Photo by Gerald Castillo
SMHS Countdown to Kickoff: Rattlers visit Laredo Alexander
With only four six-team districts in UIL 6A Region IV, schools that needed non-district opponents in the fourth and fifth weeks of the football season had limited options to choose from nearby. San Marcos chose a pair of teams from District 30-6A, drawing Laredo Alexander first.
The Bulldogs missed out on the playoffs last year, going 3-7 overall and 2-4 in district play, and brought in first-year head coach Edwin Garcia in the offseason. Alexander brings back 24 lettermen, including four starters on both sides of the ball.
The offense returns playmakers at every skill position, led by junior running back Gael Rodriguez, who rushed for 914 yards and nine touchdowns on 163 carries. Junior quarterback Javi Jiminez will look to improve on a solid season after completing 97-169 passes for 1,057 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions, and will get two of his top three wideouts back in senior Sebastian Dancause and sophomore Ivan Pina. The biggest question for the unit will be how well the offensive line holds up with just one starter returning in senior Alonzo Moreno.
The defense should have some experienced leaders as well. Junior defensive back Dylan Ethridge snagged three interceptions in 2021 to go along with 48 tackles. Junior Jorge Alvarado and Jose Esqueda IV will anchor the defensive line.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine predicts the Bulldogs to finish fifth in District 30-6A, one spot shy of qualifying for playoffs. The Rattlers will travel to Laredo to square off with the Bulldogs on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.