By Jude McClaren
Assistant Sports Director
After the the Rattlers went 9-1 and won a playoff game against the Westwood Warriors in 2017, San Marcos football lost 28 letterman and moved to district 26-6A which includes Texas high school football powerhouses Judson, Steele and Clemens.
The year that followed for football at San Marcos high was difficult to say the least. The Rattlers had to rebound from one of its’ most successful teams in recent history by replacing essentially all of the talent. This all subsequently led to San Marcos finishing with a 1-9 record last season.
Luckily for head coach Mark Soto, the past is in the past and it isn’t coming back.
This Rattler squad will be a bit different than the last. The theme for this season is “Defend SM” and considering the experience on the Rattlers’ roster, it seems to be a fitting motto.
The Rattlers longed for experience last season with rough losses to the likes of Judson and Smithson Valley. But with offensive weapons such as senior quarterback Alex Garcia, receivers Diego Cruz and Takai Magett, veterans such as defensive tackle Chris Soliz and safety Andres Alonzo, San Marcos football will be filled with smart players with a high “football IQ.”
One of those players is junior cornerback Quddus Ogunbase, who shared what he’s looking forward to this upcoming season.
“Being able to make plays against big teams like Judson and Steele,” Ogunbase said. “Last year was my first year on varsity and I was playing a little timid, but this year I’m definitely ready.”
Magett commented on the Rattler’s culture of positivity and how that affects the team.
“It’s all love, because no matter who’s doing good it doesn’t matter,” Magett said. “We’re not selfish, we’re going to give each other high-fives, everything that comes with getting excited for each other no matter what.”
The defense is a group that coach Soto mans himself during practice and his mentality of toughness is something that bleeds onto the field for the Rattlers. Garcia, starting quarterback, explained what it’s like to play the defense everyday in practice.
“They’re really physical and fast, they’re not the biggest guys but they make up for it with effort,” Garcia said.
The secondary has made strides throughout the offseason on the defensive side of the ball as well. Alonzo explained the biggest area of improvement the Rattler defensive backs made this summer.
“Staying patient, waiting for the route to come to you,” Alonzo said. “You can’t expect the run, you gotta make sure there’s no pass coming, stay on your keys, focus, and footwork, footwork, footwork.”
The San Marcos Rattler football team will start the 2019-20 season against their long-time rival, the Hays Rebels, at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 30. The Rattlers will look to get their first win of the year in a game sure to be filled with emotion and excitement.
You can listen to play-by-play and color commentary of the Rattler-Rebel matchup this Friday, with pregame coverage starting at 7:15 p.m.
Tune into KTSW 89.9 to catch all the action.
Featured image by Jude McClaren.