HARLINGEN — The 2017 season wasn’t what Harlingen hoped it be. However, the Cards still have some of the Valley’s best talent. Senior defensive end Sam Alonzo was a key factor to the Cardinals’ defense. Alonzo will play in his final game as a Cardinal in Friday’s Battle of the Arroyo. The Valley Morning Star had a chance to catch up with him.
Q: How has the final week of practice been for you?
A: It’s been really great. I feel like we have had a great week, and we have prepared physically and mentally for this week. We will finish our season strong.
Q: The season went by quickly. When did it hit you that this was your senior season?
A: Once the offseason started last year it hit me knowing it’s going to be my last season as a Harlingen Cardinal. Once I saw the seniors leave, I knew it was my turn to step up and lead the team for this season and also to never have any regrets while on the field.
Q: Looking back, what has been the best memory you have had as a Cardinal?
A: To me it’s creating a brotherhood knowing that no one will break it because we will always have each other’s backs. Not just on the field, but also off the field.
Q: Friday will be the last time you play San Benito. How much fun has it been to be a part of such a historic rivalry?
A: It has been such a rush knowing you have such a big rivalry game coming up, you just get really excited to play and it is a wonderful experience.
Q: What’s the best part of playing San Benito?
A: It is a big rivalry so there will be a lot of fans on both sides of the field, and just running out of the helmet and seeing all of the fans is honestly the best part about playing your rival.
Q: What’s the environment like when you play San Benito?
A: There is a lot of tension between the two cities, but we just try to ignore it and focus on what we have to do and our assignments.
Q: Who is your favorite defense end in the NFL and why?
A: I would have to say J.J. Watt. He is a beast and he never quits on anything. I really look up to him as my role model when I play football and he never backs down from anything.
Q: If you could have dinner with anyone in history who would it be and why?
A: I would have to say (boxer) James J. Braddock. He was very aggressive in the ring and he fought for his family to stay alive. That was his motivation to keep going and keep fighting.
Q: What will be your message be to the underclassmen?
A: Keep fighting, never give up and don’t ever quit on your team because they aren’t just your team. It is a bond that you make with them that only you will understand and keep it strong; never stop grinding and always strive for greatness.