Pigskin Preview: Balmorhea Bears

The Balmorhea Bears have a team that will contend for the state championship, and will debut a brand new field and stadium.
Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 7:00 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BALMORHEA, Texas (KOSA) - Balmorhea ISD is putting the finishing touches on a state-of-the-art school building, and a new stadium with artificial turf and a track.

“It’s always been a dream to have something like this,” senior running back Landon Lopez said. “Going around to other schools and playing on theirs; finally we’ve got one of our own.”

The old field and bleachers still exist up the street from the new facilities. How old was the previous field? 52-year coaching veteran Vance Jones PLAYED there.

“1963, 1964, ‘62, ‘60,” Jones said, remembering the years he made the trip to Balmorhea for games. “Back when I was in high school at Marathon, this was our chief rival. So it’s been here awhile, same field.”

Jones is seeking his 5th state title. The Bears aren’t afraid to talk about such a lofty aspiration.

“That’s the goal this year for sure,” senior linebacker Adrian Mata said. “This year we have it in us.”

“District champions is fun and all, but our main goal is to win a state title again,” senior quarterback Ethan Villanueva said. “We want another one.”

These seniors were freshmen when Balmorhea football won its first ever state championship in 2020.

“It feels like we were just there,” Lopez said. “Being freshmen that year really got us to where we are now. Those guys really pushed us all year. We’re going to try and do the same thing with our freshmen.”

Lopez is one all-state player returning to this team. Mata is another, earning 1st team defensive honors last year. Villanueva has a lot of size for 1A football, and plays the rare combination of nose guard and quarterback.

“All three are quality players and outstanding leaders,” Jones said. “All the seniors are in that same mode. They’re really hungry to get back [to state].”

But before they can think about playing in Arlington’s Jerry World, the Bears get to open their new home.

“We play Van Horn here the 2nd week,” Jones said. “It’ll be awesome.”