HARLINGEN – They were stoked, primed and ripped.
The Harlingen High School football players sat in the back of a truck, waiting to roll with the parade, talking about tonight’s game.
“We’re just going to do what we have to do,” said Edwin Gasca, 17, defensive end.
“Number 90,” he declared, pulling out his shirt. “We’ve been doing a lot of hard training. That’s what we do.”
Numerous floats moved slowly down 13th Street on the way to the pep rally in the HHS gym last night. The rally was in preparation for the game tonight against Weslaco High School at Boggus Stadium.
Trucks and trailers packed full of student organizations and athletic teams moved out of the parking lot and down the street.
Many talked about wanting to enjoy their senior year as much as possible.
“We are pretty excited, especially as seniors, this is our last year,” said Erica Flores, 18, a member of the HHS Girls Volleyball Team.
Coaches felt the parade was a great experience for the students.
“I feel good,” said Ashley Moncivaiz, head girls basketball coach.
“It’s a great opportunity for thei girls to support the football team,” she said. “They’ve got the basketball players here and the cheerleaders.”
The basketball season begins in a couple of weeks, and the girls are working hard to get ready.
Nadia Flores, 16, said the team lost quite a few seniors and they’ve had to build the team back up.
“We are improving,” said Nadia, a junior. “We are getting ready for the season.”
Candy sailed into the air and landed on the street as onlooked reached out to grab them. Olivia Garza and Sarina Cruz, both 16 and HHS juniors, were getting a kick out of all the fanfare.
“I like the enthusiasm of everyone,” Sarina said. She looked at the football players and stated matter-of-factly, “They are going to win.”
Olivia laughed and said, “So sure.”
One of the football players riding with Edwin, a team captain, stood and waved a large Cardinal flag. The truck was immediately followed by a second group of players who tossed small white footballs to eager fans.
Some of those fans, like 22-year-old Robert Saenz, are HHS graduates. He watched with interest as the floats rolled by.
“It’s actually nice,” he said. “I used to be a Cardinal. It brings me back to my time in high school. It shows we have spirit.”
Some of those in the parade weren’t from Harlingen High School. Tommy Aguilar, 39, came to see his daughter ride by with the Lee Means Elementary Student Council.
“She was very excited,” he said of his 9-year-old daughter.
A crew from the KHGN Production Class stood on a corner filming the procession.
“It was for the parade floats,” said James Montelongo, 17. “We were introducting them.”
One large truck passed by, with a distinctive bright yellow sign which read, “TeamWalkerPete: Forever in Our Hearts.”
The sign was in honor of Nick Peters, 17, who died Monday of leukemia.
The parade proceeded to the gym for the pep rally and then everyone went to the bonfire at the Harlingen School for Health Professions.