By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
Victor Rubalcaba has returned to the Port Isabel High School coaching staff after a two-year absence. Previously he was the athletic coordinator for the Port Isabel Junior High School from 2008 to 2013, and was the head powerlifting coach at the high school for the 2012-13 school year.
Rubalcaba was a football assistant coach at Freer High School for the 2013 season when former Tarpon assistant Jake Hofstetter was the head coach there. Last year he was an assistant at San Benito High School.
The Press found Rubalcaba in the high school weight room this week and he said he was glad to be back at P.I.H.S. “I believe it’s a great move for me, coming back to where I first started. It’s a great opportunity. Coach Stumbaugh has been a great mentor.”
Rubalcaba finds himself now coaching many of the same student-athletes he knew when they were competing athletically at Port Isabel Junior High. “The kids know me. All these kids I had in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade before I left, and now they’re sophomores, juniors, and seniors. They’ve grown and they know that nothing with me is given. It’s going to be earned.”
Rubalcaba will be the defensive coordinator for the 2015 edition of the Tarpon football team, and he was asked just what kind of defense he expects to put together for the new season. “Our interior line is going to be pretty big, and the secondary is pretty quick. We’ve got some kids returning and we’ll be counting on them to step up as leaders on the defense. We’ll be running the 4-3 (four down linemen, three linebackers).
Rubalcaba is well aware of the undefeated regular season Port Isabel had two years ago, and also the sour notes that last season ended with after a 6-0 start. “It leaves a sour taste in your mouth when you end a season like that,” he said. “These kids remember what it was like to have the season end the way it did.”
“They know what to expect from me, from Coach Stumbaugh, and Coach Senteno and the rest of the coaching staff. We’re not going to accept what we did last year. We’re going to have to go beyond that.”
“We want these kids to see the benefits of all this work they’re putting in. It’s our job to put them in the right spot, and their job to go out there and play and do their part. Hard work pays off.”
Players are continuing their weight room workouts as they look forward to the start of practice on August 3. The first scrimmage will be at Donna North on August 14 and the Mercedes Tigers will visit Tarpon Stadium a week later for the second and final scrimmage. The 2015 season will open with a home game against RGC Grulla on August 28.
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