SAN ANTONIO – The Southside Cardinals finished the 2017 season with a 8-3 overall record and winning District 29-5A with an undefeated mark of 5-0.
The Cardinals return eight defensive starters and five offensive starters from that team.
“We’ve had a real good offseason and spring ball,” head coach Ricky Lock said. “ You know, we have to replace some important people, but we got the guys that are really giving the effort and it's coming along pretty well at this point.”
Thanks to UIL realignment, Southside will play in District 15-5A DII and will face Alice, Corpus Christi Calallen, Corpus Christi Tuloso_Midway, Floresville, Gregory-Portland, Port Lavaca Calhoun and Somerset.
“It’s a little harder, but I believe my team, that we can dominate in that district,” senior running back/linebacker Perfecto Doria said. “There's going to be a size difference, but I believe my team has the heart for it.
"Huge, huge, super big, we really needed this. We need to put Southside on the map,” senior defensive end Gabriel Morris said of the realignment. “We've been down for too long, and right now we have a chance to do something that nobody else has done.
"We already got district and we got a chance to go win a playoff game. But you know, we got to take it week-by-week, continue to play hard and do the best we can to win some games," he said.
The Cardinals must overcome the loss of a 2,000 yard rusher and two offensive linemen in a tougher district. Morris and Doria know their senior leadership will be counted on.
“I need to lead by example, show my team that you can't stop,” Doria said. “You got to keep going and you have to work hard.”
“Honestly, anybody can step up to be a leader,” Morris said. “It's honestly just about taking charge and make sure your team is behind you on everything. Just make sure you know you got to lead by example.
"You can't just tell your teammates to be doing something and you’re not doing it. So that's main thing, to lead by example and do right by your team and you shouldn't have no problems then,” he said.
Southside will begin the new season against Corpus Christi Moody at home at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 31.