San Marcos buys into 'turnover chain'

Photo by Gerald Castillo

San Marcos Football

Demarcus Hall strolled the sideline with a gold chain-linked chain draped around his neck in the fourth quarter Friday night. 

The senior cornerback received the chain after he intercepted a pass from Westwood quarterback Will Jennings late in the final quarter.

Moments later, head coach Mark Soto whipped out his phone to take a selfie with Hall. “That pick was so pretty, in such an opportune time, it needed to be laid down in history with a selfie,”  Soto said. 

“I just remember coming off the sideline and walking because I was tired and coach Soto was like let’s get a quick selfie, real quick,” Hall said. “I just took the picture with him. It was pretty fun.”

Hall and senior linebacker Josh Banda, who recovered a fumble against the Warriors, were the first Rattlers to don San Marcos’ newly-minted turnover chain. Assistant head coach Gilbert Rodriguez stole the idea from University of Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, whose defensive players can be seen wearing a gold chain with a large ‘U’ hanging from the bottom after forcing a turnover. 

“I’m a big Manny Diaz fan,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve always been a big Manny Diaz fan, and he brought it. He brought it out from the very beginning, but I saw it for the first time week three (of the college football season). We had thought about bringing it in here because I’m mean we preach, it’s our motto here, ‘It’s all about the ball’ that’s what we tell our guys. And then when we’re out there in practice we’re bringing the money. For us, (turnovers are) money.

“We just didn’t pull the trigger until the playoffs. We said, ‘Let’s go get a chain. We’re going to need some turnovers in the playoffs and these are big games.’ And our kids have been telling us forever, ‘Coach, we need a turnover chain. Coach, we need a turnover chain,’”

San Marcos received help from its agriculture department, which had no problem quickly designing and creating it.

The chain is surprisingly heavy. It weighs maybe 10 pounds, stretches nearly 3 feet, and its gold shimmers off San Marcos Toyota Rattler Stadium’s lights. Hanging from the chain is a gold-plated Texas - emblazoned on it is San Marcos’ Texas logo with the letters ‘SM’ interlocked and a star below it indicating the city’s location in the state. 

The chain is a simple motivational tool, Soto says, but he believes it’s helped his team. 

“When you get a turnover you’ve got to throw the ball back to the official, (the turnover chain) just makes it more real,” Soto said. “Like man, I’ve got this (chain). I don’t know how long I’m going to hold it but I’ve got it. Right now, I’m on top. I made a play for my team.’ And then it makes the other ones kind of look at him like, ‘Man, I want that chain too.’ So, it just makes them hungry to do something great, which is the takeaway. That’s the whole point of it. It’s for fun. It’s not a selfish thing. It just adds to the fun and the pageantry of football in the state of Texas.”

San Marcos has forced 12 interceptions and 11 fumbles this season, and are currently on a seven-game turnover streak. The chain has added extra motivation and flair. 

“It would’ve been nice to have brought it a long time ago but it’s the perfect time right now, and you’ve got to turn it up,” Rodriguez said. 

Added Hall: “It’s not that we’re looking forward to wearing the chain, it’s just about getting turnovers and getting the ball to our offense, that’s a big one for us. Just adding the chain to it is a plus.” 

San Marcos Daily Record

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