He’s a quick study, and sharp as a tack, so sometimes it’s a tricky deal figuring out the real Steven Trevino. The Edinburg senior standout is witty, cocky, but also unexpectedly humble at exactly the right time. So maybe attempting to pigeonhole his personality is like trying to cover him in the flat. Good luck with that.

Trevino and the Bobcats are preparing for a key District 31-5A contest against Econ Friday, with a lot on the line; they came from 11 back to beat P-SJ-A in overtime last week, and have now won three of four ball games since an 0-2 start. A W Friday would make the ‘Cats 3-1 in league play with three to play, with four wins the traditional minimum it takes to make the playoffs.

“We were able to come through at the end,” said Trevino of the come-from-behind thriller won 33-32 by the ‘Cats. “We put a good drive on at the end, a couple of them actually, and then got some big plays in overtime.”

Also at stake against the Jags is a share of bragging rights, and for a self-acknowledged emotional player who is always in the limelight, that is important. Not as important as the team concept, he is quick to note, but important.

“I have always been the type to go off, get fired up, it’s just me,” the shifty senior laughed. “I have confidence in what I can do, and in what the team can do…I try and go out every time and prove myself, to doubters, the other teams, I guess even to myself.”

Trevino will be the first to say that he is confident, bordering on cocky, but he explains that this part of his makeup is a positive.

“I just want to win, man, you know? I hate losing!” he stressed. “Sometimes I get pissed on the field, and I know it’s wrong, but I am just that way. It helps me play better, actually. Football is supposed to be an emotional game, I have always thought that.”

Trevino is well known for his amazing catches and terrific moves which have earned him the nickname “The Magician.” With 27 catches so far for 397 yards and three scores, he has been one of the Valley’s best receivers in ‘09, and definitely a huge factor in the Bobcat success to date.

He is also well known for his oft-repeated catchphrase: “Get me the ball!”

“That is actually more for fun than anything else, but I would love to catch every pass in every game! Yeah, I like to keep the coaches on their heels a bit out there,” he chuckled. “But I also give them respect, it’s the right thing to do. I think they know that I am just a competitor, and I want to excel. The first thing is, Are we winning? But also, I want to show what I can do. Heck, I don’t get the ball that much, so when I do, I need to do something great, something extra. I really enjoy being able to do that.”

For the record, Coach Joey Caceres agrees with his No. 1 passing target, saying that the staff knows what is will get with No. 5.

“We know Steven is a competitor and if he goes out there and pumps his fist when he’s mad, well, we understand that he wants the team to succeed,” Caceres said. “We don’t want any selfish play from our kids, and we tell them that, over and over. But with Steven, it’s more like he knows he can help the team win, so he wants the ball.”

Caceres also concurs playfully with another of Trevino’s pronouncements, joking that, “We have to keep an eye on that guy all the time.”

Trevino’s had some super games so far, including breaking the 100-yard mark twice (against Sharyland and P-SJ-A Memorial). His touchdown catch with five minutes left in the fourth against P-SJ-A, followed by a last-second field goal from Jaime Juarez, rallied EHS from a 26-15 deficit versus the Bears.

And Trevino says that the winning effort against P-SJ-A is emblematic of the program’s rise to legitimacy. He was a sophomore who came up to the varsity during the ‘Cats’ trying 0-10 campaign of 2007, and he hasn’t forgotten how that felt.

“Definitely, it was hard, we still talk about it sometimes, just like we talk about starting this season 0-2,” he commented. “We use those past times to motivate the team, we don’t want stuff like that to happen again, at all. So, we have moved on, but we still know that on any given day, we can get beat if we don’t perform at our highest level.”

To that end, Trevino feels that the Bobcats are now making the plays they didn’t accomplish the last two seasons.

“Jaime redeemed himself big time and we all did,” he said, noting that last year the ‘Cats lost at P-SJ-A by three, missing a field goal late that could have tied it. Juarez nailed the tying three-pointer with 14 seconds left and then the winning PAT in the extra period. “Now we are putting the pressure on other teams, we’re doing our job individually and that had led to the team being more successful. It feels good to have a shot at the playoffs this time. I think we can make it if we just stay together.”

Now comes the Jags, and with junior Stevie Guerrero firmly ensconced as the starting quarterback, EHS is looking solid as a slight favorite over the Orange.

Refreshingly, Trevino shows humility as he laments for former starter Isaac Escobar, noting that he’s been with the program for three years.

“In a way, I wish he was getting more time but that’s the way it is,” he said. “I tell Isaac that I know he wants his job back, so he has to come to practice every day and fight, compete to get back in there.”

Still, the highlight machine knows that he and Guerrero have developed notable chemistry since the junior took the helm last month.

“We are on the same page out there,” he said. “Stevie is like me, he wants to be where the action is, and I have never seen him down. He’s a great leader and the other guys respond to him. It’s tough, because we all like Isaac. Me and him have hooked up on a lot on passes in the past…it’s just football, man.”

The Bobcats will take the field at Cats Stadium knowing that they have to win to keep the fire burning.

“Those guys have some weapons, like Nelson [Hampton, the city’s leading rusher with 440 yards so far], he’s a very fast back,” Trevino noted. “And I hear they have some corners who are wanting to cover me. Well, I welcome that, I always like a challenge and if those guys are ready for it, good, let’s go.”

And as for his playing style, Trevino will say that he tries to do something special every play, and he loves the feeling of all the fans cheering when he makes an acrobatic catch or a juke-and-go for extra yards.

“The YAC, yards after the catch, that’s what I’m all about,” he explained. “I know that I am not the fastest receiver, and many of the corners I go against are faster. They say ‘speed kills,’ but to me, it’s all about route-running, and making the catch. I try and create separation out there, and that’s why sometimes I am doing a lot of fakes.”

He will also admit that sometimes, he might overdo it a bit.

“Yeah, right, I have been told that and on films I can see where it happens,” said the outgoing senior star, who averaged 20 yards per catch as a junior, presaging a possible All-Valley campaign in 2009. “I can get past one guy, but then some other dude, he’s been hustling from the backside, and he’s able to get me. I guess you have to know when to juke, and when to just get upfield for as many yards as possible.”

So there it is, the straight dope on a fantastic football player who is as colorful as he is talented. If Steve Trevino and his teammates have their way, they’ll be able to beat the Jags and keep rolling all the way to the program’s first playoff trip since 2005. The ‘Cats get a salty Pharr North team at home next Thursday, then a very winnable match against last-place Harlingen South, and finish with perennial rival Edinburg North at Cats Stadium Nov. 6.

In the stretch run, the excitable pass-catcher will not change a thing, from his knack for clutch grabs in traffic to his propensity for onfield antics.

“Like I said, this is a tough district and any team is capable of beating you,” he concluded. “We just have to keep doing things like we’ve been doing, and the rest will take care of itself.”