Bloomington looks to end 18-year playoff drought

Rey Castillo By Rey Castillo

Aug. 11, 2017 at 9 p.m.
Updated Aug. 12, 2017 at 6 a.m.

Senior quarterback Rene Rodriguez looks to throw during Bloomington's practice at Bobcat Stadium on Friday.

Senior quarterback Rene Rodriguez looks to throw during Bloomington's practice at Bobcat Stadium on Friday.   Nicolas Galindo for The Victoria Advocate

BLOOMINGTON - Rene Rodriguez set a list of goals he wanted to meet during his senior season at Bloomington.

But the most important was helping his beloved town end an 18-year playoff drought.

"This city would love to see it," Rodriguez said. "Especially as a senior, because that's something big for Bloomington."

Rodriguez is entering his second season behind center after transferring from Victoria East a season ago.

Rodriguez and the Bobcats are looking to run a spread offense in hopes of an aggressive approach.

"It's my senior year, so I want to go out with a bang," Rodriguez said. "The new offense is going to help us, so I think it will be a great season."

The Bobcats, who finished 1-9 last season and 0-6 in District 14-3A, Division II, will look at last year's positives as a guide in 2017.

Third-year coach Adam Arroyo has no doubt his team can do it.

"It's a tough district," Arroyo said. "I think we were the only team that had East Bernard punt last year on the first series. We were down five points in the third quarter against Boling, and we had chances to beat Schulenburg. We will create our own destiny and do what we need to do. The kids are excited, and I feel that we're going to have a really good season."

The Bobcats proved over the offseason that ending their playoff drought was a priority.

Arroyo announced the addition of three new coaches with playoff and championship experience.

Alex Gutierrez, who coached at Class 5A Edinburg Vela last season, will coach the wide receivers and outside linebackers.

Chris Horn, who coached at Sealy and reached the state final with Lexington, will be the offensive coordinator, while Russell Gammel from Corpus Christi Calallen, will coach the offensive and defensive lines.

"These are really good coaches that we brought in this year," Arroyo said. "It brings new intensity, and I think the kids are really excited."

The Bobcats are also expecting big things from running back/linebacker Deidrick Miller and wide receiver/safety Sebastian Castro.

Miller was sidelined last season after suffering an ACL tear.

"It's been tough going through the ACL tear," said Miller, who has been named to the all-district team twice. "Since then, my team has been pushing me. I still have a lot to go through, but I believe we're going to do good this year. Last year has given us motivation to do good this year."

"I've been trying to work hard and get better," Castro added. "We're going to work hard to make sure we have a better season. Coach Arroyo has been telling us to work hard, work for a better season and end the drought."

Junior linebacker Andrew Martinez knows if the Bobcats want to win, they'll have to play together.

"We need to learn how to complete games," Martinez said. "We had the lead against Boling in the second half, and those guys made the semifinals. Our new coaches are going to help. Coach Horn, I like that guy. All of the new coaches are really good. We want to win for our fans because we finished 1-9 last season and they still went out to support us."

Like last season, the Bobcats open the season against St. Joseph. The Flyers pulled away late to win 20-14.

"Everyone has to step up," Rodriguez said. "Even me and returning players, because I know this team is eager to win."



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