By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
Jaime Gonzalez has played his last game of football as a Port Isabel Tarpon. Gonzalez was the only player representing his school at last week’s 19th Annual RGVCA East/West All Star game in Weslaco.
He was in for only four plays on offense, and the West squad was all over the East team by the final score of 36-7, but Gonzalez came away with a good feeling about the whole experience.
“I met a lot of new people, a lot of new friends, and the coaches were great, too,” Gonzalez told the Press this week. “It was a great experience to put on the pads again.”
“I went in for four plays. I got the ball once and the guard didn’t block, so I got hit after a one-yard gain.”
The West team was led by running back Ricky Rodriguez (McAllen High) and quarterbacks Edward Garcia (La Joya Juarez-Lincoln and Ebher Lopez (Edinburg Vela). The West led 21-0 in the third quarter after a Lopez-to-Homero Alanis (PSJA Southwest) touchdown pass. The East’s only score came on a TD pass from Los Fresnos QB Pierce Ruiz to Josh Garza of Mercedes to make the score 21-7. Rodriquez scored again on a 40-yard run. The West scored once more on an interception return, and that was a final, 36-7.
In all probability it was Gonzalez’s last organized football game at any level, as he has no plans to play in college. He plans to attend Houston Community College in the fall to be trained as a fireman. The course takes about a year, Gonzalez said, and he would start in late August.
Asked to recall a varsity game that he especially remembers from his high school career, Gonzalez talked about the 2012 Progreso game. It was his sophomore season and his first varsity game. “I scored a 65-yard touchdown the first time I touched the ball. I also scored on an 85-yard touchdown run, and then, on defense, I made two tackles and deflected a pass.”
Gonzalez ran for 1,165 yards in the 2014 regular season and averaged over nine yards per carry, while scoring 12 touchdowns. He scored 14 times as a junior in 2013 when the Tarpons went 10-0 in the regular season. He rushed for 1,115 yards that year on only 75 carries for a 14.9-yard average.
If at all possible, Gonzalez plans to make the trip down from Houston to see his former team play a game or two. “Hopefully I can see them in the playoffs and late in district. The Tarpons are life. I bleed blue,” Gonzalez said.
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