It was a challenging year for united football in 2012, going 3-3 in district play and 3-8 overall. But a strong nucleus returns and that has the longhorns eying a return to prominence.
A disastrous first four games in 2012 could have sent the Longhorns into a tail spin but instead Derek Esparza took over the reigns at quarterback and after an off-season as the man guiding the offense United is ready to challenge the elite of district 29-5A.
"In the summer I was day in, day out, quarterback, quarterback, quarterback and everything is just clicking now." (Derek Esparza, United Quarterback)
"Derek has done well. He threw the ball well in the scrimmage and has improved a whole bunch, so we are excited about what he's going to do for us this year." (David Sanchez, United Head Coach)
The offense brings back seven starters including Esparza, running back Esayas Paulson and a number of pass catchers and lineman. While the offense gets a lot of attention at United, the defense could be just as good of a unit, especially with linebacker A.C. Martinez back for his senior season.
"Our defense is a stronger bunch of kids. We're faster and we understand our system a little better."
"We're just going to have to trust each other, go through our reads, do our jobs and take it one game at a time and one play at a time." (A.C. Martinez, United Linebacker)
Now on the eve of their first game, everything is pointing towards the Longhorns making another run at the district championship and beyond.
"We plan on getting back our district title. Of course everyone wants to win it but it comes down to who wants it more."
"Our expectations are to win a district championship and go deep into the playoffs. Hopefully be the first team that makes history here and wins that 3rd round playoff game."
"Just to say we are district champs, that would go a long way. We'd talk about that for the rest of our lives."
United gets the high school football season kicked off tomorrow night at seven pm as they host San Antonio Southwest at the SAC. This week kicks off another season of Friday Football Fever, your best spot in Laredo to get highlights and scores of the high school football action the night it happens.