EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Del Valle was once again the class of District 1-5A Division I in 2022, polishing off a 9-2 season and another district championship.

The Conquistadores lost a lot off of the 2022 squad, though, including a three-year starter at quarterback in Jesse Ramos. Returning just 10 total starters might have other coaches worried, but Rudy Contreras isn’t stressed about Del Valle’s chances in 2023.

A young group of sophomores played a lot for the Conquistadores in 2022 and they all return a year older and wiser this fall, including Manny Fuller and Matt Lopez. Fuller is likely the best of the bunch at running back and safety, picking up Division I offers from Houston, Texas Tech and UTSA in the offseason.

“Last year, we had a very strong sophomore and junior class that didn’t spot play, they had big roles and they came up big for us,” said Contreras. “We have some spots to fill, but we’re really comfortable confident in the guys we have coming up.”

Quarterback is still a question mark, but sophomore signal caller Jake Fette may end up being the man for Del Valle.

Defensively, lineman Omar Riddick returns, as does two-way talent Johnathan Estrada. Del Valle is still smarting from its Bi-District loss at home last November and it’s driven them all off-season.

“This year’s team, I think we’re really good. We’re really young so in the coming years, we’ll be really good. But right now I think we’re one of the most skilled teams in the city,” said Fuller.

Del Valle will open the 2023 season on the road at Burges on Aug. 25 at 7 p.m.

That’s also the first night of the Borderland’s most in-depth high school football wrap-up show, 9 Overtime. Tune in for the season premiere of 9OT at 10:15 p.m. on Aug. 25 with Colin Deaver, Sam Guzman, Ed Stansbury, Jason Flores and Andy Morgan.