Hawks look to snap skid in Bird Bowl XXV

HARLINGEN — Bird Bowl XXV is this week and the Harlingen South Hawks are looking to snap a nine-year skid against their crosstown rivals.

Both teams are fresh off a bye week and are slated to kickoff their District 32-6A opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Boggus Stadium.

“I think the bye week came at a good time,” said South coach Brian Ricci. “We needed a break to regroup and get ready for a tough district. Last week was more reviewing some things and getting ready for Harlingen, and we worked on some things we needed to fix. This week is a normal practice; we’re back to our normal routine.”

Friday will mark the 25th Bird Bowl and while the Hawks have only won four of those games with their last win coming in 2007, this year’s squad has the pieces in place to make Friday’s contest an interesting one.

Meanwhile, Ricci, who is in his second year at South, said that last season the Bird Bowl was something new.

“I had no idea what to expect last year. Everybody was talking to me about it the first day I got here so I knew it was a big deal,” he said. “Tomorrow (Wednesday) we have a breakfast with Harlingen High. It’s a great thing for our city because the kids enjoy it and we enjoy it. We’re excited for Friday.”

Hawks junior free safety Kaleb Solis, he grew up always wanting to be a part of the Bird Bowl. The Vela Middle School graduate will be making his first Bird Bowl appearance on Friday night.

“Growing up, I always wanted to play in the Bird Bowl,” said Solis. “Being a part of this town and the Bird Bowl is a big part of my family. I’m ready to get out there and play. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. My dad and my uncles all played football at Harlingen High so it’s an ongoing thing. They like to pick on me about it every day, but it’s fun to be a part of it.”