The town of Clint sits about 25 miles outside downtown El Paso, but the town is home to one of the best football teams in El Paso County this season. The Clint Lions are 8-0 and have put together a special season that’s had many people take notice.
“I’ve talked to some of the other players that have graduated and some in the community and they don’t remember or they don’t think it’s ever happened so it’s been a special year for these guys,” said head coach Rosvel Martinez.
Martinez has been the full time head coach of the Lions since 2005 and has been with the program since 2001. Under his tenure, the Lions have made the postseason every year since 2008 and are in a good position to make it back again this year. Martinez credits two things to his program’s overall success: heart and consistency.
“I think it has a lot to do with continuity,” Martinez said, “Having coaches and kids that believe in the system really helps and it turns out to be great. We don’t have the numbers like everybody does, but if we get kids that have a big heart and want to play, that’s all we want.”
It’s a message that has resonated with his players, particularly for running back Marco Martinez. Martinez transferred to Clint from Crane High School and has rushed for 995 yards and nine touchdowns this season in the Lions’ wishbone offense that is second in the state in total rushing yards this season, averaging 400 yards per game.
“I’m proud to be a Clint Lion,” Martinez said, “This team is like a family and they took me in and ever since then, our season has been special because we all treat each other right and don’t put each other down. We all have heart.”
“For us, we’ve worked as a family not just as a team,” said Clint lineman Justin Sosa, “We work hard and we push each other to the limit and make sure that everybody goes 100 percent every day.”
This Friday, the Lions face their biggest challenge of the season as they host Andrews in a District 2-4A Division 1 matchup that will likely decide the district title. The Mustangs roll into Clint with an explosive offense, averaging almost 53 points a game and breaking 70 points three different times this season.
“Defensively, we just need to get all 11 to the football and keep that high tempo offense off the field,” said senior linebacker Brandon Ware.
“They’re going to score some points,” Coach Martinez said, “We’re going to try and slow them down as much as we can and we’re going to find out what kind of football we can play.”
As the regular season winds down, the Lions are in a good spot to make the postseason again, but right now are just focused on trying to beat Andrews and maintaining that success.
“We’ve had kids that are coachable and want to play,” Martinez said, “That’s why we’re 8-0 but we can still get better just like any program. We’re learning every day and hopefully that will help us get to the top.”