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Beeville and Gonzales will have new head coaches when the season begins Aug. 30.

Mike Waldie was named the athletic director and head football coach at Gonzales in February, and Chris Soza was named athletic director and head football coach for the Trojans in April.

Soza, now in his second stint in Beeville, led the Trojans to the playoffs four times in five seasons.

“It’s really special,” Soza said. “I was in Beeville for five years, and they were good to me and my family. My son and daughter graduated from here, so when I got the phone call, it was really special.”

Waldie will lead a Gonzales team that has made the playoffs 14 of the last 15 seasons.

“It’s not a rebuilding year for the program, but we do have a huge battle ahead of us,” Waldie said. “A brand-new offense, brand-new defense, new coaches, new names and three guys back who have started a Friday night football game. We built something in a short amount of time that I’m proud of from a culture and relationship standpoint.”

Waldie was the offensive coordinator at Pearland last season.

He replaces Kodi Crane, who stepped down after five seasons to become the athletic director and head football coach at Caddo Mills.

Waldie was the head coach at Daingerfield for the 2016 and 2017 seasons and the head coach at Woodville for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

He was also a head coach at Luling for two seasons and an assistant at Jacksonville, Mount Pleasant, Nacogdoches and Livingston.

“I hope that it’s helped,” Waldie said of his past success. “Not that Gonzales is in a rebuilding year, but we went into a 1-9 program and were able to lead them to back-to-back district championships.”

The Apaches advanced to the Class 4A area round after posting a 6-6 record.

The Trojans finished 7-4 but were eliminated in the bi-district round.

Gonzales will look to returning starters Desmond Bolden, Nico Anzaldua, Arbreyon Dora, Lion Williamson, Diego Diaz Deleon and Heath Henke.

The Trojans will welcome back quarterback Seth Gomez, who battled injuries last season.

“He’s probably one of the best quarterbacks I’ve had the pleasure of coaching,” Soza said. “He’s a big kid and a strong kid who can help us open this offense. He will be huge.”

Beeville returns 17 starters on offense and defense.

“This is our seniors’ last go-round, and they want to take the district championship,” Soza said. “Our goal is to make the playoffs, and anything can happen after that.”

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Rey Castillo is the assistant sports editor for the Victoria Advocate. He may be reached at rcastillo@vicad.com, 361-574-1240 or on Twitter @reycastillo361.

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