Ever since Jesse Castro first saw his older brothers at football practice, he knew right then and there he wanted to play the sport.
At the age of 8, Castro first picked up a football and groomed himself into playing quarterback.
Over the next 10 years, Castro experienced a lot while playing the game of football and learned valuable life lessons along the way.
Little did he know that he would soon become the Valley Morning Star’s All-Star Most Valuable Player.
Castro was also awarded Offensive Player of the Year during the Cardinals’ annual football banquet.
Castro wishes to pursue a degree in criminal justice and serve as game warden one day in the future.
Q: What was a memorable game or moment in your time as a Cardinal?
A: When we won the Battle of the Arroyo because we put up a fight until the last seconds and came out victorious.
Q: Have you always played the quarterback position? If not, what other position(s) have you played?
A: I’ve been playing the quarterback position since I started playing football. I also played wide receiver my sophomore year.
Q: What was it like to play Cardinal football?
A: It was a great experience being a Cardinal football player. Getting the opportunity to play under the lights was amazing. Also making memories that’ll last a life time.
Q: How has football helped you in other areas of your life?
A: Cardinal football has helped me become the young man I am today.
Q: What was it like training during the offseason?
A: I learned to adapt and overcome adversity and whatever came my way.
Q: How do you think playing football will impact the rest of your life?
A: Cardinal football will impact the rest of my life by facing adversity and not running from it. Also when life gets hard, I will never give up.
Q: What’s a message you’d like to give to future Cardinal athletes?
A: To never give up and work hard. Because I truly believe that hard work pays off. Always listen to the coaches and do well in school.
Q: What motivated you to push through the difficult times while playing football?
A: My family, teammates and coaches. Also the offseason helped me out a lot.
Q: How does it feel to be named the Valley Morning Star’s MVP?
A: It feels great knowing I met my goal. Going into the 2016-17 football season, coach Ledesma along with my family and teammates pushed me to achieve my goals. But I’m honored to be named MVP.
Q: Who do you have winning the Super Bowl?
A: I’ve got the Atlanta Falcons because they’ve been playing well on both sides of the ball. Their defense and offense look solid and they will be hard to stop.
VMS All-Star Team
Jesse Castro, Harlingen High
Offensive Player of the Year
Omar Silva, Port Isabel
Defensive Player of the Year
Emilio Garza, San Benito
Newcomer of the Year
Tyrone Harper, San Benito
Coach of the Year
Manny Gomez, Harlingen High
1st Team Offense
Quarterback: Erick Retta, San Benito
Running back: Roy Pedraza, Weslaco East
Wide receivers: Isaiah Trevino, San Benito; Brandon Perez, La Feria; Adrian Torres, Hayes Duffy, Harlingen High
Offensive line: Julio Pecina, San Benito; Oscar Del Abra, Port Isabel; Christian Herrera, Harlingen High; Abel Villarreal, Harlingen South; Zachary Cordova, La Feria
Kicker: Giovanni Guillen
1st Team Defense
Defensive ends: Christopher Bode, Port Isabel; Brandon Bennett, Harlingen South
Defensive tackles: Marco Garcia, Rio Hondo; John Alvarez, San Benito
Linebackers: Richard Moreno, San Benito; Zach Fayyad, Harlingen South; Darian Cortez, Raymondville
Secondary: Joshua Martinez, Harlingen High; Robert Ceballos, La Feria; Jarod Stroud, Lyford
Punter: Josiah Ortega, Rio Hondo
2nd Team Offense
Quarterback: Frank Moreno, Lyford
Running back: Gilbert Montemayor, Harlingen South
Wide receivers: Riley Sauceda; Julian Trevino, La Feria; Kaynon Fuentes, Harlingen High
Offensive line: Ty Rhyner, Rio Hondo; Joseph Hernandez, Lyford; Joseph Torres, Port Isabel; Christian Herrera, Harlingen High; Brandon Perez, Weslaco
Kicker: Jose Alas-Meza, Rio Hondo
2nd Team Defense
Defensive ends: Ryan Reza, San Benito; Michael Adameit, Lyford
Defensive tackles: Jorge Jaime, Harlingen High; Juan Delgado, Rio Hondo
Linebackers: Sam Gonzalez, Harlingen High; Javier Gonzalez, Lyford; Victory Luna, La Feria
Secondary: Ricky Gonzalez, Port Isabel; Jacob Posas, Raymondville; Pete Contreras, La Feria
Punter: Deion Castillo, Raymondville