SAN PATRICIO COUNTY – Hot summer days in August mean one thing, the start of two-a-day practices for local high school football teams.
The ritual began Monday with all five area schools looking for the opportunity to play football in mid-November.
Three of the area teams enter the 2019 campaign with new football coaches in search of playoffs.
Sinton, Taft and Mathis missed out on the playoffs but begin with a fresh start.
Michael Troutman takes over at Sinton, who missed the playoffs last season. Sinton looks to bounce back from last year’s disappointing 2-8 season and Troutman may have the tools to get back the winning tradition. But he must find himself a quarterback to get the ball to some pretty talented receivers.
Trae Stevens takes the helm at Mathis and with 12 returning letterman, he has a great shot at improving on the Pirates’ 3-7 season of last year. All three wins came in district play, so his Pirates can play with their district foes. Mathis returns several skill position players and some key defensive players that could help them get back in the playoff chase.
JR Castellano takes the reins in Taft, which finished 3-7 last year, just missing out on the playoffs. The Greyhounds’ three wins also came in district play, so his team is not far from reaching the playoffs. With 14 returning lettermen, look for Castellano and his Greyhounds to knock on the playoff door.
Rick Rhoades returns 18 lettermen, but he too must find himself a quarterback if the Wildcats want to bring their playoff drought to an end. G-P finished 6-4 last year, just missing out on the playoffs but they bring back enough to bring football back in November. The Wildcats will rely on a hefty offensive line, but, rest assured, the Wildcats will go to the air.
Armando Huerta and his Odem Owls finished last year’s regular season unblemished before being ousted in round two of the playoffs. The Owls return 22 lettermen from that squad, but he too must find a quarterback for the Owls to return to the playoffs. While Odem will throw the ball a round, look for them to run the ball behind a stout offensive line.