SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Veterans Memorial’s first season of play at the varsity level has been a dream.
After losing the first two games of the season to Floresville and Champion, the Patriots have run the table in District 13-5A with six straight wins. They’ve done it with a balanced attack, amassing more than 1,200 yards on the ground and 931 yards in the air. Now, the Patriots prepare for a showdown against perennial powerhouse Wagner with a chance to clinch their first-ever district title.
“It’s our first opportunity to go to the playoffs,” head football coach Richard Mendoza said. “I know our community is excited about it and our kids are excited about it.”
“It’s going to be very different atmosphere for sure,” stated Wagner offensive lineman Rafael Zertuche. “Since we are sister schools, it’s a lot more rivalry, it’s a lot more competition.”
Meanwhile, the Thunderbirds are 7-0 in district, 8-1 overall. Their only loss came against the top ranked, undefeated Judson Rockets by a narrow 35-28 margin. But since that game, the Thunderbirds have reeled off seven straight wins by averaging 66.5 points per game, compiling over 3,200 yards on the ground. Duel threat quarterback Tobias Weaver leads the way for this offense - he has accounted for 13 touchdowns in the air and another 11 on the ground.
“They are full of athletes, I can’t lie about that,” Patriots linebacker Ryu Williams said. “They are very talented and they’re a good program. We’re just going to look forward to it.”
We will find out who is left at the top of the District 13-5A standings when the Thunderbirds and the Patriots collide at Rutledge Stadium in Converse, Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
”It’s going to be a great atmosphere,” said Wagner head coach Charles Bruce. “It’s the Freedom Bowl. It has a bowl name plus rival schools and a district championship. It’s going to be an outstanding environment.”