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UTRGV commits to add FCS football by 2024


Beau Vine

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The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has submitted a letter of intent to begin an FCS football program within five years, according to an email obtained by Texas Football. 

UTRGV is targeting the 2023 season to begin a program, but has committed to begin the program by 2024. The news comes on the same day that the Western Athletic Conference is expected to announce the return of football. 

The creation of a football program has long been rumored in the football-crazed Rio Grande Valley with studies being done to estimate cost. However, the university had not committed to investing in a Division I football program until the WAC opted to bring back football. 

UTRGV will join as a member of the WAC, where the Vaqueros currently participate in all other sports. Other Texas schools joining the WAC as football members include Lamar, Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston State, Abilene Christian and Tarleton. The former Southland Conference schools will join the conference on July 1, 2021, in time for the Fall 2021 football season. 

The WAC will split its 13 teams into two divisions with a Southwest Division centered in Texas. The league plans to find at least one more football-playing member, likely in Texas. 

The WAC is holding a press conference on Thursday to officially announce the new additions. 

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Wow. Never thought I’d see the day. Fan support will be nuts. As far as competitiveness goes, if schools in the Dakotas and Montana can dominate at that level, no reason we can’t too. Roster will probably mostly be filled with Last Chance U types, and have plenty of local kids that otherwise would never be noticed by a bigger school. School pride there took a major blow when they instituted the Vaquero mascot, but people are slowly getting used to it. This team will help bring some interest and support back.

 

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19 minutes ago, Helobious said:

Wow. Never thought I’d see the day. Fan support will be nuts. As far as competitiveness goes, if schools in the Dakotas and Montana can dominate at that level, no reason we can’t too. Roster will probably mostly be filled with Last Chance U types, and have plenty of local kids that otherwise would never be noticed by a bigger school. School pride there took a major blow when they instituted the Vaquero mascot, but people are slowly getting used to it. This team will help bring some interest and support back.

 

Yeah, I was wondering if the Vaquero thing was new.  What was the old mascot.  I feel like I should know but get confused, Broncos?

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41 minutes ago, TexasEd said:

Yeah, I was wondering if the Vaquero thing was new.  What was the old mascot.  I feel like I should know but get confused, Broncos?

I think UT Brownsville and UT Pan Am consolidated into 1 university around 5 years ago  and they decided on Vaqueros to replace both original school mascots. Not sure of all the ins and outs and what have yous with those campuses being about an hour apart.

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1 hour ago, Helobious said:

Wow. Never thought I’d see the day. Fan support will be nuts. As far as competitiveness goes, if schools in the Dakotas and Montana can dominate at that level, no reason we can’t too. Roster will probably mostly be filled with Last Chance U types, and have plenty of local kids that otherwise would never be noticed by a bigger school. School pride there took a major blow when they instituted the Vaquero mascot, but people are slowly getting used to it. This team will help bring some interest and support back.

 

I'm begging you to please don't go all Iconoclast on their sports programs.

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2 hours ago, angelfacedmongoloid said:

I think UT Brownsville and UT Pan Am consolidated into 1 university around 5 years ago  and they decided on Vaqueros to replace both original school mascots. Not sure of all the ins and outs and what have yous with those campuses being about an hour apart.

This....   

They should have kept the Broncs as the mascot, IMO.

This probably means the death are even more of rapid decline to the Texas A&M Kingsville football program.   It was already in hole.   Unless John Sharp gets his way and merges the Kingsville and Corpus into one school sort of like what UTPA did with the Edinburg campus and UT Brownsville.  In fact their was some serious movement a few years ago to do just this and the athletic programs would have been combined and he promised a new 25,000 -30,000 seat stadium and complex to go along with it.  It didn't fly because Corpus was going to be more on the short end of the stick.   But I'm hearing rumbles it might be tried again with more goodies for Corpus this time around.    I hope it occurs because this region could use a showcase like football stadium .   It will probably occur after I move from the area in 3 or 4 year from now, but I hope it does.

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1 hour ago, perfectchaos007 said:

HBU has played football for less than a decade and a few months ago they nearly upset Texas Tech. I could see UTRGV being successful and competitive program if they get a coaching staff that knows how to utilize the areas local talent optimally 

Tom Herman is looking for a job...  So I heard.

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2 minutes ago, Beau Vine said:

Which of those huge high school stadiums in the RGV are they going to play at @Helobius?

I would guess McAllen....  Has the largest capacity and looks like a small college stadium ...   

At least in the interim until they can build their own.   But the actual date for the first kickoff for the team is still a few years away..... so maybe they will get a stadium built before then.   Something they can easily expand if need be.

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6 minutes ago, Beau Vine said:

Which of those huge high school stadiums in the RGV are they going to play at @Helobius?

Flores Stadium in Edinburg is closest to the campus, Nueces is right though McAllen Memorial is the largest and not terribly far from campus either. Pretty bland as far as stadiums go though. Only RGV field with any character is Sams in Brownsville but that’s way too small for college. 
 

What’s also close to campus & maybe the nicest facility is HEB Park. It’s a minor league soccer field currently and is only a couple years old. I’ve never been to it but I heard it’s nice. Only seats about 9k though. 

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36 minutes ago, Nueces River Rat said:

This....   

They should have kept the Broncs as the mascot, IMO.

This probably means the death are even more of rapid decline to the Texas A&M Kingsville football program.   It was already in hole.   Unless John Sharp gets his way and merges the Kingsville and Corpus into one school sort of like what UTPA did with the Edinburg campus and UT Brownsville.  In fact their was some serious movement a few years ago to do just this and the athletic programs would have been combined and he promised a new 25,000 -30,000 seat stadium and complex to go along with it.  It didn't fly because Corpus was going to be more on the short end of the stick.   But I'm hearing rumbles it might be tried again with more goodies for Corpus this time around.    I hope it occurs because this region could use a showcase like football stadium .   It will probably occur after I move from the area in 3 or 4 year from now, but I hope it does.

Yeah TAMUK always relied on valley guys to fill out their roster. With FCS being a step up from D2 I can’t imagine many of those guys being Javelinas in the future. 

 

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31 minutes ago, Helobious said:

Yeah TAMUK always relied on valley guys to fill out their roster. With FCS being a step up from D2 I can’t imagine many of those guys being Javelinas in the future. 

 

Yes and no....  I did my Undergrad there back when it was A&I and most of it's roster was from  Houston/ East Texas and San Antonio areas and complemented with JUCO and D1 transfers from all over the country.  In fact I was there when they got some of the OU and Miami players who were kicked off their teams for participating in criminal activity (lol).    They did manage to get a some of the better valley kids who could have very well played at larger schools, but because the big boy schools did and still do not consider most of south Texas and especially the RGV a good recruiting area, the Javs were able to snag those guys.  I knew a few of them pretty well like Manny Gomez who is the HC at Harlingen.  He was a stud LB at A&I.  He could have played at number of D1 and D1-AA schools in Texas or even out of state.

More recently, they've been attracting more valley guys only because other programs have stepped in and taken market share away from TAMUK and much to their determinant,  TAMUK has let it happen.    Programs like UIW, UTSA, Tarleton, Sam Houston, etc.    They did nothing to upgrade facilities.   They hired crappy coaches the last decade and gave the job to Michael Salinas who is a former Javelina and one of those outstanding valley guys that deserved a shot elsewhere, but he went to TAMUK and did well.   His last coaching job was at Edinburg Vela  (he did some assistant work at West Texas and Sam Houston) and from what I understand, he got the job by default because the other finalists withdrew thanks to lack of administrative clarity on what they were going to do to help the recruiting process.  He wasn't even coaching when he got the job.  He was regional sales for a big sporting goods company which sold direct to school districts.  

I've heard some suggest this was by design by the A&M system to force the merger and then come in and reestablish the program.   I don't know.   But the program that has produced the second or third most NFL Hall of Famers in the state of Texas (more than aggy) is dead or close to it.

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2 minutes ago, Nueces River Rat said:

Yes and no....  I did my Undergrad there back when it was A&I and most of it's roster was from  Houston/ East Texas and San Antonio areas and complemented with JUCO and D1 transfers from all over the country.  In fact I was there when they got some of the OU and Miami players who were kicked off their teams for participating in criminal activity (lol).    They did manage to get a some of the better valley kids who could have very well played at larger schools, but because the big boy schools did and still do not consider most of south Texas and especially the RGV a good recruiting area, the Javs were able to snag those guys.  I knew a few of them pretty well like Manny Gomez who is the HC at Harlingen.  He was a stud LB at A&I.  He could have played at number of D1 and D1-AA schools in Texas or even out of state.

More recently, they've been attracting more valley guys only because other programs have stepped in and taken market share away from TAMUK and much to their determinant,  TAMUK has let it happen.    Programs like UIW, UTSA, Tarleton, Sam Houston, etc.    They did nothing to upgrade facilities.   They hired crappy coaches the last decade and gave the job to Michael Salinas who is a former Javelina and one of those outstanding valley guys that deserved a shot elsewhere, but he went to TAMUK and did well.   His last coaching job was at Edinburg Vela  (he did some assistant work at West Texas and Sam Houston) and from what I understand, he got the job by default because the other finalists withdrew thanks to lack of administrative clarity on what they were going to do to help the recruiting process.  He wasn't even coaching when he got the job.  He was regional sales for a big sporting goods company which sold direct to school districts.  

I've heard some suggest this was by design by the A&M system to force the merger and then come in and reestablish the program.   I don't know.   But the program that has produced the second or third most NFL Hall of Famers in the state of Texas (more than aggy) is dead or close to it.

This 

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59 minutes ago, Helobious said:

Flores Stadium in Edinburg is closest to the campus, Nueces is right though McAllen Memorial is the largest and not terribly far from campus either. Pretty bland as far as stadiums go though. Only RGV field with any character is Sams in Brownsville but that’s way too small for college. 
 

What’s also close to campus & maybe the nicest facility is HEB Park. It’s a minor league soccer field currently and is only a couple years old. I’ve never been to it but I heard it’s nice. Only seats about 9k though. 

There article about the move up is onlne on RGV Sports.    Talk about the soccer stadium in Edinburg being used along with others.   The McAllen ISD stadium is getting a big renovation.    My bet is they try to build one or get that soccer stadium (HEB Park) to football capacity guidelines and play there.   

https://rgvsports.com/news/106871/utrgv-commits-to-exploring-addition-of-fcs-football-program/

 

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49 minutes ago, Nueces River Rat said:

Yes and no....  I did my Undergrad there back when it was A&I and most of it's roster was from  Houston/ East Texas and San Antonio areas and complemented with JUCO and D1 transfers from all over the country.  In fact I was there when they got some of the OU and Miami players who were kicked off their teams for participating in criminal activity (lol).    They did manage to get a some of the better valley kids who could have very well played at larger schools, but because the big boy schools did and still do not consider most of south Texas and especially the RGV a good recruiting area, the Javs were able to snag those guys.  I knew a few of them pretty well like Manny Gomez who is the HC at Harlingen.  He was a stud LB at A&I.  He could have played at number of D1 and D1-AA schools in Texas or even out of state.

More recently, they've been attracting more valley guys only because other programs have stepped in and taken market share away from TAMUK and much to their determinant,  TAMUK has let it happen.    Programs like UIW, UTSA, Tarleton, Sam Houston, etc.    They did nothing to upgrade facilities.   They hired crappy coaches the last decade and gave the job to Michael Salinas who is a former Javelina and one of those outstanding valley guys that deserved a shot elsewhere, but he went to TAMUK and did well.   His last coaching job was at Edinburg Vela  (he did some assistant work at West Texas and Sam Houston) and from what I understand, he got the job by default because the other finalists withdrew thanks to lack of administrative clarity on what they were going to do to help the recruiting process.  He wasn't even coaching when he got the job.  He was regional sales for a big sporting goods company which sold direct to school districts.  

I've heard some suggest this was by design by the A&M system to force the merger and then come in and reestablish the program.   I don't know.   But the program that has produced the second or third most NFL Hall of Famers in the state of Texas (more than aggy) is dead or close to it.

By ‚Äúfill out‚ÄĚ their roster I¬†was saying¬†they turn to the RGV for¬†depth, which is incredibly important at that level of football. I know even today most of their actual¬†playmakers are juco guys & transfers from other parts of the state or oos¬†if I‚Äôm not mistaken.¬†I‚Äôm well aware of A&I‚Äôs history, they were salty as hell back in the day & it‚Äôs been sad to see them fall off so hard. But that stadium, school, and town are all just ugly as hell and outdated as you said. I know they have a good engineering program but I can‚Äôt imagine choosing to play/go to school there if the RGV or Corpus is an option.

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11 minutes ago, Helobious said:

By ‚Äúfill out‚ÄĚ their roster I¬†was saying¬†they turn to the RGV for¬†depth, which is incredibly important at that level of football. I know even today most of their actual¬†playmakers are juco guys & transfers from other parts of the state or oos¬†if I‚Äôm not mistaken.¬†I‚Äôm well aware of A&I‚Äôs history, they were salty as hell back in the day & it‚Äôs been sad to see them fall off so hard. But that stadium, school, and town are all just ugly as hell and outdated as you said. I know they have a good engineering program but I can‚Äôt imagine choosing to play/go to school there if the RGV or Corpus is an option.

I agree....   They've done absolutely nothing to make the facilities even semi attractive other than putting in turf.    If you look at the new digs at West Texas aggy and Tarleton aggy,  you will see they have their chit together.   aggy-Commerce has significantly upgraded facilites....  Like I said.. This is by design by mothership aggy to make the Corpus and Kingsville school merge and then rebuild and rebrand the athletic program.   I know a few years ago when it was purposed, Sharp said a new stadium would happen and baseball would get the hardly used, but nice baseball stadium at the Nueces County Fairgrounds.   aggy-CC already has plans to build a new campus arena  for basketball and volleyball and they have a nice tennis/soccer/ and track complex next to the campus.

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There article about the move up is onlne on RGV Sports.    Talk about the soccer stadium in Edinburg being used along with others.   The McAllen ISD stadium is getting a big renovation.    My bet is they try to build one or get that soccer stadium (HEB Park) to football capacity guidelines and play there.   
https://rgvsports.com/news/106871/utrgv-commits-to-exploring-addition-of-fcs-football-program/
 
This is either bullshit or a terrible idea:
Bailey also added that the potential addition of a Vaqueros football program would not raise student fees at the university.
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5 hours ago, perfectchaos007 said:

HBU has played football for less than a decade and a few months ago they nearly upset Texas Tech. I could see UTRGV being successful and competitive program if they get a coaching staff that knows how to utilize the areas local talent optimally 

The key will be not utilizing local talent.  5'7" guys named Chuey typically don't do well in football.

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 I know a few years ago when it was purposed, Sharp said a new stadium would happen and baseball would get the hardly used, but nice baseball stadium at the Nueces County Fairgrounds.   



My best friend used to live in Harlingen, and the first time we drove down there I nearly drove off the highway because, "WHY IN THE FUCK IS THERE A REALLY NICE LOOKING BASEBALL STADIUM IN FUCKI G ROBSTOWN?"

1. Why did they build that there?
2. Is that close enough to the CC market to draw fans?
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17 minutes ago, Beau Vine said:


 

 


My best friend used to live in Harlingen, and the first time we drove down there I nearly drove off the highway because, "WHY IN THE FUCK IS THERE A REALLY NICE LOOKING BASEBALL STADIUM IN FUCKI G ROBSTOWN?"

1. Why did they build that there?
2. Is that close enough to the CC market to draw fans?

 

I’m the baseball board idiot yet apparently you’re the one that’s never heard of the legendary Coastal Bend Aviators. Go figure. 
 

I had a few cousins that used to live in Bishop. I’ve been to that stadium many, many times. Great ballpark, saw some epic playoff baseball games there in the mid 2000s. Moody & Calallen used to pack the fuck out of that stadium before Whataburger was built.

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3 hours ago, Helobious said:

I’m the baseball board idiot yet apparently you’re the one that’s never heard of the legendary Coastal Bend Aviators. Go figure. 

I have actually seen the Aviators play against the WhiteWings (?) in Harlingen.  I'm just trying to figure out why someone would choose Robstown as a site for a pretty good minor league stadium.  Especially pre-WB Field...

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+1 for ‚Äúshould have kept the Broncs‚ÄĚ, that name had some recognition and loyalty but no one ever cared about anything UTB ever did. Also, I liked the name ‚ÄúPan-American‚ÄĚ much more than UTRGV, just had a better ring to it.

If they want to make a go at football, they need to recruit some local players and then scour the country to fill out the roster with size and speed.  The local kids will be key for FSN support. I also like the idea of playing in a smaller stadium that is full, it’s better energy and fun than playing in cavernous McAllen ISD stadium with a light crowd. 

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6 minutes ago, Beau Vine said:

I have actually seen the Aviators play against the WhiteWings (?) in Harlingen.  I'm just trying to figure out why someone would choose Robstown as a site for a pretty good minor league stadium.  Especially pre-WB Field...

Yes, it was the WhiteWings if it was in Harlingen, they were the Texas-Louisiana league franchise for years. The stadium in Fair Park is pretty cool, it was built in the 30s I think for what was then the Giants. The local high school teams had a near facility to play in.

I think the county gave the Aviators tax breaks to build on that site, but I could be wrong. 

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6 hours ago, Nueces River Rat said:

Yes and no....  I did my Undergrad there back when it was A&I and most of it's roster was from  Houston/ East Texas and San Antonio areas and complemented with JUCO and D1 transfers from all over the country.  In fact I was there when they got some of the OU and Miami players who were kicked off their teams for participating in criminal activity (lol).    They did manage to get a some of the better valley kids who could have very well played at larger schools, but because the big boy schools did and still do not consider most of south Texas and especially the RGV a good recruiting area, the Javs were able to snag those guys.  I knew a few of them pretty well like Manny Gomez who is the HC at Harlingen.  He was a stud LB at A&I.  He could have played at number of D1 and D1-AA schools in Texas or even out of state.

More recently, they've been attracting more valley guys only because other programs have stepped in and taken market share away from TAMUK and much to their determinant,  TAMUK has let it happen.    Programs like UIW, UTSA, Tarleton, Sam Houston, etc.    They did nothing to upgrade facilities.   They hired crappy coaches the last decade and gave the job to Michael Salinas who is a former Javelina and one of those outstanding valley guys that deserved a shot elsewhere, but he went to TAMUK and did well.   His last coaching job was at Edinburg Vela  (he did some assistant work at West Texas and Sam Houston) and from what I understand, he got the job by default because the other finalists withdrew thanks to lack of administrative clarity on what they were going to do to help the recruiting process.  He wasn't even coaching when he got the job.  He was regional sales for a big sporting goods company which sold direct to school districts.  

I've heard some suggest this was by design by the A&M system to force the merger and then come in and reestablish the program.   I don't know.   But the program that has produced the second or third most NFL Hall of Famers in the state of Texas (more than aggy) is dead or close to it.

Manny was a hoss for that 1989 Harlingen team. And damn, that Jav program was something to be proud of. I went to football camp there in the mid-1990s, Juan Castillo was the ‚Äúname‚ÄĚ associated with the camp. Some of the players were camp counselors, I remember him telling us to listen to them because they would be in the pros one day. He wasn‚Äôt wrong, Jermaine Mayberry went in the first round and there was another OL who put together a nice little career.

On the other hand, the dorms we stayed in had no AC and after a week in Kingsville in July with no AC I was cured of ever considering TAMUK as my college destination./csb

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7 hours ago, Helobious said:

Flores Stadium in Edinburg is closest to the campus, Nueces is right though McAllen Memorial is the largest and not terribly far from campus either. Pretty bland as far as stadiums go though. Only RGV field with any character is Sams in Brownsville but that’s way too small for college. 
 

What’s also close to campus & maybe the nicest facility is HEB Park. It’s a minor league soccer field currently and is only a couple years old. I’ve never been to it but I heard it’s nice. Only seats about 9k though. 

Has to be the soccer stadium which is within 5-10 miles of the university. Great environment and will sell out for a college football game.

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3 hours ago, Beau Vine said:


 

 


My best friend used to live in Harlingen, and the first time we drove down there I nearly drove off the highway because, "WHY IN THE FUCK IS THERE A REALLY NICE LOOKING BASEBALL STADIUM IN FUCKI G ROBSTOWN?"

1. Why did they build that there?
2. Is that close enough to the CC market to draw fans?

 

The stadium in Robstown which was built with the Fairgrounds was the result of the feud the County Judge back in then who was from Robstown had with the Mayor of CC at the time.   Their were rumors they Ryans and their investment group were looking around for a new city to place a Double AA franchise and the idiot County Judge thought he could kill it by having a stadium built and attracting a non affiliated league team to the area.      Thankfully the Ryan's didn't back off and got the Hooks located here and built or shall I say the City of Corpus Christi taxpayers helped build,  an even better ballpark in Whataburger Field.   The team that was located in Robstown might have lasted one or two years and nothing has been able to stay in there since then.   I think some summer college leagues use it along with Select Travel Ball and High Schools, but it was a huge waste of money.   

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20 minutes ago, 956 Worldwide said:

Manny was a hoss for that 1989 Harlingen team. And damn, that Jav program was something to be proud of. I went to football camp there in the mid-1990s, Juan Castillo was the ‚Äúname‚ÄĚ associated with the camp. Some of the players were camp counselors, I remember him telling us to listen to them because they would be in the pros one day. He wasn‚Äôt wrong, Jermaine Mayberry went in the first round and there was another OL who put together a nice little career.

On the other hand, the dorms we stayed in had no AC and after a week in Kingsville in July with no AC I was cured of ever considering TAMUK as my college destination./csb

 

 

The 1993 through  1995 Offensive lines for which Mayberry was a member  had four of five that ended up in the NFL.    I recall it was Dotson, Mayberry, Jorge Diaz and one other player who all were starting for NFL clubs .   I swear to this day, those two teams probably could have beaten Rice, SMU, and TCU back and maybe given Houston and Tech hell.   

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3 hours ago, Helobious said:

I’m the baseball board idiot yet apparently you’re the one that’s never heard of the legendary Coastal Bend Aviators. Go figure. 
 

I had a few cousins that used to live in Bishop. I’ve been to that stadium many, many times. Great ballpark, saw some epic playoff baseball games there in the mid 2000s. Moody & Calallen used to pack the fuck out of that stadium before Whataburger was built.

Yep.   I was there for some of those games.  Hotter than hell too.    Thank God Whataburger field is by the bayfront because the bay cools it down in the evenings.  

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Just now, Nueces River Rat said:

 

 

The 1993 through  1995 Offensive lines for which Mayberry was a member  had four of five that ended up in the NFL.    I recall it was Dotson, Mayberry, Jorge Diaz and one other player who all were starting for NFL clubs .   I swear to this day, those two teams probably could have beaten Rice, SMU, and TCU back and maybe given Houston and Tech hell.   

Kevin Dogins! That was the center’s name.

Those teams  with Joe Menchaca at QB were lit, if he hadn’t been suspended I think they’d have beaten North Alabama the second year.

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41 minutes ago, 956 Worldwide said:

Yes, it was the WhiteWings if it was in Harlingen, they were the Texas-Louisiana league franchise for years. The stadium in Fair Park is pretty cool, it was built in the 30s I think for what was then the Giants. The local high school teams had a near facility to play in.

I think the county gave the Aviators tax breaks to build on that site, but I could be wrong. 

My family went to plenty of Whitewing games as a kid, that team usually had pretty decent turnout from what I remembered. We lived in what was allegedly walking distance from the stadium according to my dad. They put the Freshman academy right there by it now.

I agree that HEB Park would be a better environment for the UTRGV team, expand capacity to 11 or 12k. But that first game and probably whole first season they could sell out Mcallen stadium or Lackey I bet. 

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