By Mark W. Miller
Killeen Daily Herald
HARKER HEIGHTS If the preseason is any indication, the Harker Heights boys soccer team will be in good hands with new keeper Nick Martinez.
The sophomore and varsity newcomer has yet to give up a goal in three scrimmages, shutting out Ellison and Killeen on Friday, and the Harker Heights alumni on Monday.
"That was good for him to get those under his belt and get a little more comfortable," said coach Jeremy Key. "When you haven't played varsity before, that has to be one of the hardest things to do is get rid of those butterflies."
The Knights defeated Ellison 5-0 behind veteran Luke Grothe's hat trick. Daniel Waiter and B.J. Hammonds also scored for Heights. The Knights and Killeen played to a scoreless tie.
"That's always kind of a pretty good early test for us," said Key.
Monday, Hammonds' tally late in the first half was the only goal in the Knights' 1-0 victory over the HHHS alumni.
The Knights open the regular season Thursday at 3 against Round Rock McNeil in the Temple Classic.
Bean tops Heights swimmers
Richard Bean was the top Heights swimmer in the Wildcat Winter Classic on Saturday in Temple.
Bean won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1 minute, 1.3 seconds.
Grayson Ballard posted his best individual 50 freestyle time, 23.04, on the way to a third-place finish. He was the runner-up in the 100 butterfly in 54.46.
The Knights' 200 freestyle relay team also placed second. Bean, Matt Gallup, Darby Perez and Ballard finished in 1:41.82.
Gallup swam to a personal-best 5:37 in the 500 freestyle.
The boys finished sixth in the 10-team meet, which featured swimming powers Round Rock McNeil, Temple and Pflugerville.
Ana Lopes had the top individual Heights girls finish, placing fourth in the 100 fly (1:06.54). Lopes also swam on the fourth-place 200 medley relay team with Ashley Miller, Kelsey Batschelet and Jessica Tarsa. Their time was 2:12.17.
The Knights return to action Jan. 27-28 at the district meet at Texas A&M.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Nick Martinez, boys soccer, sophomore goalkeeper
Martinez completed a perfect preseason, shutting out Ellison, Killeen and the Harker Heights alumni in scrimmage action.
STAT OF THE WEEK
0 Number of foul shots earned by the Knights in the first half of their 46-43 win over Shoemaker on Friday.