By DAVID LOPEZ
The San Benito Greyhounds will be back this Friday with a solid team, showing up to their first game against Brownsville Hanna with eight returning starters, four on offense and four on defense.
Among these is the receiver and senior Kyler Castilleja, known for his quick touchdown runs, who was named as Dave Campbell Football’s Preseason Offensive MVP of the 32-6A district. The four-year varsity player will focus on his new position while still playing as running back when necessary.
Coach Dan Gomez has not named any team captains yet, but Castilleja said he will attempt to be more of a leader now that he is in his senior year.
“I think just the work ethic that I bring to every game and every practice that we have has made me the player I am,” Castilleja said. “And this year I’m feeling like I’m going to be more talkative to lead and motivate my teammates.
The ’Hounds have been training for a month through zoom, with players finding whatever object or resources to work out at home.
“For the most part, I’ve been here at home, working in my backyard, or sometimes in the street, to do my conditioning,” Castilleja said.
For Kyler and close to 15 of his teammates, participating in this summer’s 7on7 tournaments proved to be a proper way to stay in shape and practice football.
“I think it just kept me ready for the football environment, and just being around it and keeping myself in a football attitude.”
Over the summer, the ’Hounds Played in six tournaments with the 7on7, playing between 40 to 50 games. The boys went undefeated in one of two leagues but lost in the semi-finals at almost every tournament. If these games were any indication, the Greyhounds are greased up and ready to roll into the fall season.
“We all have ambition for the game. We’re ready to go. We’ve been waiting for this pretty much our whole lives. For a lot of us, this will be our senior year, so we’re all pretty pumped up,” Castilleja said.
“It feels good because if we didn’t have a season, a lot of us wouldn’t know what to do without it. For a lot of us, it’s our life.”
Finally, Castilleja said that fans would not go home disappointed despite the restrictions and the current health crisis.
“Our team is going to be coming with a winning attitude to every game that we go to, every practice, everything we do, so we’re expecting to go pretty far this year and do something that’s never happened before,” he said.