Ryan Castillo looks to guide Hounds’ D vs Mustangs

SAN BENITO — The San Benito Greyhounds defense has been one of the most physical units in the Valley this season and senior linebacker Ryan Castillo has been one key reason for its success.

Castillo has 77 total tackles and has 13 tackles for loss this season.

Castillo and the Hounds host McAllen Memorial in a Class 6A Division I area-round playoff game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bobby Morrow Stadium.

Q: You are a part of a special group. Talk about your relationship with your fellow seniors?

A: Me and my fellow seniors are like brothers to me, as well as the whole team. A lot of these guys I’ve played ball with since I was a little kid and we all have a history. I always do what I can for my team on and off the field, and I know they would do the same for me.

Q: As a linebacker, what are the toughest challenges you face?

A: Challenges that I have are making sure that my alignments and communication are on point throughout practice and on game day.

Q: You and fellow linebackers Pedro Gomez and Payne Guajardo are a strong linebacking corps. How have you three become so good?

A: Coach (Dan) Gomez and Coach (Michael) Mull make sure we stay fast-paced throughout practice and that we focus on what our jobs for our position are so that way when game day comes we will be ready.

Q: In the last two games, the defense has only allowed seven points. What has been working for you all?

A: I feel like we’ve just been getting better as a whole unit as we’ve gone through the season. Our alignments are more on point and our communication on the field is great. Those two things help us out a lot.

Q: McAllen Memorial is up next. What challenges do they present to you as a defense?

A: They give different looks so we just need to make sure that we recognize them and that we adjust to them correctly.

Q: How are you taking this season all in? With an undefeated season, a district title and now a playoff run, just how much fun is it?

A: I’m enjoying every moment of it. The whole coaching staff and team put in a lot of hours to earn the season that we have right now and seeing how proud they are… I couldn’t ask for anything better. I’m proud to play for this town and I love the energy that our fans show week in and week out.

Q: Do you have a pre-game meal?

A: Yes, the coaches serve us spaghetti before the game to make sure that we don’t play on an empty stomach.

Q: What is your game day routine?

A: We report to the sports complex in the morning, we go over our plan for the game, we go to school, and then we come back and get ready for the game.

Q: Who is your favorite NFL LB and why?

A: LawrenceTaylor. That man had energy to spare. Every game, he’d go all out from start to finish and he was great at penetrating the pocket and he was just a complete nightmare for whoever had to block him.

Q: It’s Thanksgiving. What are you most thankful for?

A: I’m thankful for the people that make me happy in my life. My family and friends are the people that keep me going.