WESLACO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Weslaco East football team failed to reach the playoffs for the first time in over a decade last year.

“Thirteen years straight playoffs and last year we come up short,” said Weslaco East head coach Mike Burget. “Coming out here with an attitude. We’re excited.”

Turnovers were a key factor in ending the Wildcats’ streak.

“Big mistakes last year, turned ball over and cost us three games,” Burget said. “We’re gonna create a lot more turnovers this year, I can tell you that right now.”

The Wildcats will rely on an experienced group of linebackers to lead the defense.

“The new guys coming, we keep working together,” said senior linebacker Silver Rangel. “We’re just going to keep getting shutouts like last year, we’ll be good.”

Ashton Guajardo and Alex Martinez, a pair of versatile athletes, are competing for the starting quarterback spot.

“Offense is looking good,” said senior offensive lineman Isaac Gonzalez.

While they’ve traditionally been a running team, Gonzalez says they’ll be looking to go to their aerial attack more this year.

“About half and half, half throwing and half running,” said Gonzalez.

One spot where there’s no doubt about who will start is running back.

Jay Vasquez, an all-district selection in 2021, is a returning starter.

The Wildcats open their season on Friday, Aug. 26 against Los Fresnos.