Shared from the 8/24/2016 Southside Reporter eEdition

Cardenas returns to roots as head coach of Mustangs

Marvin Pfeiffer / San Antonio Express-News

Jefferson’s General Gonzales looks to pass as Seth Garza (left) blocks South San’s Joshua Clement during their scrimmage Aug. 19 at Alamo Stadium.

Jefferson Mustangs


Edward Cardenas

2015 record: 3-7 overall, 3-5 district

Returning starters: 7 offense, 7 defense

Top returners: QB General Gonzales, C Seth Garza, DL Nathaniel Magellanez

Top newcomer: WR Da Juan Cooper

The skinny: After relying on the running game for the last few seasons, first-year coach Cardenas will open it up with the spread offense. Cardenas began his coaching career with the Mustangs and most recently served as an assistant at O’Connor.

Coach Edward Cardenas returns to his roots at Jefferson.

The 1985 Edison graduate began his coaching career in 1991 at Jefferson. Since then, he’s been at Highlands, Fox Tech and Harlandale. His most recent stop was at O’Connor where he coached linebackers for four seasons. He was hired last spring in what is his first head-coaching job.

Cardenas plans to open up the offense with the Spread after the Mustangs relied on a running attack in recent seasons.

Jefferson has a good nucleus returning with seven starters on each side of the ball. Senior General Gonzales passed for 593 yards and seven touchdowns in 2015. With the Mustangs expecting to pass more, expect those numbers to improve.

Three starters return on the offensive line. Senior Seth Garza is the strongest player on the team, according to Cardenas. Garza, Christian Ramirez and Lupe Trejo solidify the line.

Axel Tanajara has speed and will be a big-play threat. Five of his nine catches last year went for scores.

DaJuan Cooper is one of the Mustangs’ best athletes and will be utilized more in the offense at receiver after only catching three passes a year ago.

Senior end Nathaniel Magellanez, who had 35 tackles and three sacks, will lead the defense. Linebacker Ian Garza finished strong after being injured early in the season. Linebacker Alex Carbajal can possibly see time on offense.

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