The United baseball team was bounced from the UIL playoffs in the area round last year and was forced to sit and watch as arch rival Alexander made a second straight trip to the regional finals, a fact that motivated the Longhorns all off season.
"They saw what Alexander did the last couple of years and made the regional finals. They said coach we want to work hard, we want to be there. We don't want to be in the stands watching." (JJ Gomez, United Head Coach)
"It put a fire cracker up our rear ends to come out and be prepared and come out with an elite eight." (Aaron Gonzalez, United infielder)
It was going to take more than just lip service about wanting to make that kind of run through and head coach JJ Gomez made sure his boys knew that.
"You can talk all you want but it's about coming to work everyday and we have a rule called 10%. Work 10% harder than everyone else, every day."
Now after playing a brutal non district schedule that included the likes of Churchill, Westlake, Moody and Carroll, on top of five meetings with Alexander, the Longhorns feel they are ready for their next big challenge.
"Everytime we are in a tough situation against a good team like O’Connor, we've been there before, so we know we can do it." (Joel Garza, United pitcher)
"If we were to be 32-2 but not tested having won easy games I would be worried. We've been in the ring with some heavy fighters and some good competition, so that's going to step up big."
"It's something that puts our confidence level up high and gets us ready to come out for games like these."
Now they are ready for others to come and watch from the stands like they did the last two years.
"We are in that spot now, we can make a big run this year. Hopefully we play hard, play good baseball and we'll get the win."
United will get their chance to prove how good they are this Saturday in a one game, winner move on, regional semifinal game at 3:30 at Corpus Christi's Cabaniss field.