Despite another season with another new coach, La Villa bent on success

LA VILLA — If there’s been one constant within the La Villa football program these past few years it’s been the instability of its revolving-door coaching staff.

Three years have gone by and three coaches have passed through; and this year the Cardinals have coach number four in “new” head coach Daniel Perez.

Perez, however, seems truly intent on keeping the revolving door shut. Unlike some of his predecessors, Perez has a history of success with the Cardinals and would like nothing more than to take the Cardinals back to the postseason.

“I was here for six years before I left,” said Perez. “Lately I’ve noticed that they (the Cardinals) haven’t been doing too well. They only won one game last year so when I saw the job open up, I applied and got the job. I figured I’d give it another shot and see if I can get them back to where they used to be.

“When I was here, we went to the playoffs five times out of six years, but I’ve noticed the numbers (of players) aren’t where they used to be. We don’t have a JV team, only a varsity. Hopefully we can get more kids to come out and have a JV team and get this team back to where they used to be.”

Up until 2012, Perez was the head coach at La Villa before leaving to Edcouch-Elsa for a defensive coordinator position. Now on his second stint at La Villa, Perez is determined to get the Cardinals back to winning form.

The past five seasons following Perez’s departure have produced a series of mixed results, where La Villa posted 16 victories and 27 losses (2013: 8-3, 2014: 3-7, 2015: 4-7, 2016: 1-10), not including Perez’s final season where the team went 9-2 and reached the playoffs.

The season might still be in its infancy, but Perez can already see some potential.

“I see that they are excited and they are here everyday to work regardless if they’re sore or if they don’t feel good and that is a good sign,” he said.

When hired in March, the first order of change Perez insisted upon was to change the team’s attitude and bring some stability back into the program.

“I wanted to change the culture around here. In the past four years they’ve had four different coaches,” said Perez. “They haven’t had any consistency around here and the work ethic wasn’t there. It’s improved now that we’re here. I don’t know if it’s us, but when you coach a varsity team it’s very demanding.

“I don’t know what happened in the past, but this season the kids have been working and they like what they have been doing, and they’re excited so we’re going to keep on doing what we’ve been doing. The only thing I know is if you work hard good things will happen.”

The Cardinals open the preseason with a scrimmage against Bruni this Friday at home before taking on Hebbronville in the team’s second scrimmage on Aug. 25.