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For Coach Tomas Garcia and his Juarez-Lincoln Huskies, there’s no place like home. The Juarez-Lincoln coach, Garcia has never lost a home game. Unfortunately for Huskies’ fans it has been a completely different story on the road as Garcia’s squad failed to win a road game all of last year and lost to Rio Hondo in their first road game this year. But with the Huskies’ 13-7 win over the Palmview Lobos last Friday, however, Juarez-Lincoln’s six game road losing streak has finally come to an end.
The fact that it was both teams’ District 30-5A opener made the outcome much more meaningful than the continuation or termination of any streak. Even so, Garcia is glad to get the streak behind him.
While the Huskies could only manage 32 yards passing against the Lobos, their 214 yards of rushing were enough to give Juarez-Lincoln a 1-0 district record entering tonight’s game against the Edinburg North Cougars. Unfortunately for Garcia and his squad, the victory over Palmview came at a cost no coach ever wants to have to pay.
“It was a good victory for us,” said Garcia. “The important thing was to start 1-0 in district. But it was a tough win because we ended up losing Ramiro (starting quarterback Ramiro Garza) for at least the next two weeks if not for the rest of the year with a possible broken clavicle. He still has swelling in his shoulder so he’ll have to go back on Friday and if it’s fractured he’ll be out for pretty much the rest of the year.”
“Even in a worst case scenario we might get Ramiro back in time for the playoffs but it’s tough to lose somebody with three years of experience,” added Garcia. “We were kind of devastated when it happened but we have all the confidence in Edward Garcia getting the job done.”
Last season, the Huskies fell to the Cougars by a score of 31-6, and Coach Garcia knows what his team needs to do to come back this year and extend their home-game winning streak.
“We’re excited about playing Edinburg North,” said Garcia. “They’re one of the top teams in the Valley and as I’ve always said, to be the best you’ve got to beat the best. We’re just going to have to play mistake-free football, eliminate those mental mistakes we had against Palmview, and put four good quarters together.”
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“Last year, we were in the same boat,” added Garcia. “We were 2-1 and they were 3-0, but I believe that last year we were still questioning our ability to play at the 5A level. But we’re counting on the experience we gained last year by going 5-5 and winning several close games to carry over into this year. It’s going to be tough against the Cougars because they’re big and they’re fast but that’s why we play the games.”
As if preparing to go up against one of the Valley’s elite teams was not enough of a challenge for the Huskies, they have had to deal with the fact that their practice field has been better suited for a swim team all week than it has been for a football team.
“As a result of all the rain we’ve had this week our practice field is flooded so we’ve had to practice in the gym,” explained Garcia. “We even had to practice in the wrestling rooms yesterday because they had volleyball games going in the gym. But as I told the kids, ‘It’s not where you practice but how you practice and as long as we get our reps in we should be alright’”.
As for what a win over the Cougars will mean to his program, Garcia said, “We’ve always been known as a cross country or a soccer school so not only will a win put us at 2-0 in a very tough district, but it will also put us on the football map.”
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.