Eight was enough for Robert E.Lee head soccer coach Jay Langlois.
It took his eighth season, but Langlois got the Ganders past the
bi-district playoff hurdle and into the area round before losing to Class
5A state runner-up Sharpstown following REL’s second-place finish in
District 22-5A play.
Now, Langlois is ready to reload behind six returning starters including
reigning district Goalkeeper of the Year Uriel Santillan, all-district
and co-district scoring leader, Daniel Linares, midfielders Efren
Flores, Gilberto Nunez and Christian Marsiglia and lone veteran defender,
“This year has been different and we want to go out there in the playoffs
and show people what we are about,” Santillan said. “We want to
make a statement. We have no fear at all, we have straight confidence.
“I trust my team and have total confidence in every single player
out there on the field."
They will need to replace district MVP Omar Hernandez who is now
playing collegiately in Oregon.
“We do not have a player of Omar’s stature to play the target role, so we will
need to be more creative in generating offensive chances,”
Langlois said. “Additionally, we only return one of our back five, so will take
the first few weeks of the season finding the right combination
“Having said that, I feel good about the potential of our defense. The guys we
are trying out are fast learners and have already picked up on our team
The pace of their learning the techniques and movements is encouraging.”
A top four finish in district is one to be had for the Ganders, but it
should be a battle once again.
“I think we will know by Jan. 24 how we stack up against our
district opponents,” Langlois said. “Once again I expect Friendswood
to be the team to beat, but in this district every match can potentially
go in any direction. Last year our top four teams were not decided until
the last match day. I would not be surprised if it was the same again
The midfield will have to come up big for the Ganders.
“I feel pretty good about the midfield,” Flores said. “We had some
underclassmen on the bench. We are going to be faster. They won’t be
able to keep up with us if we play it around quick.”