The Cigarroa Toros struggled last season picking up only one district win but things have changed since then. Not only are they competing at the 4-A level now but there is a new man in charge of the program and he is making his mark already.
"All we're trying to do is create a great work ethic. I think they are humble kids, their great kids and they're ready to learn and eager to win." (Jesse Esparza, Cigarroa Head Coach)
Jesse Esparza is getting his first crack at being a head coach and while his kids are eager to win they say their coach is just as interested in who they are off the field as well.
"He brings a lot of enthusiasm. He doesn't really talk about winning or losing. He wants us to be a better person overall and says if we do that then the win will come by itself." (Jesse Sanchez, Cigarroa Running-back)
Esparza has tried to drill the mantra of working hard into his players since the day he stepped on campus.
"I made a promise that I would work hard because that's my background. Hard work pays off and that's been rubbing off on our kids and they are figuring it out that they have to earn it." (Esparza)
The man who earned the quarterback spot is sophomore Eddie Guzman who takes over the reigns of an offense that will be more wide open then in years past. One of the skill players expected to have a big role is running back Jesse Sanchez who tallied over 200 yards Friday against CC Winn.
"I'm glad he is on our side because he is going to be a force to be reckoned with." (Esparza)
On the other side of the ball the former united defensive coordinator wants his Toros to be ball hawks.
"We are going to swarm to the ball. We are going to run to the ball and that's what we've been teaching them and they are really picking it up great." (Esparza)
The man leading the way is free safety Erasmo Gonzalez who seconds his coaches thoughts.
"3 and outs, that's all we want. Do our job and get the offense the opportunity to score so we can get that W." (Erasmo Gonzalez, Cigarroa Free-Safety)
While expectations around the city and district may be low, don't tell that to the Toros.
"We have a plan and a vision and the kids are adapting to it and it's been great. We still have a ways to go but we are heading in the right direction and I’m pleased with it." (Esparza)
"For us seniors we are trying to get that experience to go to the playoffs, hopefully we get it done." (Gonzalez)
"Our goal is to come out on top as district champs and hopefully go deep into the playoffs." (Sanchez)
The Toro's open up their regular season this Friday in Zapata as they take on the Hawks. Tune in to Friday Football Fever as we bring you highlights of all the gridiron action the night it happens.