There are so many summer activities these days that it's almost easy to forget that high school football has been lurking on the horizon for weeks. But nonetheless, fall workouts were set to commence this week, and that means the scrimmage season will not be far behind.
As the city schools cranked up the machine for the 2011 season, each is doing so with expectations of making the playoffs, something one of the three rivals was able to accomplish in 2010.
EHS, after a banner 10-3 season that included a three-deep run into the postseason, has been picked to finish third in District 31-5A by Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine. The Bobcats return a healthy contingent of stars on defense, with safeties Sal Martinez and Teddy Lara leading the way. Martinez is the preseason league MVP on that side of the ball, and was praised by the venerable magazine as a player to watch from South Texas.
The questions for Edinburg lie on the other side of the ball, where four of five linemen have graduated as well as the starters at QB, RB, and WR. The extent to which Coach Joey Caceres can fill in numerous gaps on offense will probably determine whether the ‘Cats can duplicate last year's excellent showing.
North is set on forgetting 2010, when the club was 1-9 amid a series of disruptions and injuries that never allowed any momentum. The strong point of the effort for Coach Roy Garza should be a mammoth and deep offensive line and some promising skill guys, while the defense seeks to replace a super linebacking crew from a year ago.
After three straight playoff appearances, North did not like the situation one bit last year. Texas Football has the Coogs sixth, behind No. 4 Pharr North and No. 5 P-SJ-A Memorial.
Over at Econ, new coach Gabe Pena and his Jags enjoyed a spirited spring, and are hoping that the surge carries over to the fall. Though they finished 2010 at 3-7 and on a 6-game losing skid, the Jags will want to set the tone early on in the Pena Era, and work against the preseason prediction that has them seventh in the loop, ahead of Harlingen South.
The city units will be working in extreme heat, as usual, as they prepare for the upcoming campaign. It all gets going Friday, Aug. 26 when La Joya visits EHS to kick things off; North gets Brownsville Pace that night on the road with the Jags taking on McAllen Rowe in McAllen.
NOTES: Be looking for the Review's football preview special section, which should be out by late August, in time for the first ball games. The section will have schedules, rosters, stats, pictures, and a comprehensive preview of the season to be.
Review reporter Greg Selber received the Putt Powell Award for Texas Sportswriter of the Year from the Texas High School Coaches Association last week, in two ceremonies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He was recognized at halftime of the state's all-star game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington Tuesday, and then was part of the Association's annual banquet the next afternoon at the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth.
Former Econ coach Oscar Salinas, now at La Feria, was on hand for coaching school and his duties as part of the THSCA board.