High Expectations for Packers Again

Updated: 09/01/2014 9:13 AM
Created: 08/31/2014 5:08 PM

(ABC 6 Sports) -- "You can go to McDonalds in the US; you can go to McDonalds in Mexico; you can go to one in Japan; you can go anywhere you want, and if you get a hamburger, it's going to taste like the same hamburger," Austin boys soccer coach Jens Levisen said. "The idea behind that is we're going for that consistency within the program. When we step on the field, what we want is for people to recongnize what they see as Austin soccer."

Levisen has built the Packer program to a level where expectations are high, year-in and year-out.

"I wouldn't say (it's) pressure, just motivation," Noah Brehmer said.

But this year especially, the Packers are experienced, talented, and have everyone's attention.

"In the back of my mind, I have my own goals, but at the same time, if the players don't come up with their own goals, then there's not that buy-in, and not that effort to try and achieve those (goals)," Levisen said.

"Coach asks us to stay away from any standings, any rankings, because he wants us to focus on us, and play our game, instead of having expecations before games," Brehmer said.

A few years ago, the Packers found themselves ranked in the Class A state poll for the first time in school history.

"I printed off little targets, and said, 'Okay, you have this (state ranking), but you also have this target on your back, as well. Whatever team you're playing, you have now become their big game,'" Levisen said.

The Packers aren't ranked this year; not yet, anyway.

But they definitely have their eyes on the prize.

"We're striving to get to the state tournament," Brehmer said. "That's always a goal."

"We've always been looking to get further and further into sections and into state," Levi Vierkandt said. "This year, we defintely want to make a state run, so if we don't make it, it will be a disappointment, but we'll do our best."

And if they happen to get nervous at any point, their coach has a message.

"Rankings and win-loss records don't matter once you've reached the tournament," Levisen said.

Levisen has built the Packer program to a level where expectations are high, year-in and year-out.