LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The run out to the football field for the Roosevelt Eagles is a lot different this year, than it was four years ago. The Eagles are (7-0) so far this year, and it took them all four years to do it.
“I always knew they had a plan for this team and I just knew in the back of my head that we’d be where we’re at now,” said senior running back, Jonathan Rivero.
There’s only two players and one coach on the roster today at Roosevelt that was there during their 2017-2018 season when the team was (0-10). Rivero, senior quarterback, Jacob Torrez, and head coach (he was the defensive coordinator until April of 2018) Matt Landers.
“There’s really not much to remember,” said Torrez. “It’s just how we had to encourage either to keep playing.”
The 2018-19 season, the Eagles were 1-9, then last year they won three games, going (3-8) and making a playoff appearance.
Rivero said, “I mean there’s been times where my mindset was on quitting, but you know like I said I had faith and I’m glad I didn’t quit. Just keep fighting keep playing and eventually everything will be ok.”
The struggle wasn’t any better for coaches who somehow had to find a way to steer the ship back on path.
“I think it just shows their character and that’s a big tribute to them," said Coach Landers. "These guys are willing to learn a lesson outside of football here. You know times are going to be tough, life isn’t easy. But man just their character saying you know what, we’re not going to quit, there’s that times we probably want to quit, but you know what we’re not going to. We’re going to persevere through this, we’re going to fight through this, we’re going to keep competing through this and eventually all of our handwork is going to pay off.”
Through those down years, even though the team wasn’t getting the results they wanted on the scoreboard, the Eagles continued to win the battle off the field and in the locker room where it mattered the most.
“The brother hood and how we all put our differences together to make it all one unity to where it fit in to the perfect places like a puzzle and to get everything like in the right direction,” said Torrez.
All three Eagles credited that chemistry among the team with helping them get to where they are this year.
Rivero said, “Our brotherhood is what really gets us to where we’re at. We’ve always had that brotherhood in our locker room. You know our camaraderie together is just amazing. I love all these boys.”
The four year transformation didn’t come easy for the Velt, but it was only fair that it came full circle for the two seniors this season.
“I’ve been on varsity since my freshman year and finally being on my senior year and having the season that we’re having, words can’t put it together how I feel,” said Rivero.
There’s a new found swagger and confidence about the team when they run on to the field this year, and winning is a big part of it.
Torrez said, “It’s the best feeling in the world like to know that you actually have a team that is behind you 100 percent. Not one person in that locker room is going to quit on you. To know that everyone has your back 100 percent it feels fantastic.”
When speaking with Coach Landers about the key to turning the Roosevelt football program around, he credited belief.
“What we needed here was belief in each other,” he said. “Belief in their teammates, believe in the coaches. Coaches believe in the kids, community believe in the kids, community believe in the coaches. I mean it takes everybody. It wasn’t just the coaching staff, it wasn’t just the kids, it wasn’t just the community, it wasn’t our administration, it was everybody.”