Bearkat asst. coaches hoping to replace Leal
A pair of Raymondville High School assistant football coaches have submitted their applications in hopes of being named as the replacement of Head Football Coach Alex Leal who stepped down from his position in December, though he will continue serving as Raymondville Independent School District’s athletic director.
PETE SORIA (Linebacker Coach and Softball Coach)
In his 11 year career, Soria has made stops at Lyford and San Perlita before arriving in Raymondville where he has been for the past eight years.
“Basically, I want the job because the kids respond very well to me, first and foremost,” Soria said. “I have worked very well with our staff, I am an old Raymondville boy so I know both the community and how athletics works. I also know all of the strengths and weaknesses of our athletes as well as that of our coaches.”
Soria said there is a plenty of ability within the Bearkat program.
“Raymondville has extremely talented athletes not only at the high school level but also at the junior high and at the elementary level,” Soria said. “We repeatedly see lots of talent coming up through our ranks. That is why Raymondville always produces good talent as far as our athletes are concerned.”
If given the head coaching position, Soria said he would tweak very little in regards to the Bearkats’ current playbook.
“Our offense fits our style of kids, the ‘ open- offense’ compliments us because of our quickness,” Soria said. “The only thing I might change would be in goal- line situations, we might consider going under-center from there and bringing it in to use a little bit more power once we are in the red zone; or at least inside the tenyard line. But those are decisions we make from day to day and depending on who we are facing.”
Ditto when it comes to Raymondville’s defense.
“Defensively, I like using the ‘4-3’ and the ‘50’ formations which is what we are running right now.” Soria said. “The only exception is that we would read and stunt a little bit more.”
Soria is confident that he is the man to lead both RHS’s staff and players.
“ The talent we have in Raymondville as far as the players and the athletes, all we need is someone to lead them in the right direction,” Soria said. “We have tremendous hard working coaches, so if I get this job I know we can continue being successful.”
The assistant coach added that he is seeking the head job as a way of contributing to the overall Bearkat football program and not just his own personal interests.
“It (getting the head coaching job) would mean a lot to me, but I am putting my name in the hat more for my children because I am looking to give the program some stability,” Soria said. “I do not want this program to be a stepping stone for someone hired from the outside, someone who in two years will move on to somewhere else. I want our kids to have stability because you really can’t produce champions without it.”
JOE GONZALES (Offensive Coordinator and Track Coach)
In his 34 years of coaching, Joe Gonzales is well traveled having coached at Cotulla, McAllen Memorial, Palacios, Sinton, Mercedes, Raymondville (from the late 1980’s to the early 1990’s), Donna, San Benito, Hidalgo and again at Raymondville where he is currently in his sixth year.
“The reason I feel that I would be the right man for the job is because I have been employed as a teacher and coach at Raymondville Independent School District for several years,” Gonzales said. “I have a deep passion for coaching football and helping student athletes develop into outstanding individuals so that they can excel into higher levels in playing the game not only on the field but also in the classroom. Teaching and coaching go hand in hand on and off the field.”
Gonzales said he is the right person to mentor Raymondville’s young players.
“As a coach, one takes every opportunity to make this game meaningful in a player’s life,” Gonzales said. “Teaching how to play football helps to build a player’s mind and way of thinking. Making a difference in a young person’s life sets the foundation for future productive and responsible students and citizens.”
The offensive coordinator is also confident he can help extend the Bearkats’ success.
“I have been a part of the Bearkat program that has been very successful and has produced district championship teams that have progressed to different levels of the playoffs,” Gonzales said. “Having promoted and sustained the program and been part of the team’s accomplishments, I feel that I can help continue the team’s momentum.”
Gonzales - has studied his offensive craft under some notable gurus the last couple of years - said he would only make small alterations to the current Bearkat game-plan if he is given the job.
“The offense will not change, we might just add a couple of new wrinkles,” Gonzales said. “Having visited with the offensive coordinator of Tulsa University, the offensive coordinator for the national champion Auburn Tigers (Gus Malzahn), our offense will only get better. I am currently trying to set up a visit with the new offensive coordinator of the Texas Longhorns (Bryan Harsin), who is the former Boise State Offensive Coordinator.”
Superintendent Johnny Pineda said approximately 30 candidates have expressed interest in the job. Deadline to submit an application is January 31st.