LA JOYA, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The La Joya football team is feeling optimistic about the upcoming season.

The Coyotes return more than a handful of starters on both sides of the ball.

“We’re looking good, way better than last year,” said senior running back Oscar Mendoza. “The offensive lineman are getting better, they’re all seniors. I think we’re going to shock people.”

The Coyotes had a 4-6 record in 2021. They finished seventh in a nine-team District 31-6A.

There will only be six teams in 31-6A the next two years.

With less teams and an experienced bunch coming back, the Coyotes think they’ll be able to snap a five-year playoff drought.

“Our defense is looking pretty good,” said senior linebacker Mauricio De Hoyos. “Offense looking solid, the receivers are doing better than last year.”

“We’re all going to give ourselves a chance to get into the playoffs,” said head coach Reuben Farias. “We’re going to try and push through to get a district championship, one day at a time.”

La Joya’s first game will be at home on Thursday Aug. 25 against Rivera.