mesquite 0

Today’s Games

Longview at Robert E. Lee

DeSoto at North Mesquite

Mesquite Horn at Mesquite

End of regular season

District 11-5A Boys Soccer Standings

W L SW SL GD Pts

Longview 7 1 0 0 +26 21

North Mesquite 6 2 1 0 +16 20

Robert E. Lee 5 2 0 2 +16 17

Mesquite Horn 5 4 0 0 +1 15

Mesquite 2 6 1 0 -12 8

DeSoto 0 9 0 0 -41 0

Win – 3 pts; SW – shootout win 2 pts; SL – shootout loss 1 pt; Tiebreakers determined by goal differential (GD). Maximum goal differential for single game is +5.

Friday’s Games

Mesquite Horn 2, Longview 1

Robert E. Lee 4 DeSoto 0

North Mesquite 3, Mesquite 0

Today’s Games

Robert E. Lee at Longview

Mesquite at Mesquite Horn

North Mesquite at DeSoto

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