KINGSVILLE, Texas — Football is king in South Texas and fall Saturdays in Kingsville traditionally are owned by Javelina football.
But not in 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic moved the Texas A&M-Kingsville football season to the spring of 2021.
"Once we got the news that the fall season was canceled and the Lone Star Conference said that we would have a spring season, I sort of think our guys knew that we had something to work towards," TAMUK football coach Mike Salinas said.
The team will play a four-game football season in the spring starting on March 6 and ending on March 27. To prepare for the season, the Javelinas are practicing with no games to play for at the moment.
Hard work marks their practices and the games are the reward. The team is still staying motivated when there are no games on Saturdays in the fall and that is a credit to Salinas and his coaching staff.
"All quarantine they were on us," said quarterback Zadock Dinkelmann. "They texted us everyday, they expected us to work out every day and they have done a really good job of motivating us to keep working."
For the players, they're finding the situation not too different from their spring practices. The roles are just reversed in 2020.
"It's kind of like fall in the spring, if that makes sense," said defensive lineman Jacob Clarkson. "We normally go spring ball with no games we just moved it to the fall this year."
The four-game season in the spring is not ideal, but it will still be Javelina football and the team is ready to play in front of the fans.
It will especially be meaningful to Salinas, a TAMUK alum who is eagerly awaiting his opportunity to coach his first game for his alma mater.
"We're excited to get back out there," he said.
The Javelinas' first game on March 6 when they host Eastern New Mexico.