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13-U tournament team ready

This Saturday, a team familiar with winning will be back on the soccer field looking to continue that tradition.

The 13-and-under recreation tournament team will open its District play against Andalusia in the first round, but before that game begins, the team was in action Monday night scrimmaging against Enterprise.

And like it has before, the Troy team pulled through in one of the final tune-ups before tournament time, thanks to a 4-0 win.

“These guys played and have played with a lot of passion and fire,” head coach Ken Labrant said following the win.

“(Monday night), the guys were undermanned and still played very well against a very talented and disciplined Enterprise team. There are still some things we are going to look to improve on before the tournament Saturday but I think this team wants to do it’s very best every time they are out on the field and that’s always good to see.”

The collection of players on this team knows a thing or two about winning.

Most of the members were a part of a team that brought Troy a state championship a few years back as well as several state runner-up trophies.

On top of the experience that playing for a championship will bring, the team, which is made up of: Baylor Barnes, Jason Fleming, Reilly Fox, Wright Graning, Cole and Jack Labrant, Daniel Macias, Taylor Montgomery, Rhett Outlaw, Benjamin Salmon, Kiegan Simmons, Morgan Sullivant and Andrew Wilson, as has another edge on its competition, according to the coach.

“I think the team’s togetherness may be its biggest strength,” Labrant said.

“These guys all know each other very well and have been playing with one another for a long time. So, when they get on the field, they know what to expect which really helps us out against other teams.

“It really is a strong asset for us, especially in tournament time,” the coach added.

Some areas where his team could use some improvement however are in the midfield, particularly with the defense.

“There are little things here and there,” Labrant said.

“Making sure the midfield transitions with the ball on defense. I saw (on Monday night) some of our guys weren’t really following the ball, but that is something we will work on throughout the week.

“I saw a lot of good effort out there (Monday night). They guys have worked hard to get to this point and I know they will keep putting up a good fighting spirit the rest of the way. We are all looking forward to Saturday. But we are going to take it one game at a time.”

The Troy team will open things up against Andalusia at 10:30 p.m. at the Troy Sportsplex.