The opening night of the 2009 football season has arrived for three area high school teams – Seguin, Marion, and Lifegate all take the field this evening – while Navarro waits another week to get its season started.
As we count down to air time (6 p.m.) for our broadcast of Seguin @ New Braunfels, a few thoughts are swirling through my head.
* I think we’ve nailed down exactly how many times Seguin and New Braunfels have played. The first season I covered the Matadors (2006), I tabbed that meeting as the 95th, simply because I went through our Seguin Daily News archives and found the preview story from the year before that had the 2005 game as the 94th. So I’ve gone with that count since, and was ready to call this year’s edition the 98th game between the teams.
As it turns out, a closer examination of our records that archive the season-by-season history of the program have THIS year’s meeting as the 95th, with New Braunfels leading the series 54-46-4. The other publication in Seguin that covers Matador football also tabs this season’s game as the 95th, as does the New Braunfels Herald Zeitung.
So we’ll go with 95th. Glad we cleared that up…the 100th meeting between the schools is right around the corner, and that needs to be labeled correctly as such.
**I’m looking for a closer game tonight than last year’s 51-6 debacle. Brig Gerlich – bigger, stronger, faster, more savvy, and vastly improved since last season – won’t be the same quarterback we saw making his first varsity start as a sophomore against a LOADED Unicorn defense in ’08.
***Speaking of that New Braunfels defense, it lost eight players to graduation, but it still looks pretty stout. If Penn State is Linebacker U., then New Braunfels is Linebacker High. Last year’s stud was Tom Wort, who is now at Oklahoma and had worked his way on to the two-deep before tearing his ACL. This year’s unit is anchored by John Bordano and Aaron Hayduk, both hard hitting players who run to the football fast. Whether or not Seguin’s offensive line, led by varsity veterans Joseph Cheek, Chase Ramos, and Anthony Razo, can keep Bordano & Hayduk blocked will go a long way in determining the Matadors’ offensive success tonight.
****A thought on Marion: At the end of last season, in this blog space, I mentioned how impressed we were with the athletic ability of Sean Hessler – at that time a starting defensive back and backup QB for the Bulldogs. He continued to impress us as a sophomore starting on both the varsity basketball and baseball teams as the school year progressed. Well, this year the keys to the offense have been handed to Hesler now that Jordan Littlefield has graduated. I can’t wait to see this kid touch the football on every play when we broadcast the Marion – Sam Houston game on Saturday, October 17. Oh yeah…he’s got a fleet-footed target to throw to in Nathan DeHoyos that defenses had better be concerned with. Rebuilding year or not, Hesler and DeHoyos should be an exciting tandem to watch out at Veterans Stadium this fall.
*****Be sure to tune in to AM-1580-KWED, or log on to www.seguintoday.com at 6:00 tonight for the Prep Preview. We’ll have the first of our weekly coaches’ interviews with Marion’s Glen Davis, Navarro’s Les Goad, and Lifegate’s John Rabon, as well as our picks for games involving teams in Districts 27-4A, 27-3A, and 28-2A, and the usual pre-game banter. Sennett and Darren will begin their quests to unseat the two-time defending champion of our picks competition (a title I chalk up completely to blind luck). Then at 7:00, we start live pre-game coverage of Seguin & New Braunfels at Unicorn Stadium. Hope to have you listening if you can’t make it to the game!