Gridiron Heroes: Bobcats Work Hard Away From Football Field
EDINBURG – It’s hard to stop Lazaro Patlan. The Bobcats’ defensive end has a motor that doesn’t stop.
That’s important because this summer, the senior needed every ounce of energy to get him through long days of construction work.
“I would lift granite, put tile, pick up bricks, I would build walls, demolish stuff, we would just do everything,” said Patlan.
The senior did the work up in the coastal bend to help his family financially. Even with all that, he still found time to work out and stay in shape.
That work ethic is one of the reasons why his fellow Bobcats made him a team captain.
“I feel good because I was helping my family out and I was helping the team because I was still keeping busy and stuff,” said Patlan.
One of the other team captains is Raymond Quintanilla. Like Patlan, Quintanilla also worked this summer.
In his case, it was work in the fields.
“It was mainly just helping the workers pick up the crops, put them in the trailer, and move them to the shed,” said Quintanilla. “There you distribute them to different cases. If it was a good crop or bad crop, you’d throw it in a different bin.”
With the extra money, Quintanilla was able to pay for football camp fees. The money also helped him to pay for gas to drive to camps outside the Valley.
Dedication is something coach JJ Leija appreciates.
“We work with the parents and we talk with the parents about them,” said Leija. “These kids are dedicated. They’re put into adulthood at an early age and with great responsibilities. With that, there’s a lot of maturity.”
Then there’s Bobcats like Emmanuel Duron who has to be the man of the house while his dad works in Louisiana.
Duron has to help his mom with daily chores. He also has to care for his three younger brothers.
“I help them out in doing their homework, doing their stuff, what they have to do,” said Duron. “She thanks me for helping her because it’s hard for her to be with three kids. I just help her.”
Coach Leija says these young men exemplify what it means to be a Bobcat.
Someone who goes the extra mile not just to help themselves, but to help those around them.
“It’s a good thing that these kids see that these guys work hard and they’re here at practice every day,” said Leija. “They’re working hard to be part of the team and they come and produce.”