KILGORE, Texas (KETK/KFXK) — Soccer is a growing sport in East Texas, especially at the 4A level, with teams like Kilgore, Palestine, and Jacksonville to name a few who have been excelling.

“Jacksonville is really stout coming down to 4A, Sulphur Springs came down to 4A and they were very good so it has really gotten competitive,” said head coach Todd Bondurant.

“I think for Kilgore soccer is a really big deal and I think since we all grown up loving soccer we come together as a team and it’s grown,” added Phenix Rivers.

Although the Kilgore lady bulldogs are a young group, they are consistently getting better over the years due in part to playing on club teams.

 “It’s helped the program is that the Kilgore soccer association has really bread the players and by the time they get to us we just put them together,” told Coach Bondurant.

 “At first a lot of people had doubts about underclassmen because of course they’re underclassmen but they really have made an impact on our team and I’m very excited for them to be upperclassmen and see what kinds of things they can do,” exclaimed Lesly Herrera.

Even with their success,  the Lady dogs say they are doubted and love proving people wrong

“This is what you think well we’re going to make you think a little bit differently and that drives them, they dig deep and they get after it,” declared Coach Bondurant.

“People thought that was just a one-time thing but I think just keeping the underdog mentality has helped us want to win even more and to go farther,” explained Rivers.

 “We’ve been doubted since preseason and it’s kind of sad but in the end, it’s a good feeling because we prove everyone wrong,” smiled Herrera.

Now Kilgore gets ready for the regional semis, Bondurant is preaching to leave it all on the field.

“It’s going to be a dog fight and it’s going to be tough, Anna is going to be tough and so we’ve got to come together and play hard these next two games because it’s going to take heart, grit, and fight,” said Bonduarnt.

Kilgore will take on Anna at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the regional semis at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in Tyler.