EXTENDED TEAM FEATURE FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL TEXAS FNF CUSTOM COVER PROJECT SCHOOL
Brownsville Veterans Memorial coach David Cantu’s expectations don’t change even
after losing a significantly talented
graduating class, in which there were
eight three-year starters. In all, six
starters (three on both sides of the
ball) and 22 lettermen return for the
As he sees it, that’s what will make
this year’s Chargers “hungry and
humble,” he said — attributes Cantu
hopes will permeate across his roster
“The fact that the majority of a
senior class of 49 has not played
varsity football yet can be a good
thing,” Cantu said. “They have been
able to mature at a good pace.”
After graduating their first
four-year class, the Chargers face
plenty of uncertainty — moving from
District 32-6A to 32-5A, replacing
their defensive coordinator (who
took the head job at Falfurrias), and
filling the void left by 16 graduating
This year, though, the Chargers
bring in a senior class 49-deep and
feel like there is strength in numbers.
Key among them is Isaiah Solis, who
is the presumptive starter under
center, looking to replace the District
32-6A’s Offensive MVP, Marcus
Castillo. Gustavo Vasquez, a junior,
could spend time on both offense
and defense, playing quarterback/
running back and safety.
Solis, who has garnered rave
reviews for his accuracy, will
have capable targets in seniors
Joshua Alaniz, Adrian Ramirez,
Peter Rodriguez, and Johnny Garcia,
and juniors Keaton Cackley and
Cristian Chapa. Alaniz has started
the last two years and Ramirez
saw considerable playing time last
year, as the Chargers won their first
six games to start the year, and
Cackley, a regular-season JV player,
was brought up to varsity for the
bi-district round of the playoffs.
In the backfield, senior Fabian
Roque and juniors Alexis Gomez and
Abel Martinez should receive a bulk
of the carries. They’ll play behind an
experienced offensive line with Jorge
Robledo and Pedro Pinales, Hector
Sanchez and Ricky Alaniz leading
That continuity should help in
the Chargers’ no-huddle spread
offense, which averaged more than
35 points per game. Cantu hopes
to improve on Brownsville Veterans’
32-6A district-high 413 yards per
game, including a ground attack that
averaged 265.9 yards.
A 6-3, 315-pound offensive
lineman, Robledo started last season
before sustaining a devastating knee
injury before the start of district.
Cantu said the team has drawn
inspiration from Robledo’s return to
the field, after his severe knee injury.
“He’s already proven many people
wrong in regards to being able to
come back successfully from this
injury,” Cantu said.
The previous two years, Robledo
has been regarded as the team’s
most viable Division I prospect,
split¬ting his time between offensive tackle and defensive tackle.
His demeanor and courage through
the process, Cantu said, is what has
motivated the Chargers as they look
ahead to a new set of challenges
As a four-year letterman,
Brandon Martinez is a rare exception
experience-wise, playing defensive
end and outside linebacker. In eight
games last year, he recorded 117
tackles ( 24 for a loss), 26 quarterback pressures and 12 sacks.
Cantu described him as a “dominant”
player for the Chargers, starting last
year along with fellow-senior Damian
Tabares and junior Abel Martinez.
Tabares, who chipped in with 30
tackles, t wo for a loss, and six QB
pressures last season, is expected to
anchor the defensive line and have a
breakout year. Martinez, an athlete
with exceptional speed who had 49
tackles and five pass breakups in
2015, should also bolster the offensive running and passing attack.
On defense, the Chargers also
expect big contributions from:
defensive linemen Andres Bodden,
Nicolas Bod¬den, Candelario Villarreal, Sammy De Leon and Adrian De
La Cerda; defensive backs David
Almazan, Mario Davila, Sebastian
Monroe, Aaron Recio, and Sammy
Chapa; linebackers Manny Yanez,
Robert Ramon and Jose Sanchez.
“I think on paper, we’re a team
that critics may say is going to have
to reload and start over, but we see
that as a positive,” Cantu said. “To be
honest, this may be the most humble
group I’ve been around at Veterans.
They’re willing to do whatever is
necessary to give our team the best
chance to win.”
Brownsville Veterans Memorial Chargers
AUG. 26: VS. EDINBURG NORTH
SEP. 2: AT BROWNSVILLE RIVERA
SEP. 9: AT EDINBURG VELA
SEP. 23: AT BROWNSVILLE PACE
SEP. 29: VS. MERCEDES
OCT. 7: AT EDCOUCH-ELSA
OCT. 14: VS. BROWNSVILLE LOPEZ
OCT. 20: AT BROWNSVILLE PORTER
OCT. 27: VS. DONNA NORTH
NOV. 3: AT DONNA
KEY PLAYERS: Brandon Martinez (Sr., LB); Gustavo
Vasquez (Jr., ATH); Damian Tabares (Sr., DL); Joshua
Alaniz (Sr., WR); Abel Martinez (Jr., ATH); Hector
Sanchez (Sr., OL); David Almazan (Sr., DB); Isaiah Solis
(Sr., QB); Pedro Pinales (Sr., OL); Manny Yanez (Jr., LB).
3 OFFENSE, 3 DEFENSE
(OC), MIKE EVANS (DC), JOSE C. RAMIREZ
(DBS/SPEC. TEAMS), JESUS ALANIZ (MLB),
JERRY DELGADO (DT), JEROME JONES
(DE), MICHAEL MOORE (WR), GILBERT
MYERS (OL), JOE R. MARTINEZ (RB), JAIME
CASTANEDA ( WR), JOSE LUIS ZARATE (K)
A NEW ERA BEGINS... THE TRADITION CONTINUES
@FNFMAG #FNF TX FNFMAGAZINE. COM 2016 SEVEN TH ANNUAL EDI TION
VETERANS MEMORIAL CHARGERS 2016
Brandon Martinez Hector Sanchez Gustavo Vasquez David Almazan Damian Tabares
1 Francisco Perez WR Sr.
2 Keaton Cackley WR Jr.
3 Joe Gabriel Lopez RB Sr.
4 Cristian Chapa WR Jr.
5 Alexis Gomez RB Jr.
6 David Almazan OLB Sr.
7 Isaac De La Fuente DB Jr.
8 Mario Davila DB Sr.
9 Ryan Villalon DB Sr.
10 Joshua Alaniz WR/RB Sr.
11 Gustavo Vasquez QB/RB Jr.
12 Juan Garcia WR Sr.
13 Peter Rodriguez WR Sr.
14 Jose Luis Zarate K Jr.
15 Richard Sosa OLB Jr.
16 Joshua Guzman WR Sr.
17 Benito Salazar QB Sr.
18 Isaiah Solis QB Sr.
20 Brandon Martinez LB Sr.
21 Abel Martinez DB/RB Jr.
22 Andy De La Llata DB Sr.
23 Miguel Cardoza WR Sr.
24 Fabian Roque RB Sr.
25 Aaron Recio DB Jr.
26 Samuel Chapa DB Jr.
27 Jonathan Gonzalez RB Jr.
28 Caesar Gutierrez OLB Sr.
29 Benjamin White DB Jr.
30 Jason Lopez DB Sr.
31 Ivan Garza DB Sr.
32 Joel Rodriguez WR Sr.
33 Manny Yanez MLB Jr.
34 Sebastian Monroe OLB Jr.
35 Ismael De Leon MLB Sr.
40 Andres Bodden DE Jr.
42 GeorgeMbanyamsig LB Sr.
43 RobertRamon LB Sr.
44 Jorge Gracia OLB Sr.
45 Adrian Ramirez WR/ TE Sr.
48 Ronnie Trevino HB Sr.
50 Jose Martinez D T Sr.
51 Adrian De La Cerda DE Sr.
52 Damian Tabares DE Sr.
53 Rhyen Betancourt D T Sr.
54 Lazaro Ybarra OL Sr.
55 CandelarioVillarreal DE Sr.
56 Jose Sanchez MLB Jr.
58 Ricardo Alaniz OL Sr.
59 ChanceCarr OL Sr.
60 Jordan Rangel OL Sr.
61 Nicolas Bodden D T Sr.
62 Pablo Alvarez D T Sr.
63 Nathan Lopez DE Sr.
64 Pedro Pinales OL Sr.
65 Juan Banda D T Sr.
66 David De La Rosa D T Sr.
68 Oscar Medrano OL Sr.
70 Jorge Torres D T Sr.
72 Hector Sanchez OL Sr.
73 Abraham Pedraza OL Sr.
74BrandonSalazar OL Jr.
75 Marco Cordova OL Sr.
76 Jorge Robledo OL Sr.
77 Sammy De Leon DL Jr.
78 Juan Perales OL Sr.
80 Alejandro Carrillo WR Sr.
82 Tommy Martinez OLB Jr.
88 John Noble WR Sr.
90 Rey Salazar D T Jr.
94 Gabino Montelongo HB Sr.
Jorge Robledo Fabian Roque Mario Davila Sammy De Leon