Starting a season 0-3 is not the best look.
Any coach would tell you they’d love to start 3-0 rather than 0-3. Right now, the Pleasanton Eagles are in the latter category, but nobody should be hitting the panic button just yet.
Talking to Pleasanton Head Coach Stephen Liska after the game Friday night after their 35-7 loss to Jourdanton, he said his team is getting close to where he wants them to be. He also added his team needed to be in these tough non-district games before playoff spots are on the line.
Fans of Pleasanton have wanted a tougher schedule to prepare the team for district games. After the musical chairs of rescheduling games, Pleasanton got just that.
Due to COVID-19-related scheduling issues, the Eagles had to start off with a mostly clean slate. They were able to keep their previously-scheduled game with Jourdanton, but lost games with San Antonio Edison, Antonian Prep and Pearsall because those schools would not be able to play under either UIL, TAPPS or local guidelines. Their schedule went from balanced and respectable, to a gauntlet. I’m a fan of making a tough non-district schedule that prepares a team for district games and a potential playoff run.
Last week was a rough one for the Eagles.
They held Jourdanton to just six points in the first half and looked poised to make a stunning upset with a 7-6 lead at the break. But Jourdanton, who has high expectations for this season, was eventually able to flex their muscle and break down Pleasanton’s stout defense in the third quarter.
In Pleasanton’s opener against Hondo, I noticed that the Eagles were trying to find an identity. Their defense was making a few good plays against a tough Hondo offense, but their offense, which lost its QB and star receiver to graduation, struggled. That individual performance could be chalked up to their 12-day layoff after a player tested positive for COVID-19 and a short time to prepare.
With three games under their belts, it appears that hard-nosed defensive play will be their identity. However, Defensive Coordinator
Danny Sanchez’s tough defensive play alone will not win the games that matter.
Remember, these nondistrict games have no effect on the postseason. In 2006, Pleasanton went 0-3 to start the season and ended up in the third round of the playoffs. So, don’t hold much stock into these results.
As they travel to Devine this week, host Corpus Christi King on Sept. 25 and then travel to Kingsville on Oct. 2, look for progression in their offense.
Sophomore QB Sean Ramos has emerged as the starting signal caller for the Eagles. In all honesty, that’s a smart move by Liska and his staff.
When the Eagles had Johnny Zamora a few years ago, he was a multi-year starter. Last year, they moved Nathaniel Acevedo back behind center for the first time in his varsity career. Letting a young QB take the reins and grow with the highs and lows of the game will pay dividends this year and the next two that they have Ramos.
Scoreboard watching does nobody any good during non-district play. So don’t panic and look for continued growth from Pleasanton this season. They might just surprise you.