By BILL PETERSON
Editor at Large
KYLE – During a varsity football season of rapidly diminishing expectations at Lehman High School, the freshman team is giving the future a nice look.
The freshman Lobos will try to finish a perfect 10-0 season with a district championship Thursday at Bob Shelton Stadium against Hays (5:30 p.m.). The freshman class is the first solid sign of light at the end of the tunnel for Lehman, which has lost all 18 district games it has played in three years at the varsity level.
A knack for winning seems to attend the young Lobos. For example, they trailed, 14-12, with three minutes left last week against Lockhart, which held the ball and hoped to run out the clock. Instead, Lehman defensive tackle Matthew Romo broke through the line, forced a fumble and recovered it at the Lockhart 35. The Lobos took it in for the touchdown and won, 20-14.
The coach, Joseph Baird, came to Lehman from Columbia, SC, this year when his wife took a position at Texas State. Baird, who coached successful freshman teams in Columbia, said he believes this group could take Lehman football in a new direction.
“To go undefeated with these young guys would be great,” Baird said. “I think how a freshman team plays is fairly predictive. The future is as bright for these kids as they want to make it.”
Baird said the varsity coaching staff has been especially helpful coaching up the younger players. No wonder. They could comprise a base of talent that will start filling out the varsity squad as early as next year.
“If they like to lift weights and run during the offseason, there are quite a few of them that have a chance (to go varsity) next year,” Baird said.
The numbers alone demonstrate how the freshman class could be helpful. The freshman team now has 54 members. By contrast, the Lehman varsity entered the season with 28 varsity players reaching from the senior class all the way into the sophomores.
The freshman Lobos also have displayed good skill talent. Quarterback Matt Anguiano can run or throw, while tailback Matt Zamora and fullback Charles Williams give the team a solid basis in the ground game.
“We’re excited and ready to go,” Anguiano said.
Said Zamora, “We’re going to keep trying to get bigger and faster.”
After the Lehman freshmen finish against Hays, which has only one loss, the Lehman varsity will end its regular season Friday night (7:30 p.m.) against Hays at Bob Shelton Stadium. The varsity Lobos, 3-6 overall, will miss the playoffs. The Hays varsity, 6-3, has clinched the District 17-4A title and will start their playoffs next weekend.Email | Print