Falcons looking to right 2018 wrongs - Brownsville Herald: H.S. Football

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Falcons looking to right 2018 wrongs

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Posted: Friday, August 9, 2019 10:07 pm

LOS FRESNOS — The Los Fresnos Falcons football program always had been a model of consistency and was a postseason mainstay.

That was until last season, when the Falcons finished the year 3-7 and out of the postseason for the first time since 2004.

So needless to say, the Los Fresnos players have been motivated to get back on the field and right the wrongs of last season.

“I think, for the kids in our program, this is an opportunity (for a) wipe-the-slate-clean type of situation,” Falcons coach Patrick Brown said. “(Last season) did leave a bad taste in our mouth. I think this summer and first week of two-a-days has been exceptional with our turnout and how hard our kids have been working. It’s been a fun week for us to kind of start anew and get the season rolling.”

Senior wide receiver Nico Valencia said that thought has weighed heavily on the minds of players and has really helped get the most out of them in practice.

“Getting back is something everybody was looking forward to,” he said. “The best thing to do to get over a speed bump like that is to get back in the office and get back to work. So we’re all pretty excited and we’re all stepping on the gas pedal — everything is going smoothly right now.”

One thing the Falcons have kept a close eye on is the health of their players after being hit with the injury bug right before district play last season. The team returned from a game at Odessa Permian with several injuries to key players.

“Last season was my first experience with losing in 20 years,” Brown said. “So I had to go back and re-evaluate everything that we do, and that starts with me all the way down to our student trainers and managers. We had to look at everything, including our offseason conditioning, our summer program, our nutrition, psychologically, physically — everything. We did keep a vast majority of things because we’ve been very successful, but tweaked some coaching methods, some of our nutrition, sports psychology and character development stuff. We really think we have something special and positive going into this season.”

Valencia, who came out of the Odessa Permian game with a knee injury and was sidelined for a couple of weeks, said injuries are never planned, but said taking those extra measures to limit them is must.

“Injuries are tough because at the end of the day, it’s something you can’t control,” he said. “My coaches and parents say to focus on the things you can control and put effort into, including injury and as much as you can prevent it. One thing we’ve emphasized this year is ice baths after practice, stretching and resting at the end of the day. You work hard, but you have to recover hard. That’s one thing coaches have emphasized, and I think it’s really going to help us out.”

On the field of play, Brown says the Falcons have just four or five kids who have started a full season on varsity, so there are many fresh faces for veterans and coaches to help get up to speed during the early parts of the preseason camp.

“You have to be there (for the young players) and you have to push them,” middle linebacker Alonso Requena said. “You have to keep them on the ball, too. You have to just make a bond, and I really think we’ve done that throughout the summer. I just want the best for my team and I want to help lead them to their max potential and effort, making sure they’re here every day and not (giving) up. Time is limited, and we have to go hard all the time.”

As camp rolls on, Brown is aware that getting the veterans and new players on the same page will be an uphill climb, but he is positive that this bunch of younger, unproven players has what it takes to make an impact and compete.

“We have a good younger core,” he said. “We have a couple of freshmen that started last year for us and are going to be good players as sophomores. We also have some juniors that were very good on JV and are going to help us. It’s pretty scary as a head coach because you have a lot of unproven kids. One thing they have proven is that they are willing to work hard and be coachable.”

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