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Lady Dog soccer heads to postseason for the first time

Mar. 13—NEW WAVERLY — Soccer in Walker County has seen a surge over the last five years and at New Waverly High School it is no different.

New Waverly added boys' soccer in 2018 and followed it with the addition of girls' in 2020, under the direction of coach Jorge Arana.

With Arana's retirement after the 2021-22 season, New Waverly ISD hired Huntsville native David Ortiz to head the program. In the first year under Ortiz, both programs improved. But there was still something missing.

With a two-person coaching staff, New Waverly made a change and gave Ortiz the top role with the boys and Madison Droddy the role with the girls to divide the workload.

With a final chance for the seniors, New Waverly took down Royal in the final game to clinch the fourth and final spot from District 20, 4A.

"It's all about these girls. The seniors are going to the playoffs for the first time and they are the first group that started the program," Droddy said after her first year as full-time head coach. "All of the girls have stepped up this season."

The Lady 'Dogs have a core of seniors they are working with, and it all starts up front with Brooke Munoz and Callaway Edney.

Both have been longtime members and were part of a six-senior core that now makes the playoffs.

And that has been the key for New Waverly this season.

"They have heart and work together as a team. You can see the passion and want to get better, it makes it extra special," Droddy said.

Munoz is an all-around athlete for New Waverly, and soccer is another sport she has picked up on. The senior has been a top offensive player for New Waverly, and this year was no different.

After 16 games, Munoz had 14 goals for the Lady Dogs, which leads the team.

"It's going to be hard to replace Brooke. She works hard on and off the field to be a leader and the best offensive person on the field," Droddy said. "She is always smiling and wants to help. She is just a huge leader."

The tag team of Munoz and Edney was one of the tops in the district. Edney set up eight goals this season as New Waverly put the ball in the back of the net 31 times this year.

Another big thing was foreign exchange student Anita Duric, who was in goal for New Waverly and made a whopping 207 saves over the season. With that trio, New Waverly had the opportunity to get into the dance.

This will mark the first time that New Waverly will make the postseason for any soccer program at the school.

With it being spring break and UIL district certification not until March 23, the Lady 'Dogs have around two weeks to prepare for the upcoming bi-district round of the playoffs.

"I want to see them give heart and give it all we got," Droddy said. "We have never been in this spot before. Let's finish the season strong."

New Waverly will likely be matched up with Houston Scarborough in the playoffs. Details are still TBD.