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Titans look to avoid repeat of last year's opener

By Keldy Ortiz
Aug. 29, 2013 at 3:29 a.m.


GONZALES AT VICTORIA EAST

• WHERE: Memorial Stadium

• WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday

• RADIO: KCTI, 1450 AM (Gonzales); KNAL, 1410 AM (Victoria).

• TICKETS: On sale at the VISD Athletic Office 3001 Miori Lane, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; &6 reserved; $5 general admission; $3 student; All tickets at the gate are $7.

For Victoria East, Friday will not include practices or scrimmages.

Friday night starts the beginning of a new season, one that includes a game against Gonzales.

"I've been ready since we lost to them last year," Titans quarterback Jonathan Ortega said. "The first game means a lot."

Ortega was not playing at the quarterback position this time last year. Seniors Mark Cavazos and Cameron Schultz were and are now gone.

Back, however, are 13 returning starters for Titans coach Roland Gonzalez, who remembers last season's 27-6 defeat very well.

"We've been working for a long time to get to this point," Gonzalez said. "This is not the ultimate end for us, but it is definitely the beginning for us."

After losing to the Apaches, the Titans finished their non-district schedule going 1-3 and eventually fended the season 3-8 and went to the playoffs, while the Apaches missed out on postseason play.

Gonzalez doesn't believe Friday's game will be a measuring stick for the rest of the season.

"We've been preaching to our kids that it's a marathon; it's not a sprint," Gonzalez said. "Our goal is to improve every week. I'm preaching the fact that we are having our first home game. We've got to go out and represent ourselves."

Cameron Williams, a junior wide receiver, said he is looking forward to having a chance for the Titans to redeem themselves this time around.

"This is going to be the momentum to our season," Williams said. "And if we win this game, it's going to be big for us, and we got a lot of new kids that can step in our starters' place if we need help."

"It sets the tone," Ortega said about Friday's game. "You come out and beat them, it sets the tone - we're going to come out and end up winning games. We got to keep coming out and play hard every game."

Gonzalez said Friday will be an opportunity to play in front of the home crowd.

"We've worked hard for this opportunity," he said. "It's important that we go out and give a good effort and playing on our home turf and that should mean a great deal to us."

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