The Nixon Mustangs are coming off a season where they were oh so close to reaching the postseason. They say being denied of the playoffs is something that has stuck with them all off season.
"It was a chip on our shoulder and all we do is talk about how we almost got in last year and how we are going to change it up this season and we are going to get in."
"We do feel like we came close. We should have won, in my opinion, three more football games. We have some guys coming back in key positions that are going to help us."
Most of Nixons key skill players are back, including a group of wide receivers led by Jesus Perez, who went for over 1,000 total yards and 15 touchdowns last year. Back too are Andrew Alba, Jorge Fraga and Matias Villanueva, who combined for more then 500 yards and nine TD's. They will need someone to get them the ball and that is one spot that has changed as junior Ralph Perez is now under center.
“Ralph has a lot of mobility back there, he has a great arm. I still feel he can improve on several things, maybe even many things but Ralph is going to be a good weapon for us back there."
Those guys will not be alone in the backfield as starting running back Richie Rendon looks to outdo his junior season where he racked up over 700 all purpose yards and scored eight times.
"Richie has improved as a running back. He's improved his speed, his strength, his durability and I really believe he is going to be able to provide that balance that our offense needs this year."
On the lines it will be two men that look to rack up the playing time as Erick Fernandez and Justin Hernandez will be playing both ways this season.
"We know we have to work twice as hard as those guys because when we are on the field, we are always going to be facing someone that is freshly off the bench."
"Both of them as a matter of fact are captains of our football team and we expect a lot of good things out of them."
Ramirez is hoping the defensive line will set the tone for the rest of his unit all year long.
“Offense wins games and defense wins championships, so I think the athletes we have on the defensive line are really the top athletes we have here at Nixon high school."
"It's really, really critical. I remember that is the way we got it done here at Nixon and that's what I’m trying to accomplish again."
After an off-season of hard work the mustangs say they are ready to take that next step and make the postseason.
"Our goal is to make the playoffs and go for that district gold, one game at a time."
"We are very optimistic about this season and i do think it will happen."
Nixon will finally get their chance to prove their worth this Saturday, as the Mustangs host Eagle Pass at Shirley field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 pm.