If there’s one thing that gets Juarez-Lincoln Huskies’ head football coach Tomas Garcia riled up it’s negativity about his team. Yes the Huskies are coming off a 0-10 season and yes they are still in the hunt for their first playoff berth, but the way Garcia sees it, any negative talk about this year’s Huskies team is bulletin board material.
It’s a matter of his believing in his team and doing all he can to instill a positive attitude among his coaching staff, the Huskies’ fans and his team.
“The way I see it, the only way for us to go this year is up,” said Garcia with a smile. “Negative talk about our team just motivates us more. If I didn’t believe that we’re going to get into the playoffs I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing.”
“Every year we lace them up and we strap them on and we believe that we’re getting into the playoffs,” added Garcia. “The first two years of my tenure here as head coach we were one game out of the playoffs. Last year, we took several steps backwards but we’re going to change that this year.”
The main reason Garcia is so positive about his team’s chances of turning things around in his fourth season as head coach is an extremely talented group of sophomores on the roster. Many have not only made the varsity squad but he expects some will become starters.
“I really believe that our sophomore group is going to dictate and determine whether we get into the playoffs or not,” explained Garcia. “We have five sophomores on defense and four on offense that could very well beat out juniors and seniors for starting positions. The thing that I commend them on is that they’re here every day while some of the older kids still haven’t bought into it what we’re doing here fully.”
The five possible defensive starters Garcia referred to are Benito Gonzalez (LB), Elias Gutierrez (DB), Joseph Valdez (LB), Bryan Lira (DL) and Norberto Lomeli (DL). On offense Eddie Hernandez (RB), Adonis Barillas (RB), Jesus Proa (OL) and Julio Monsivalles (OL) are the sophomores that will be vying for starting positions. As of Monday of this week the Huskies had 20 sophomores on the varsity roster.
With a 0-7 record going into the final three games of the season last year the Huskies could’ve very easily thrown in the towel and let their remaining opponents blow them out. Instead they played the Palmview Lobos (24-19), the Mission Eagles (27-14) and the La Joya Coyotes (24-14) all tough. As for what that says about their team junior tight end Livan Pequeno said, “We don’t give up. We go 100 percent all-out each play and that’s what we’re focusing on this season. Also executing and getting results from all the hard work we’ve been putting in over the summer and the offseason.”
Junior wide receiver Cesar “C.J.” Flores shared what he believes it will take for the Huskies to get that all-important first win this year and build from there when he said, ”It’s going to take everybody showing up to all the practices and giving 100 percent every day.”
As one of the sophomores that will be vying for a starting position on the Juarez-Lincoln defense Joseph Valdez expressed similar sentiments about what it will take for the Huskies to have a turn-around season.
“It’s going to take dedication and never giving up,” Valdez said. “Our defense will need to stop the opponents from scoring touchdowns. If we can do that we can go all the way.”
Juarez-Lincoln will be hosting PSJA Memorial in its non-district opener tonight at 7:30 and opening its District 30-6A schedule at home against Nikki Rowe Friday September 25.