BISHOP, Texas — Three weeks into the high school football season, the Bishop Badgers are 1-0.
Their first two games of the season were canceled because of COVID-19, and for nearly two weeks, the team couldn’t even practice together.
“I just went into the film room to see how we could make the kids better," Bishop coach Louie Rodriguez said. "Just getting ourselves better for our next opponent, whoever that may be, that was our goal."
Despite the lack of games and limited practices, the Badgers looked good in their first game, shutting out rival H M King, 33-0.
“I’m very happy with how they performed on the field. They were flying around, especially our defense, our defense just had that killer instinct,” Rodriguez said. “The kids were fired up to play, and just took care of business.”
Rodriguez said there were some things he wants his squad to clean up. Ball security was a big issue for the team against the Brahmas. While it wasn’t a perfect game, the players were happy to get back onto the field.
“It took us a minute to actually get rolling, but I think when we did, we just took care of business, and that was on offense and defense,” said senior running back Isaiah Rodriguez.
“We were a little jittery, we hadn’t played for the first two weeks," senior lineman Thomas Bearden said. "But, it was a good start."
Unfortunately, missing games is nothing new for this team; a season ago, the Badgers played just four regular-season games and a playoff game in 2021. It’s difficult for the players to have their games canceled, especially for the seniors who have a limited number of games left in their high school careers.
“It’s almost a little depressing, but at the same time, it makes us want to work harder, so that first game isn’t a loss,” Bearden said. “We were all working, we weren’t working as a team, we were working separately, but you could tell we’re all bought in, and we want to have a good season.”
But, the players don’t focus on missed games, they focus on the games they will play.
“The way you’ve got to look at it is there’s nothing we can control, all we can do is go out there and win the games we do have an opportunity to play,” Bearden said.
The lack of games does not discourage the players, as just the experience of playing on Friday nights is enough to get them ready to go.
“We love playing the game, and just to be on that field is awesome and gets us fired up," Isaiah Rodriguez said. "Friday night lights is the best thing, a South Texas thing."
The missed games are behind them as the Badgers have their sights set on the future.
“Our mentality this year is not just trying to be good, be great, we’re trying to be legendary, and trying to do something that’s never been done here at Bishop High School,” Louie Rodriguez said.
The Badgers have one more non-district game left, visiting Goliad on the road in week four. They open district play hosting London in two weeks.