Declan is a mainstay on the Flour Bluff OL. He’s one of the most fun guys to follow on Twitter and we caught up with him to get his thoughts on the upcoming season.
After a loss to Port Lavaca Calhoun in the playoffs last year, what are the expectations this year?
We have extremely high expectations for this year. Obviously we expect to contend for a district championship and win it, but we expect to be the best team Flour Bluff has ever had. We have the talent to do it, now it’s time to do it.
What lessons did the team take from the loss?
That loss to Calhoun really taught us that we have to finish everything we start. We played a lot of games last season in which the starters didn’t play much after the 3rd quarter, so that Calhoun game was really the first time since we played Alice to open up district that we had to go squeeze one out. That’s been our calling card all offseason. Finish finish finish.
As an undersized offensive lineman, do you think that opponents underestimate your ability?
I absolutely feel that I’m underestimated by defensive linemen due to my size. Maybe it’s just the chip on my shoulder from being small, but sometimes it seems like teams want to put their best lineman in front of me, so they can get a win, but those are the same teams that end up voting me all-district at the end of the year, so it’s ok.
With the potential for an explosive offense, how has the defense looked so far?
Our defense is going to be underrated and they know it. They’re so hungry. That group held their own with us the entire spring and actually won our spring game. That group can be special. Really special.
What’s your feeling on playing a team like Kilgore?
I’m so excited to play Kilgore. It’s nice to have a big matchup that can bring some light to the coastal bend teams. They’re a really really good football team and so are we. I love competitive games like that. We know it’s going to be a dogfight and we’re ecstatic.
Does Calallen vs Flour Bluff decide the district championship?
Calallen vs. Flour Bluff may ultimately decide the district, but I don’t look at it that way. Any game in this district can decide it. Alice is a good team, Victoria East and West can both have good teams, Miller has some Talent, so does T-M. This district is going to be a dogfight. I don’t think beating Calallen would win us the district, but it sure could lose it.
How has the team responded to the hiring of Coach Steinbruck?
Coach Steinbruck has brought a different energy to our team. Not necessarily better, or worse, but different. The team has really responded to him. He has really preached playing fast and this new offense really does that for us.
Who is the fastest player on the team?
Tommy Martin is probably the fastest guy on our roster, but we’re loaded with speed. Kevin Dewitt is not far behind Tommy. Watching them race makes me feel inadequate. Absolute burners.
What do you want to major in once you get to college?
I would like to major in History or Kinesiology once I get to college. I’ve wanted to be a coach for as long as I remembered. Pretty much since I realized I wasn’t going to make it to the NFL, I’ve wanted to be a coach. That’s my dream, to be a head coach.
What piece of advice that you’d give young football players just starting out?
If I had one piece of advice for young players, it would be to never take a second for granted. You hear it all the time, but your career ends to quickly, even if you’re lucky enough to play all through high school and into college, in the grand scheme of things, that’s such a small time in your life that will create so many memories. I’ve had so many friends who have his game snatched from them and that’s something I’ve learned, to never take it for granted.
Thank you for your time and good luck this season.
It was great talking to you!