To say the Cigarroa football team struggled last year would be an understatement, but following a disciplined off-season and the rallying cry of iron man football, the Toros are looking improved for 2013..
The number of kids coming out for football is always a concern at schools and maybe none more so in Laredo than for the Toros. With their total turnout low the guys have turned to embracing the idea of being iron men.
"We never get to leave the field. We are always playing offense, defense and special teams. We just play football." (Jose Mosqueda, Toros wide receiver)
"We have an analogy that we play football. We don't play offense or defense, we play football and they understand that." (Jesse Esparza, Toros head coach)
This off-season was a good one for Cigarroa that saw a small but dedicated group rally together and that has second year coach Esparza seeing progress.
"I see a lot of dedication and I think our program is coming around. The kids are understanding what's at stake and now they are held accountable."
Those athletes have rolled that positive momentum into the preseason and there seems to be more life on the Toros practice field.
"There's a lot of energy on the field, running to the ball, just a lot of good things and habits that we didn't have last year." (Isael Claudio, Toros defensive lineman)
These young men now know what it will take to make this year a success and hopefully pick up some wins along the way.
"Working together as a team. Not being selfish and just having every bodies back."
"I've worked for four year, four plus years actually to win games and hopefully this year we'll see that."
Things have been good for the Toros so far as they were able to win both their scrimmages in the preseason, defeating a pair of 29-5A foes in LBJ and CC Winn. Cigarroa will open their season next Friday at home against the Zapata Hawks.