Pictured: The Alice Coyote junior varsity and varsity teams took to Memorial Stadium Friday night to scrimmage against the Corpus Christi Ray Texans. The Coyotes' season begins Friday at home versus Laredo Cigarroa. Photo by PETE GARCIA

Loyal fans say they are optimistic about this year's team

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

Children ran up and down the aluminum ramp as their tiny feet stomped with a thumping sound, fans oooed and aaahed depending on which way the football play ended, and some adults talked about family and caught up with old friends.

That's what could be heard and expected at the first scrimmage held Friday for the junior varsity and varsity teams as hundreds of fans took to Memorial Stadium to get a glimpse of this year's teams.

But through it all, fans remained loyal to the good ole boys - the Alice Coyotes.

"One more season, we've got to go to the playoffs," said Ray Mitchell, a devout fan since 1988. "This year we have the speed and the quickness."

Fans in the stands were shouting, "way to go defense," and "get him, get him!"

The young and old have a common ground when football season starts. Win or lose, Coyote fans stand behind the Coyotes and many have followed them for decades.

Manuel Garcia, also known as "Mr. Coyote," is optimistic about this football season.

"Last year we tied these (Ray Texans) guys in scrimmage," said Garcia, who attended the game with his son, Bryan, a former Coyote. "I'm hoping it gets better."

Garcia got his nickname because he started a Coyote Web site with a photo gallery of pictures he takes of the Coyote games. He began the gallery in 2001. He said he's been an active fan for 14 years.

High school cheerleaders cheered and danced to motivate the crowd and the Strutters cheered from the bleachers.

Senior high school student Amanda Alvarez said she liked what she saw at the scrimmage and gave the Coyotes a thumbs up.

"I think they did really good," she said. "I'm really excited for this year."