MISSION, Texas (KVEO) – Both football programs within Sharyland ISD made changes at the head coach position in the offseason.
Pioneer made the most of their shortened 2020 pandemic season. The Diamondbacks made program history when they advanced to the 5A DII Regional Final, and came within just a few plays of making it to the state final four. That run was largely in part to senior quarterback Eddie Lee Marburger, amongst many other key seniors in starting positions.
But that’s now a part of the past for the Diamondbacks. Marburger, now a UTSA Road Runner, and former head coach Tom Lee have assumed new positions. Lee finished coaching for the Diamondbacks with a 26-7 record in three season, and was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director for Sharyland ISD.
Eddie Galindo moves up within the Pioneer program that he’s been a part of for seven years now, he helped open the school, this will be his eighth season with the Diamondbacks.
Galindo is working with four returning seniors who will be expected to lead the team and help guide younger players, the Diamondbacks graduated 42 seniors in the 2021 class.
“Yes, we got to start coaching them up a little bit,” said senior outside linebacker Shawn Halbritter on the subject. “On the line, I know I’m the only one returning so I got to start coaching up the newer guys so it’s a challenging task but it’s one I like.”
The four seniors are embracing the changes, but they know that there are rumblings amongst their district competition.
“It’s definitely something different. You know, coming in last year there was no dilemma ‘oh is Pioneer going to be good?’ everyone kind of figured we were going to make a good run due to like you said those 42 seniors coming back,” said senior middle linebacker Caleb Fuentes. “You know? But this year, this being like a year of mystery you know. it’s kind of nice it’s kind of a good change. The weight is on our shoulders now we just have to step up as a team.”
Now a senior, wide receiver Joseph Graham Jr. recalls the devastating loss in last year’s fourth-round playoff game.
“It was a sad loss so, it held a grudge with me,” said Graham. “So I just started grinding all summer, getting my homeboys ready to go crazy this summer.”
The Diamondbacks left it all on the field in that last game of the 2020 season. That leaves high expectations for the 2021 season.
“I think we can come back and do even better,” said senior Trevor Huddleston. “I know everybody’s doubting us because we don’t have, you know, (Eddie Lee) Marburger and we don’t have those returners but we have each other and if we play as a team we’ll go even farther and I’m excited for it.”
The Diamondbacks open the season on Thursday, August 26 when they host the PSJA Bears at 7 p.m.