EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Coming off arguably the best two years in program history, Horizon is under new leadership in 2022.

After Paulo Melendez left at the end of the 2021-22 school year to be the offensive line coach at Eastlake, the Scorpions have tasked former Americas offensive coordinator Dwan Smith with leading them into the new season.

Horizon won back-to-back Bi-District championships in 2020 and 2021, but the stars of those teams – quarterback Jacob Quijas and running back Ernie Garcia – have graduated.

The cupboard isn’t bare for the first-time head coach Smith, though. 10 total starters return and Smith will look to put his own flavor on the team.

“There’s no pressure at all. There’s definitely a mindset of wanting to do well, but understanding that I’m coming in as a new coach and coming in to help and lead, we’re going to do the best we can,” said Smith.

His new players have been pleased with him and the early returns on his offense have been good. Horizon will host Jefferson to open the season Aug. 26.