Football Firsts With New Team

Katie Busby, Staff Writer

Although this year at school feels unlike any other, the football season is proceeding almost as normal. There may not be a student section screaming and cheering or any pep rallies to hype up the players, but the first ever LASA football season is already in full swing.

This year is the first year that LASA has their own sports teams, including an all LASA football team, in its move to a new campus. Because the University Interscholastic League (UIL) only re-aligns every two years, LASA athletics had to split from LBJ this year. This gives players an opportunity to develop as athletes and make a name for the new LASA athletics department. 

Senior Dylan Woollard plays offensive guard, offensive tackle, defensive tackle and defensive end for the team. Woollard is positive about the team’s potential and is looking forward to the season. 

“The LASA-LBJ split gives LASA students the opportunity to forge their own identity,” Woollard said. “Right now, the football team is mostly seniors, and I hope by sticking with our program and being a positive presence for my teammates, we can encourage more LASA students to really get hooked on athletics and help form our new culture.”

Since the team started from scratch this year after the split, not only did players have to be recruited, but also a new coaching staff. LASA Geometry teacher Glen McNeil is the offensive coordinator for the new team and was a coach on the LBJ football team prior to the split. According to McNeil, it’s been a big adjustment going from coaching for LBJ to coaching for LASA.

 “It’s been a humongous, humongous change usually I have the biggest guys on the field, and I have the fastest guys on the field, and I coach them and we squash everybody,” McNeil said. “Now I’m coaching the other way around, the other team is bigger, the other team is faster, and it’s much much more difficult.”

Senior Ashton Wong is a wide receiver on the football team. He, like many other seniors, joined the team this year

“The main goal I have for the season is for the team to grow as a true football team, as many of us, including myself, either haven’t played football since middle school or haven’t played ever,” Wong said.

The majority of the players on the team are new to football, so the whole team is learning together, according to McNeil. Some of the players are freshmen or sophomores, while others are seniors who didn’t previously play on the LBJ football team.

“We wanted to get some of the younger kids really involved, and that has really happened,” said McNeil. “We’ve got four or five freshmen that are playing all the time, several sophomores are starting, you know, so we have some hold over for next year.”

According to McNeil, the team is improving with every practice that goes by. Not only is each practice giving them time to improve, they are also gaining experience the more they practice. 

“People should know that we’re just getting started,” Wong said. “We started from the bottom with little to no experience, and we’re getting better with every week.” 

Woollard said the whole team, especially the new players, has made a lot of progress. He enjoys getting to watch the team grow and bond as the season continues.

“The best part of the season so far has been watching the team develop,” Woollard said. “The overwhelming majority of our players have never had prior high school football, or any, experience. A lot of our players came from not knowing what a first down is to communicating plays using abstract terms the coaches coin during practice. I’ve loved watching my teammates develop and learn while forming a bond with them.” 

The team is spending more time together since practices started in September, with new safety protocols in place. Prior to their arrival at Noack Sports Complex, the players have to fill out the mobile AISD app health screening, and before they can go onto the field, they have to have their temperature taken. During practice, masks are required whenever helmets are not being worn, and social distancing is implemented whenever possible. 

Senior, defensive end, and left tackle Freddie Uriostegui said all the players are putting in a lot of effort and coming together as a team. He values the bond that the team has developed during practices and games.

“The team has developed and are growing together,” Uriostegui said. “The best part of the season so far is the family that we’ve built. We’ve gotten really close, and everyone is giving it their best, so it really feels like family, and it’s an amazing thing to have.” 

According to Woollard, this team of new players will be the foundation for LASA football in years to come. Many of the players are freshmen or sophomores, and Woollard is hopeful that they will continue to develop even after he has graduated.

“This football season is the program’s foundations, and we can only build from here,” Woollard said. “Only two of our players have prior varsity football experience, and they are both seniors. I realize that I am old, and my time at LASA is almost over, but I see the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors and can’t help but to feel inspired. Our students are persistent. We will not stop until we are the best. Expect this season to focus on improvement. To say that I am excited to see where the football program is at in four years is an understatement.” 

So far, the football team has only had five games. Although they were shut out in their first two games of the season, they were able to score their first touchdown in a game against St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School, with a final score of 14-57. Despite these unfavorable results and the team’s lack of experience, Uriostegui said its heart will allow it to continue to improve and that it appreciates support from fans.

“It’s been a rough season,” Uriostegui said. “While we do lack experience, we have been giving it our all, and we’re only getting better. Also, we really do appreciate everyone who comes out to our game to support us.” 

The football team’s season is far from over LASA’s next game is on Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. against Travis Early College High School at Nelson Field, and on Nov. 27 at 2:00 p.m., there will be a game against Navarro Early College High School at the same location. See the Athletic Announcements and UIL Teams schedules on the LASA website,, for more information.