BALMORHEA, Texas (Nexstar) – Nothing came easy during Balmorhea’s journey to its first state title. The “Cardiac Carnivores” made multiple comebacks during the playoffs. After qualifying for the State Championship game, COVID-19 placed the Bears into quarantine for the second time during the 2020 season.
Balmorhea’s matchup with Richland Springs was postponed for about a month. The Bears made the most of the opportunity, defeating the Coyotes 74-38.
“It was really tough last year with all the uncertainty but being able to go and win it gives us so much confidence,” said senior Jason Rodriguez. “We know that feeling. There’s nothing we wouldn’t do to feel it back.”
“There were times during the week last week where we were finished practicing and they were staying out here doing some other things on their own,” said head coach Vance Jones of this year’s team. “They understand where we want to go.”
After graduating a dozen seniors, the Bears will be looking for a large group of sophomores and juniors to step up.
“They’ve got to learn how to play within themselves,” said Jones. “We may not be able to do some of the things we could last year but we can do some other things maybe better.”
“They’ve got a drive just like that senior class did,” senior quarterback Andrew Laramore said about Balmorhea’s underclassmen. “I think it was really important for them to see how bad and how hard those seniors worked and just see what it takes.”
In addition to All-State running back Tomas Contreras, Laramore will be a key contributor for the Bears – both as a player and as a leader.
“They have a lot of questions when we go to the huddle and we break out just to see what we’re supposed to do,” said Laramore. “I think it’s a really important thing for me to be able to know every spot so I can help people when they need help so that we’re never confused and we’re all on the same page.”