The plot thickens a bit as Bobcat Football 2010 is around the corner.
Though EHS lost its receiving corps from last year’s playoff combatant, exciting quarterback Stevie Guerrero returns for his senior season. “Ol’ Blue Eyes” led the 7-on-7 team to the state tournament earlier this month, and the Bobcats played well, winning four of six games in the two-day event up in College Station.
Now the questions are: who will man the wideout slots vacated by graduated stars Steve Trevino and Manny Menchaca, and will the offense go to the air more than it did in 2009?
The ‘Cats return most of their running back group from a year ago, including Deandric Maxwell, Aaron Garza, and Aaron Gonzalez, but face a rebuilding task on the O-line, with four of five starters having graduated. They rushed for 1,739 yards while throwing for 1,431 with a pretty balanced attack.
Coach Joey Caceres is excited about his 7-on-7 team’s performance this summer and he thinks that when Edinburg wants to pass, the results will be good. Still, he noted that the number one priority heading into the season will be to pound the ball against opposing defenses: it’s been the Bobcat Way for years, after all.
“But I think it’s a good thing, it’s constructive and helps with the confidence,” he said about the summer’s passing fancy. “Joel Rios has done a good job coaching those kids, he really gets after them. Plus, we’ve got some receivers emerging from the summer who we think can help us. But 7 on 7 is a lot different than 11 on 11.”
With Guerrero at the helm, the offense will be in good shape whatever the play call is. He has developed into one of the Valley’s best dual threats, and at 6-foot-1 is taller and stronger than he was last year, when he passed for 1,077 yards and eight TDs after gaining the starting nod early on.
“Steve is a leader out there, and there’s no substitute for that,” said his coach, whose club won a bi-district playoff game last year and took Del Rio to the wire in area before dropping out. “He directs the show and he demands a lot from his teammates, that’s what you want. We plan to roll him out because he’s so good on the roll, and I think we’ll be multiple on offense, taking what the defense gives us.”
Guerrero has brought two basketball teammates to the fore this season in John Gonzalez and Cord Arriola, and both are fine athletes who will get a long look at the open wide spots. Tight end David Ramirez is back for his third season as a varsity player, and he could be poised for an excellent campaign.
The Bobcats are intent on controlling the ball, taking off on their patented long and patient drives, and letting the defense do its thing.
“We have always said that offense is predicated on defense, that the defense sets the tone,” said Caceres, who attended the annual coaching school in San Antonio over the weekend; his team begins fall workouts in earnest Aug. 2. “But we will be able to catch defenses with some play-action passing, we plan on doing that.”
As for the O-line, the ‘Cats return strongman guard Joey Galvan, and there are a number of promising prospects coming up the ranks to fill in the other slots. Caceres said that this year’s Hogs will be a physically larger group, and he is especially fired up about a series of sophomores-to-be whom he feels will eventually form the nucleus up front for the next couple of years.
“The only thing we need besides experience is depth,” he commented, mentioning Marco Aguilar and Gabriel Lopez as personnel to keep an eye on as the workouts get started. “But I think we will be alright on the line, we have talent there and it’s just a matter of them coming on and learning, getting Friday night experience.”