Commentary: Hounds’ 2018 sked has interesting contests vs Calallen, Midland Lee

OK, for the record it’s now 71 days until the start of the 2018 high school football season and, as I promised last week, today we’ll examine the San Benito Greyhounds’ schedule.

The defending District 32-6A champion Hounds, who finished the 2017 campaign an impressive 12-1 and went three rounds deep in the postseason, open the season on Friday, Aug. 31 with an intriguing non-district contest at Calallen.

While the Wildcats are a Class 5A program, they are a perennial state football powerhouse that can compete with just about anyone. Last season they went 13-1 and advanced all the way to the fourth round of the playoffs where they fell to McCallum 20-7. This season-opening matchup should be a good one.

In Week 2, the Hounds hit the road again with a game at Victoria West, which was 5-6 last season and lost in the second round of the playoffs to Kerrville Tivy. This contest is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 7.

After back-to-back road games to open the season, the Hounds’ next four contests are at home, including the annual Battle of the Arroyo.

In Week 3 on Sept. 14 they host the PSJA Bears, in Week 4 on Sept. 21 they take on Laredo United, who they beat in last year’s season opener 23-20, and in Week 5 they close out the non-district slate against Midland Lee in a Saturday afternoon game set to being at 4 p.m. on Sept. 29. Last season the Rebels were 10-3 and advanced to the third round of the Class 6A, Division I playoffs where they lost to Trinity 34-23.

After an open date in Week 6, the Hounds return to action in Week 7 on Oct. 12 and host Harlingen High in the Battle of the Arroyo. After facing the Cardinals in the regular-season finale the past two seasons, the annual intercity rivalry will now kick off the District 32-6A campaign. Last year the Hounds belted the Cards 53-0 to cap off a perfect 10-0 regular season.

Moving on, in Week 8 on Oct. 19 the Hounds travel to Boggus Stadium to take on Harlingen South then in Week 9 on Oct. 26 they host Brownsville Hanna. Last year the Hounds beat the Hawks 48-16 then took care of Hanna 51-27.

In Week 10 on Nov. 1, the Hounds play their one and only Thursday night contest of the regular season when they travel to Brownsville to take on the Rivera Raiders. Last year the Raiders were 0-7 in league play and 1-9 overall, beating only Class 5A Porter in Week 1.

Finally, the Hounds close out the regular season on Nov. 9 with a home game against Los Fresnos, who they beat last year 43-33.

Despite being one of the best teams in the Valley the past few years, the Hounds enter this season with a lot of questions, especially on offense. Gone is star quarterback Erick Retta, wideout Isaiah Trevino and running back Tyrone Harper.

Also gone is offensive coordinator Gilbert Leal, who left recently to take the athletic director job at Brownsville ISD. Stepping in for Leal will be veteran coach Steve Marroquin, who was officially approved by the San Benito school board about two weeks ago. Most recently, Marroquin was OC at Brownsville Hanna and before that head coach at PSJA High.

Despite all the offseason changes, one thing that remains a constant is head coach Dan Gomez, who since taking over the reins in 2014 has molded the Hounds into a team that no longer rebuilds but reloads.

Beware of these dogs this season.

2018 Greyhounds schedule

-Aug. 31: at Calallen

-Sept. 7: at Victoria West

-Sept. 14: PSJA High

-Sept. 21: Laredo United

-Sept. 29: Midland Lee

-Oct. 5: OPEN

*Oct. 12: Harlingen High

*Oct. 19: at Harlingen South

*Oct. 26: Brownsville Hanna

*Nov. 1: at Brownsville Rivera

*Nov. 9: Los Fresnos