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Vet’s ‘Four Horsemen’ graduate, look to college ball

20110610_VMHS-v-RGC-Football_111If playing spring ball without them wasn’t enough to adequately show they would not be back, perhaps the month of June will. An unfortunate acknowledgement by David Gilpin is coming as his own version of the “Four Horsemen” will not be around to lead voluntary team workouts at 7:30 in the morning this summer as they did last year. Yes, the workhorses of Veterans Memorial Football are on to greener pastures.

The four—Jacob Garza, Kent Warren, Raul Becerril and Randy Lee Flores—are all scheduled to take their talents to the next level. While the occasion is bittersweet, the athletes are excited about what is next.

Garza has signed with West Texas A&M and looks to make an immediate impact. Though moving from the bottom of the state to the top will be a long distance, Garza has family in the area and felt good about the campus.

20110610_KENT-WARREN“It was the best choice for my family and I,” the all-district safety says. “I felt good there. The environment felt friendly.”

Garza looks to make an immediate impact for his new team. His now former coach, says the former safety and wide receiver possesses Division I talent. However, his new coach at West Texas sees Garza playing offense as the inside receiver. Though No. 6 will do whatever the team asks, he says he is most comfortable reading the offense, reacting to the ball and then making a play.

“He will play defense,” says a confident Gilpin.

Warren's story to the next level is unique as the former Patriot tight end could have attended any college in the country, based solely on his academic record. However, the tall athlete who makes a great target for quarterbacks and possesses a body size ready for the next level, chose to attend Valparaiso so he could continue playing the sport he loves.

20110610_VMHS-v-Weslaco-East-Football_031Becerril and Flores will remain teammates in their college career as they will both attend Iowa Wesleyan. Flores was the first to find a spot with the team, but kept letting the coaches know about the speedy wide receiver Becerril. In time, the coaches came to the same conclusion that the small but very talented athlete could play for them as well.

All four are working hard to prepare themselves for the academic and athletic challenges before them. However, at this time when the literal connections to Veterans Memorial are slowly fading away as the guys will put on new pads, a new uniform and play with new teammates, they will not forget the Patriots of 2010.

“I thank [Coach Gilpin] for all his hard work for us and this program,” Garza says. “My senior year was a pretty perfect season because of him.”

Becerril adds, “It's not just football, its family.”

For Gilpin, seeing the Four Horsemen walk away is not easy. The coach took over the football program after the 2008 season and worked with the 

20110610__FOOTBALL_Area_Playoff_VMHSvsVictoriaEast_Alamodome_JB__6195“These guys have given so much of themselves to this program, to this coaching staff and to me personally. I hate to see these four guys walk off this program. Special young men, dear to my heart.”

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