PHARR (KVEO) – This time last year, Ale Aparicio was finishing a football season at LBJ Middle School.

“A whole other level from where I came from,” Says Aparicio. “The quarterback position is a big spot in football, and you got to be the captain of the team and lead the team.”

As just a Freshman, Aparicio won the starting quarterback spot for the PSJA North Raiders. Not only did he win the spot, he helped lead his team to the post season. Then, after a bi-district thriller against Brownsville Hanna, the Raiders were on their way to the area round for the second time in three years.

“It was fun, it was my first playoff win in high school. It was one to remember.” Says Aparicio.

Of course, stepping up to be signal-caller can be a daunting task for a young freshman like Aparicio. But, he never felt that he was doing it alone.

“They really motivated me and always been there for me,” Says Aparicio. “Through every practice and every game, since I was in 8th grade. I’d always come to all the practices and games and they’ve always been there for me.”

The leaderships starts at the top. Seniors like linebacker Micah Lopez paved the way for Aparicio and his underclassmen teammates.

“You got to make sure you’re a leader,” Says Lopez. “You got to make sure they follow you. You’re the spitting image, so they just have to follow your direction and you lead them to the right path.”

Unfortunately, last Thursday the Raiders were made aware of a COVID-19 positive test within the program. This forced them to cancel their area playoff game against San Antonio Taft. With this decision, Taft wins via forfeit and advances to the semifinals. A heartbreaking ending to a season of perseverance.

The Raiders end their season 5-4 overall, and with a promise to return.

“More of a revenge tour,” Says Lopez. “Coming back and beating all these teams again.”