EXTENDED TEAM FEATURE FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL TEXAS FNF CUSTOM COVER PROJECT SCHOOL
It was quite the debut for first year head coach Julio Lopez, as the state’s youngest head coach and his team proved
doubters wrong by not only getting
into the playoffs, but going on the
road and knocking off Wolfforth
Frenship in the bi-district playoffs.
The Troopers fell to Arlington Lamar
by a touchdown in the area round,
but there’s no doubt Eastwood
earned a great deal of respect
statewide with their performance.
“We felt like last year in the
Lamar game we had our chances
to win that game, but we had three
possessions in the red zone and
zero points in the game, hopefully
that will be a learning experience in
2016,” said Coach Lopez.
Now the question is can they
produce an encore after losing an
outstanding group of seniors, led
by Richie Rodriguez who signed
with U TEP.
Eastwood, which had one of the
top offensive units in the state
last year will almost have to be
completely rebuilt at the skill positions as they don’t return a player
who threw a pass last year and they
don’t return a player who had more
than five carries a year ago.
Pass catching TE Ryan Barnhouse, a second-team all-district
pick, had 29 receptions a year ago
and he’ll team with Pete Cadena
who had 14 receptions to lead the
young Troopers skill players.
“Ryan is a big and strong kid
who moved in from Iowa two years
ago, he blossomed the last six
games and is a major weapon as a
hybrid or flex TE, he’s great blocker
outside and he can put his hand
on the ground and block at the
point of attack. He’s worked really
hard in the weight room and we are
expecting big things from him this
year,” said Coach Lopez.
David Ash, Noah Garcia and
Joseph Salas return up front and
will form the base for what should
be a very good offensive line, where
the smallest projected starter will
be 260 pounds.
“We should be very good up front,
we’ve got three starters back who
have experience and some talented
young guys we think can step in
and not miss a beat,” said the
Coach Lopez is extremely excited
about his new QB Seth Ochoa,
saying “Seth is very talented, he’s
got all the tools to be one of the
great QB’s in the city, he’s a Texas
Tech baseball commit and we are
fired up to have him lead our team
the next two years.”
The running back position is one
area where there will be plenty
of competition for the Troopers,
“We’ve got four guys competing for
the job in the spring, they all bring
something different to the table
with a unique skill set, so it’ll be
interesting to see how it plays out,”
said Lopez who wants his offense
to move at a quick tempo and tire
defensive units out in the fourth
quarter of games.
Eastwood, at least early, will rely
on a defense that does bring back
some experience, as seven starters
That experience is centered
around the defensive line and
at linebacker where Tristan
Cruz, Joseph Davalos and Noah
Vasquez return after strong junior
campaigns. Cruz led the team
with 111 tackles a year ago, while
Davalos chipped in 98 stops.
Chase Warden anchors the
defensive line as he had 90 tackles
and five tacks to earn second-team
all-district honors. The secondary
will need to rebuilt as the losses
due to graduation were significant
for Coach Lopez.
EHS wasn’t bad on special teams,
but an extra edge according to
Coach Lopez can be had with elite
special teams play, “We need to be
even better on special teams this
year, we’ve got to find a reliable
kicker as well, big games late in the
season often come down to a kick.”
Eastwood will again be a factor in
1-6A as they are out to prove 2015
was not simply a flash in the pan
“Our attitude is completely different
this year. The bar has now been set
and we have a core group of guys
that are back and hungry and they
understand that the details are huge
especially in close games. This team
has the potential to do something
historic for the school and even the
city this year. We lost some big time
names with two Division I signees
(Richie Rodriguez and Mark Torrez)
leaving us, but the bar has been set
in our first year, and the kids have the
focus and talent needed to hopefully
make a run that people will always
remember,” said Lopez.
AUG. 26: VS. MIDLAND CHRISTIAN
SEP. 2: VS. BEL AIR
SEP. 9: AT ODESSA PERMIAN
SEP. 22: AT EL DORADO
SEP. 30: VS. FRANKLIN
OCT. 7: AT CORONADO
OCT. 14: VS. AMERICAS
OCT. 20: AT PEBBLE HILLS
OCT. 28: AT SOCORRO
NOV. 4: VS. MON TWOOD
KEY PLAYERS: Seth Ochoa (Jr., QB); David Ash (Sr.,
OL); Noah Garcia (Sr., OL); Joseph Salas (Jr., OL); Chase
Warden (Sr., DL); Tristian Cruz (Sr., LB); Joseph Davalos
(Sr., LB); Pete Cadena (Jr., WR); Robert Minjarez (Jr.,
WR); Noah Vasquez (Sr., LB) ; Nathan Ballard (Sr., DT),
Freddy Gomez (Sr., DT) and Evan Aguilar (Sr., OLB).
EL PASO, TX
8 OFFENSE, 11 DEFENSE
GABRIEL PEDREGON, NATHAN JEFFERY,
JAIME HERNANDEZ, PAULO MELENDEZ,
JESUS AYALA, ERIC MARTINEZ, JIMMY
AYALA, JESUS MARTINEZ, NICK ORTEGA,
Andres Gomez Freddy Gomez Javier Garcia Joseph Salas
10 Seth Ochoa QB Jr.
21 FreddyContreras RB Jr.
17 AndresGomez RB Sr.
27 MattRomero RB So.
24 BrandinLaguana RB Jr.
16 NoahRios RB So.
80 Pete Cadena WR/ TE Jr.
84 Ryan Barnhouse WR/ TE Sr.
12 Bobby Minjarez WR Jr.
7 Evan Graham WR Jr.
3 Joshua Ponce WR Jr.
15 CraigDominguez WR Sr.
19 Christian Arambula WR Jr.
31 Patrick Luevano WR Jr.
85 Adrian Sustaita WR Jr.
82 Andres Almodovar WR Sr.
74 JosephSalas OL Jr.
70 DavidAsh OL Sr.
55 DiegoSamaniego OL Jr.
62 NoahGarcia OL Sr.
53 SergioRuiz OL Jr.
51 NathanCasares OL Sr.
59 JavierGarcia OL Sr.
75 CharlesMartinez OL Sr.
63 ChrisHulburt OL Jr.
67 ChristianGalindo OL Sr.
65 LanceMartin OL Sr.
72 NicolasTorres OL Jr.
52 JCEscajeda OL Sr.
2 Andrew Crank DB Jr.
4 Alan Barragan DB Jr.
26 Jeremy Aguilar DB Jr.
14 Aaron Estrada DB Jr.
18 Diego Reyes DB Jr.
6 Isaiah Bradford DB Jr.
5 Enrique Gutierrez DB Sr.
20 Diego Pacheco DB Sr.
23 TristianCruz LB Sr.
40 JosephDavalos LB Sr.
25 JimmySanchez LB Jr.
28 SebastianRocha LB Jr.
22 Ruben Diaz De Leon LB Sr.
50 LuisGrado LB Sr.
11 Noah Vasquez OLB Jr.
30 DamianOrtega OLB Sr.
13 Edson Hernandez OLB Jr.
1 Evan Aguilar OLB/DE Sr.
90 Brandon Shindo OLB/DE Jr.
9 Jake Hernandez DL Jr.
91 JacobFlores DL Sr.
73 AndreSanchez DL Jr.
43 ChaseWarden DL Sr.
45 FreddyGomez DL Sr.
8 Nathan Ballard DL Sr.
34 JamariBullock DL Jr.
54 JavierMedina DL Jr.
93 CarlosMireles DL Sr.
94 WillRobinson DL So.
97 CarlosLlanes DL Sr.
60 FreddyMacias DL Jr.
Evan Aguilar Tristian Cruz David Ash Noah Vasquez