ALICE, Texas — In the spring, Alice ISD completed construction of its indoor athletic facility.
In its first fall season of use, it’s appreciated by the athletes on the football team.
“We just have a lot of fun out here, because who wouldn’t have fun in an indoor facility like this on the turf?” senior lineman Juan Diego Sanchez said.
The facility allows the Coyotes to stay out of the heat and inclement weather, and practice before the sun comes up.
“In the last two years, we probably missed 10-12 practices because of rain and because of lightning,” Alice coach Kyle Atwood said. “We stay out of the heat whenever the heat index is too high, stay out of the inclement weather. It’s been a true blessing to our school district.”
The season hasn’t started the way the coaches and players would have hoped. The Coyotes are 0-2, having lost to tough Class 5A opponents Veterans Memorial and Victoria East.
“We played really, really good Week One, we were really excited with how well our defense played, some missed execution offensively, but, overall we were very proud," Atwood said. "Then we come back and play almost the worst game we’ve played in five years."
The Coyotes have to prepare for another test this week, hosting Class 6A Harlingen South, who has started 2-0.
“We’re hungry, we’re 0-2 right now, that’s not where we wanted to start, but it is how it is,” said senior receiver Ryan Salas.
But a tough non-district is exactly what Atwood wants for his squad. The Coyotes are in District 15 in Class 4-A1, paired with Beeville, Calallen, Tuloso-Midway, Miller, and Port Lavaca Calhoun. Atwood scheduled strong teams early in the season, in the hopes it will prepare his players for difficult district opponents.
“In order for us to be prepared for district play, which is what matters the most, and reach the playoffs, and try to make a playoff run, we’ve got to challenge ourselves in those non-district games," Atwood said. "I think we’ve set our schedule up to do that, now we’ve just got to answer the challenge on Friday night."
The players are hopeful their rigorous start will pay off down the road.
“They help us approach district play, and once we make playoffs, it will help us make a far run,” Salas said.
“Our district is no joke, and these teams that we’re going against are no joke either," Sanchez said. "So, it’s going to be a lot of fun out there when it comes to district play."
Following the game against Harlingen South, the Coyotes will meet Hidalgo and Kingsville King before opening district play on Oct. 8 against Miller.