Fort Worth Polytechnic
Last season: 0-10 (0-6 in District 6-5A)
Key players: QB Noah Garcia (6-1, 185); RB/S Theo Tudela III (5-8, 170); WR Javier Moreno (5-8, 160); WR/DB Tyger Tudela (5-9, 165); OL Marcos Fuentes (5-8, 265); DL Santana Diaz (5-8, 210); DL Buay Kang (6-1, 185); DB Frederick Bennett (5-9, 160)
The big picture: The Parrots look to get past a winless 2015 season with this year’s prospects looking better. They’re one of the most experienced teams around with 10 starters returning on each side of the ball. Most of the players play both ways, but coach Chris Roberts is hopeful he can find a few kids to step up to limit those double-duty roles. “[We are] trying to find guys that can fill those roles where we don’t have to play guys both ways,” he said. The biggest change offensively will be the move from linebacker to quarterback for junior Noah Garcia, who was a second-team all-district defender last season. Roberts needed a quarterback and Garcia accepted the challenge. “He wanted to take this on,” Roberts said. “He came to me and he has put in the work. I expect him to be a leader in the huddle.” Senior Theo Tudela (208 yards rushing, 2 TDs) is expected to be a leader at running back and safety. Younger brother, junior Tyger Tudela (11 catches, 103 yards, 1 TD), can add more fireworks. Senior Javier Moreno is the most experienced receiver coming back, and Roberts is counting on him to make catches in the clutch. All five starters are back on the offensive line led by senior Marcos Fuentes, a first-team all-district selection. Theo Tudela was a second-team pick on defense last year, along with sophomore Buay Kang on the defensive line. Senior Santana Diaz and junior Frederick Bennett add more experience to Poly’s defense.
Quotable: “Last season the upperclassmen weren’t mentally ready for the leadership role and during the off-season, we wanted to teach those qualities to the kids. Our main focus was to kind of change the mindset of our kids to be more resilient and how to deal with adversity and not to worry what’s on the scoreboard.” — coach Chris Roberts
“We want to gain confidence in what we do and want to find kids that are going to compete when things go wrong, figuring out how to be successful when it’s tough.” — Chris Roberts
“The off-season it was a great experience seeing how our team stayed committed by showing up to workouts, even doing community service as a team to help out the community around Poly. This season we are planning to have more success on and off the field and work together as a family.” — WR Javier Moreno
“We have great leadership from guys who aren’t afraid to speak up when we see each other or even our peers doing something wrong. Everybody understands that we must hold each other accountable on and off the field because these are the roles we must play to change the culture at Poly.” — RB/S Theo Tudela
Notable: Since going 6-5 in 2009, the program’s last playoff appearance, the Parrots have won just 10 games in six seasons. Their last win came against Carter-Riverside on Oct. 10, 2014.