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Locked on Southside



Another year and more history for Ricky Lock and the Southside Cardinals. Southside became just one of a handful of teams from the southern part of San Antonio to ever go undefeated on the field of play. Some people say this undefeated season comes with an asterisk and maybe it does but maybe it does not. Because of Covid19 issues Southside was forced to forfeit a game against Eagle Pass Winn resulting in a loss. But the Cardinals never lost on the field.

Ricky Lock and his assistants have a word with quarterback Richard Torres. Photo: Robby Chavez

The Cardinals fought through a season with multiple games forfeited and played just seven games. This was tough for players like Caleb Camarillo and Micah Young who found themselves without a full Senior season to play although they did make the most if it. Southside made more history when Micah Young signed with the Wyoming Cowboys becoming just the 2nd Cardinal since Clenzie Pierson in 1978 to sign a Division one offer. Pierson would go onto play for the Rice Owls and was drafted by the New York Giants. Caleb Camarillo would make it three Cardinals a few weeks later making it two Southside Cardinal players to sign division one scholarships from the same class. That is an astonishing accomplishment when you consider the school’s history and circumstances.

Now Southside has another division one star in the making named Richard Torres. Torres stands a staggering 6’6, weighs 210 pounds, has a rocket for an arm and possesses an incredible pocket presence. Southside also possesses budding defensive star Cody Wilkerson who has already made strong contributions as a Junior.

Richard Torres interviews after the Rockport Fulton game. Photo: Robby Chavez

Ricky Lock and his coaching staff have totally turned the Southside program around. Southside has been the punching bag of everybody for years sinking to historical lows in the Texas record books. Few teams in the state of Texas have reached the futility the Cardinals have. Coach Lock took interest in the program and took a great risk coming to Southside. When Lock arrived the Cardinals football team had never done much of anything. Lock had come from successful programs particularly the Gonzales Apaches. Lock was used to winning and used to strong community support around the football team. It would be a whole different story coming to Southside. Southside had to be built from the ground up because nobody was used to winning in these parts.

I have spoke to Ricky Lock many times and the story that always strikes me the most is when he first got his eyes on game tape of previous Southside football teams. Southside was coming off a 1-9 season and only a quarterback keeper from Southsides 6’4 Johnny Trevino on the final play of a game against McCollum in 2013 kept Southside from going 0-10. The 1-9 team is what Lock inherited and he seen one thing on film. Southside would get punched and they would not punch back. The Cardinals would get scored on and the body language fell apart as if the air left the stadium. Long before Lock concentrated on x’s and o’s he knew he had to instill attitude at Southside. The kids got the message and they got it quick as Lock turned the 1-9 team to an 8-2 record in less than a years’ worth of work. You do not have to believe me about the change in attitude Southside has inherited from Lock just turn on the film. Southside still plays with relentless tenacity.

Ricky Lock speaks to his victorious Southside Cardinals squad. Photo: Robby Chavez.

Ricky Lock also mentions the blessing of such a tremendous coaching staff around him and all the work the players put in. The players believe in the leadership and coaching ability of Lock and his staff and after all who can argue with the results? Southside is now setting new marks for pumping out college football players. They have had players like Matt Collier who still ranks top 8 in the city in all-time rushing yards in San Antonio history help lead the way. Collier currently plays running back at Black Hills State. Collier is part of one of Lock’s first classes and still embodies the spirit and hard work he received during his time at Southside. There are many other athletes Southside has sent to play in the college ranks with latest being Caleb Camarillo (Air Force) and Micah Young (Wyoming). Southside has reached an elite level never seen on the Southside of town. Recent articles on Southsides ability to produce division players have ranked Southside in the neighborhood of Judson and Steele locally. This is unbelievable when you consider Southside routinely fields one of the smallest rosters for a 5A school in the state of Texas and does not have nowhere near the facilities of other schools. Growth continues to come to the area as new neighborhoods are going up all within Southside’s school district. The scary thing is that Southside still has not seen an influx of the new movement into the district effect the football team. Expect Southside to continue to grow in numbers and continue to pump out major talent.

Ricky Lock and his talented staff now possess multiple 9-win seasons, multiple district championships and a slew of playoff berths. Lock has turned these playoff berths into the first two southside playoff wins in school history. With bona fide division one prospect Richie Torres returning for his senior season Southside again has a shot at more history. Recently Southside has pushed traditional powers like Kerrville Tivy and Flour Bluff to the brink in the second round. Will this be the year Lock and Southside break into the third round and make more history? Stay tuned.

The Cardinals celebrate the “Battle of 1604” win over the Somerset Bulldogs. Wilkerson and Torres both pictured here will get a chance to hoist the trophy up again this upcoming season. Photo: Robby Chavez.
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