MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) — After a pair of tremendous seasons with Eddie Lee Marburger at quarterback, Pioneer had a rebuilding year in 2021.

The Diamondbacks ended with a 5-5 record and missed out on the postseason.

“We’re the underdog, everything thinks we’re going to do trash again,” says senior receiver/safety Joseph Graham Jr. “We’re putting in work to show that we’re serious.”

The Diamondbacks will have a new starting quarterback this year, junior Julian Valdez.

The junior got some reps in games last year, which he says will help him make the transition to starting QB.

“Helps a lot when you’re on the field,” Valdez said. “The game is faster than when you’re on JV or freshman.”

Pioneer head coach Eddie Galindo says the offense can adjust to help ease Valdez’s transition.

“Try to run things that’ll help you be successful and put kids in positions to be successful,” Galindo said. “We’ll do some of the same things and adapt and do some things different.”

Valdez has worked with receivers in the offseason to improve his skills.

“We’ve been putting in work all summer and it’s about to be shown off,” Graham Jr. said.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Diamondbacks will lean on senior defensive end Cole Woydziak.

“I feel like it’s going to be a good year,” Woydziak said. “We’ve put a lot of work in this offseason.”

Pioneer’s first game will be on Friday, Aug. 26 against Rowe.