GOLIAD — Austin Ochoa left the Goliad practice field Thursday night and headed for Dallas.
Ochoa had barely finished playing 7on7 with his Refugio teammates when he was on the road for a baseball tournament.
“I’m just trying to get better all around,” Ochoa said. “Get better at football and get better at baseball. I want to stay in shape and keep my body healthy.”
Ochoa understands he will most likely have to decide between the sports sometime during his senior year.
Refugio’s Austin Ochoa throws a touchdown pass against George West in a 7on7 game in Goliad. pic.twitter.com/GH8BbrXtmm— Mike Forman (@mikeforman21) June 14, 2019
He will be the starting quarterback for the Bobcats, who are ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 2A, Division I by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine.
Ochoa also started at shortstop and pitched for Refugio, which advanced to the regional final this season.
“I like baseball and I like football,” Ochoa said. “It’s just like I’m not sure yet. I mean I love them both.”
Ochoa is playing for Kyle Chapman Baseball out of Houston, and recently attended a quarterback camp at the University of Texas.
“It was pretty awesome. It was an awesome experience,” he said. “There was a lot of talent out there. There were no receivers so we did mostly quarterback stuff. We did a lot of footwork and threw it into those little nets out there.”
Refugio coach Jason Herring knows Ochoa will have a difficult decision to make and wants him to enjoy the summer.
“We just let him compete,” Herring said. I encourage him to do both. That’s what we want our kids to do. We want them to play every single thing they can possibly play. We just work with Austin. He’s here as much as he can.
“He’s balancing baseball, he’s balancing quarterback camps, he’s balancing 7on7, and it’s just part of the deal. Whatever time I get him, it’s invaluable. I don’t get all bunged up about the other. He’s a great baseball player and he’s a great football player and he’s got a chance to play in college in either one of them. I want him to explore all that and enjoy it.”
Ochoa had fun playing in his first 7on7 games of the summer and is looking forward to the season.
Refugio quarterback Austin Ochoa after 7on7 in Goliad. pic.twitter.com/hxv0lEDCBv— Mike Forman (@mikeforman21) June 14, 2019
“It’s going to be good,” he said. “I’m ready to get after it.”
Learning the system
Goliad linebacker Grant Garnett knows the Tigers have some rebuilding to do the season.
But he doesn’t mind going into the season ranked No. 8 in the Texas Football Class 3A, Division I poll.
“I think we should do well,” he said, “as long as we put in the work and be gritty.”
The Tigers are using 7on7 games as a learning experience for their new players.
Goliad linebacker Grant Garnett after 7on7 in Goliad. pic.twitter.com/F2NXUPxr5a— Mike Forman (@mikeforman21) June 14, 2019
“We’re trying to teach the young kids how to cover and the new system that they’re learning,” Garnett said. “We hope they progress every day.”
Goliad is also working on its pass coverage, which could be critical in the upcoming season.
Goliad’s Shaun Justice intercepts a pass against Cuero during 7-on-7 in Goliad. pic.twitter.com/KHYFGT8V8f— Mike Forman (@mikeforman21) June 14, 2019
“Our defensive ends and defensive tackles are going to have to get a good pass rush or our corners and free safety are going to have to lock down,” Garnett said. “That’s how we’re going to win. I think we can stop the run game.”
Gobblers bounce back
Cuero went 0-3 in its 7on7 state-qualifying tournament Saturday at Gobbler Stadium.
The Gobblers had a much better showing Thursday, defeating Goliad, Refugio and George West.
Cuero completes a pass against Goliad during 7on7 in Goliad. pic.twitter.com/kXzNC6CTkX— Mike Forman (@mikeforman21) June 14, 2019
Junior J.D. Nataro handled the quarterback duties for Cuero, which outscored the opposition 68-32.