LA VILLA, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The 2020 season was difficult for most Rio Grande Valley programs. For the La Villa Cardinals, the year was especially difficult.
“We had like 25 kids out here,” head coach Danny Reyes said. “It was tough.”
Life can be difficult at the 2A level as programs work to maximize numbers on the field. Before 2020, Coach Reyes managed well, finishing second place in the district standings in three of the last four seasons. Regardless of years past, the La Villa Cardinals face a whole new set of challenges heading into 2021.
“A lot of these kids haven’t played in a while. Some seniors came out and haven’t played in two years,” Coach Reyes said. “The key is getting them into shape.”
With two weeks to prepare for week one, Coach Reyes and his team are working hard, though senior linebacker Jerry Reyes admits the work, though fun, has made him “a little tired sometimes.” Teammate and fellow senior Christian Ortiz is confident his team will be ready to turn heads this upcoming season.
“Every day is 150 percent. Not 100, but 150 percent,” Ortiz said.
With more players showing up day by day, Coach Reyes is confident his team will be ready to compete in two weeks’ time. Following a less-than-impressive 2-3 record in last year’s shortened format, La Villa returns to a tradition of success, which includes the pursuit of a district title.
“We have to start by winning the first game,” Coach Reyes said. “That district title though, that’s what we want.”
The Cardinals begin their 2021 campaign with a non-district home matchup against Premont on Friday, Aug. 27, at 7:30 p.m.