Monday, August 29, 2016

Be Ready! Aztec Football Season Begins Saturday!

If any Aztec fan needed a reminder, yesterday’s Kick-Off Luncheon sure served the purpose. As Rocky Long emphasized, the opportunities are great this year. But while all the pre-season attention and hype has been encouraging, it’s what you do during the season that really matters.

Aztec Hall of Famer J.R. Tolver did a masterful job as MC and conducted interesting discussions with three of 19 Seniors who were honored – O-lineman Kwayde Miller, CB Damontae Kazee and Punter Tanner Blain. And Rocky just gets better and better every year – at firing up a crowd, as well as coaching our football team. It was a big turnout, filling Montezuma Hall in the Student Union building.

Rocky Long and J.R. Tolver had me – and everyone else in attendance – fired-up and ready for Aztec Football! (Photos by Ernie Anderson)
Opening the season with two home games gives us a chance to get off to a fast start, unlike last year’s awkward beginning before reeling off 10 straight wins, topped by the MW Championship win over Air Force and the impressive Hawaii Bowl 42-7 thrashing of Cincinnati.

Saturday’s Opener against the FCS New Hampshire Wildcats may look like a “sure” win, and the Aztecs will be a heavy favorite. But there are no automatic victories, and it’s dangerous to overlook any opponent. I do not think Rocky will let the Aztecs make that mistake. And no peeking ahead at the next week’s game!

That will bring the Cal Bears to Aztec Warrior Stadium September10, and the Aztecs are hungry for revenge after last year’s defeat at Berkeley. The Bears are still a good Pac12 team, but they did lose their QB Jared Goff, the first NFL draft pick. Still offensive-minded, the Bears opened their season in Australia, beating Hawaii, 51-31. And their new QB proved a strong replacement. A transfer after three years at Texas Tech, Davis Webb threw for 441 yards and 4 TDs, as well as running for another TD.

Aztec Seniors led the room in singing the Fight Song (Ernie Anderson)

But, hey, I’d better remind myself, first things first – the blue and white clad New Hampshire Wildcats, 5:30 kick-off, followed by the Sky Show. See you there!