Even if Hanna and Porter are heading in opposite directions this season, their emphasis is the same.
Improve and get better every week.
Hanna is on a two-game winning streak with victories over Pace and Brownsville Veterans Memorial, but knows it must stay sharp and be prepared each week.
"For us, it’s one week at a time," Hanna coach Rene Medrano said. "It doesn’t matter who we play, it’s getting prepared for the week."
Porter, on the other hand has struggled mightily. The Cowboys were thrashed last week against Harlingen South, 71-0, but unfortunately their progress hasn’t showed on the field yet.
"We know the road to success unfortunately passes through the town of adversity," Porter coach Tom Campos said. "Along the way you’re going to have struggles. We have changed a little bit of everything in the program. Progress is slow, but it’s a process. It’s going to take some time, maybe longer than we would like to see."
For Hanna (2-2, 2-1), Medrano wants his offense to remain steady.
"I think we have built some consistency, we just need to stay with it," he said.
One major question mark, the starting quarterback for the Golden Eagles, has been decided. So it’s no coincidence that Hanna is playing much better now.
Sophomore Andres Lopez gets the nod as starter and senior Richard Martinez and junior Lucas Olivares will move to receivers, though Olivares might still take some snaps under center to run in the wildcat formation.
"I think (the quarterback situation) has something to do with (us playing better)," Medrano said. "Everyone knows what they need to do to jell in their position."
For Porter (0-4, 0-2), the offense starts with running.
"We need to be able to run the football," Campos said. "And to win you have to be able to do both."
The Cowboys’ continued progress on offense hinges on its players’ knowledge of the system.
"The players are making their own calls and starting to understand the concepts and the verbage of what we use," Campos said. "Our kids understand how they need to work with one another and that they have a role to play."
Both coaches’ focus on defense is similar: stop one aspect of the offense and then focus on the other.
Campos mentioned numerous times in which his defense had wrapped up a running back for a certain loss, only to have missed the tackle and a teammate was out of position to help out. Instead of a loss of yardage, the back turned the play into a large gain on the ground or a touchdown.
"It’s the little things that we haven’t done this season," he said. "Every drill we have emphasized we need to improve and get better. The old school way, mess up a play, do it again. We have been going back to the basics to cover all the holes."
Even with Porter’s struggles, Medrano is certainly not overlooking them.
"We have probably prepared harder this week than we have any other week," he said. "They are improving every week and they are going to come out and play. District records don’t matter, nothing matters, we just have to play football. If we’re not ready, they are going to take it to us."
Andrew Crum covers sports for The Brownsville Herald. You can reach him at (956) 982-6629 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @andrewmcrum.