Warhorse football players and coaches comment on championship season

For Warhorse Nation fans that traveled to Floresville to support the Devine Warhorses against the Navarro Panthers a couple of Friday nights ago they saw a great performance put on by their beloved football team. The Warhorses played with every grain of grit they could possibly muster in their attempt at upsetting the heavily favored Panthers, who happen to be advancing to the Regional Quarterfinal round this weekend.
From fighting injuries throughout the season to claim a share of District 14-4A championship to the final buzzer in the bi-district matchup, Head Coach Paul Gomez’s squad put on quite the show for all 48 minutes of the contest. In a game that the outcome did not go in Devine’s favor, the Warhorses have absolutely no reason to hang their heads in shame.
Quarterback/defensive back Chad Lawson
We overcame a lot of adversity this year and did some great things. We played our hearts out against Navarro. A few things did not go our way and in the end we came up just short. It was heartbreaking for our whole team, especially the seniors.
It was a memorable season and one that I will never forget. I will always remember all of my teammates. Warhorse forever!!!
Running back/defensive back Grant Collins
I want to thank my team for making my senior year my best one yet. I was just happy to play one last time for my team and this town. We gave it our all last Friday night and had a few things gone our way, we would have won. I will never forget my time as a Warhorse.
Running back/outside linebacker Brady Cardenas
I could not be more proud of my teammates for leaving everything on the field that Friday night. We went full speed for four quarters and played our hearts out. There is nothing but love for my teammates.
I am sorry I was not with my teammates since day one. Coming back to this team and family was the best decision I have ever made. I cherish every game, every practice, and every day that I spent with each of you.
Thank you for welcoming me to the team with open arms and with nothing but love. We never missed a beat with each other. The memories we have shared will never be forgotten. I have nothing but love for you guys.
Center/defensive end Tristan Ortiz
I just want to say that I am so proud of everyone that was with the team going through the season and that I will miss everyone next year.
Wide receiver/defensive back Justin Contreras
We had a great season. I was glad to be a part of this team. I will miss the seniors because they had a big impact on my desire to play the game.
Next season, I am looking forward to working toward another district championship and going deep into the state playoffs.
Wide receiver/defensive back Guido Zapata
The game against Navarro was a hard fought battle. Unfortunately, we came up short in the end but I am still very proud of my team. We came out ready to play and fought our hearts out until the final seconds of the game. I am blessed to have played with such a great group of guys and will never forget my team and my senior year.
Offensive line/defensive tackle John Schnautz
We had a great season and I had a good time playing with this group of guys. We never played for ourselves; we played for the team. I feel like we should have won this game and should still be playing. We were only a couple of plays away from advancing.
We look to a great team next season. We will have fun again and play hard every time out.
Defensive Coordinator George Villa
I could not be more proud of our team. It was a unique team in that we had kids from all different backgrounds that came together as a family. On the field and in the dressing room after the loss, these young men demonstrated how much they care for each other and how they played for each other.
Through the game of football, they have learned many life lessons that they can carry with them throughout the game of life. I would like to thank the seniors for paving the road for the underclassmen as to what it means to be a Warhorse. It is not about the wins, it is about the relationships made while playing this wonderful game.
Special Team Coordinator Scott Taylor
Super proud of the way these guys never quit or folded. First time in a long time that we had a 1,000 plus yard receiver in Guido Zapata. He had many other rushing and return yards for the year. My other wide outs Isaiah Oropeza, Joey Seguin, Demi Monreal, Colin Dishman, and Justin Contreras really worked hard and improved throughout the season. Thanks guys for all the hard work.
Although it was not an ideal situation with having to bring up the JV players after being hit with injuries once again, all of those players received quality repetitions and instruction from all coaches during practice. Two actually began the year on JV and eventually started games or played a good chunk of the game are Kaleb Nira and Mason Burford.
I personally thank all the kids and the other coaches for their hard work and support as special team coordinator this year. It was fun and we did many good things.
Coach Gomez deserves praise for the way he handled all the injuries over the last two years and how he led these young men to overcome all sorts of adversities and distractions. His leadership and mantra of family and heart really rang true this year.
Tight ends/linebacker coach Evan Eads
It was a blessing not to have to coach effort or energy this season. The linebackers were physical, almost to a fault. They were willing to do anything Coach Villa needed week in and week out, which included Jayce Hackebeil playing defensive end late in the year. They all wanted to make plays. Good luck to senior Brady Cardenas in his other sports.
I cannot wait until the next year for the Sergio Martinez, Leonard Pompa and the other returners to make a run in the playoffs. I love my job and these are great young men!
Head Coach Paul Gomez
We are extremely proud of these young men. They had to overcome so much as a team but still played with class and dignity every Friday night and have represented Devine the right way. It’s the lessons learned in football that will help them out in the real world.
The seniors helped turn this season around for us. Even with the injuries, they did not let that interfere with our preseason goals.
I thank my coaching staff who routinely work 60-hour weeks for their tireless efforts. They are great men that care so much about their players and this community. They spend more time with our athletes than they do their own families so I am forever grateful.
Thank you to all the parents who allow us to coach their sons hard. We are blessed to be in a blue-collar community. We would like to thank this fine group of seniors for leading our team and helping us persevere through the tough times.
By Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer