Those are three numbers that McAllen High head football coach Patrick Shelby says have meaning regarding 2019 high school football season.
175 – that’s how many kids tried out for the McHi football program.
6 – that’s how many wins the Bulldogs are targeting.
42 – that’s how many seniors will lead the way and help prepare for this year and the future.
For Shelby, in his first year at the helm of the Bulldogs, those numbers have significance.
“That is a pretty good, high number right there,” Shelby said about the 175. “That’s a good problem to have. We want our students to have interest in their school.”
Shelby was one of several coaches who brought some of their football players for The Monitor’s Media day for District 30-6A football teams Tuesday Monday at Mcallen Veterans Memorial Stadium.
McHi was 2-8 overall last year and 1-6 in the district with a lone district win, 14-10, over La Joya Juarez-Lincoln in the Bulldogs’ final home game of the season.
Six wins is the goal Shelby and the Bulldogs are aiming for this year – at a minimum.
“We have to take care of business this year,” said Shelby who came over the McHi after about 18 months as an assistant coach at Weslaco High. “We have to take care of the things we gotta do and that’s done day-by-day and week-by-week.
“The biggest transition getting here was getting everyone used to the terminology and getting everything changed to the way we are going to do things,” Shelby said. “The way we structure our workouts are different, the terminology is different. That was the toughest part.”
Shelby added that’s where the number 42 comes into play.
“That’s a big group and I tell them quite often how our senior leadership goes is normally how our season should go,” he said. “Good leadership and a continued commitment to the program and their buy in will teach the younger guys the culture that we have.”
Coaching a major Class 6A program in South Texas brings with it its share of pressure. Shelby said, however, that it’s not negative pressure.
“It’s good pressure – anytime that type of pressure is on you, it allows you to work a whole lot harder,” he said. “It allows you to use the other guys around you to get things done and allows you to work more freely.
“The biggest transition for me was a lot more with my mindset, to open it up a whole lot more and realize that I’m not just focusing on one sports but the whole program. Then its getting the guys in the right place so we can thrive as a high school. I think we’re off to a great start.”
Shelby is a Lubbock native who played football at Hardin Simmons University and coached as a graduate assistant. He went to Sam Houston State in 2008, working with tight ends and running backs for two years before heading back to Hardin Simmons for graduate schools. He then coached at Cisco Junior College on the defensive line for year. In 2012 he and his family moved to the Valley where he was an assistant at Edinburg Vela High School for five years before he transitions to Weslaco High.
“After I got this job. I just thanked the good Lord upstairs – this has always been a goal of mine,” Shelby said. “I went home, sat with my wife and kids and told them I gotta go to work tomorrow.”
Just as a note – Hardin Simmons, Weslaco and McHi all have one thing in common. Their main school color is purple.
“Purple and gold,” Shelby said. “It’s in my blood.”
McHi opens its 2019 high school football regular season at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31 at Brownsville Lopez. The Bulldogs home opener is the following Friday, Sept. 6 against Edinburg North.
The Monitor special football section will be in papers at the end of August. Check www.themonitor.com and www.rgvsports.com for more details.