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BROWNSVILLE — When Brownsville St. Joseph Academy players line up on their first defensive possession against Santa Rosa at 7:30 p.m. Friday, both teams intend to take to J.T. Canales Field with only 10 players, the play clock will run out and the subsequent penalty declined.
Bloodhounds senior Anuar Jobi died in a motor vehicle accident early Sunday morning. Jobi, along with three other teammates, were hit by a driver traveling the wrong way on the expressway in Donna.
Juan Pablo Vidaurri, Jorge Emilio Garza Gonzalez and Juan Kattas were injured in the accident. All three have had surgeries and have been released from the hospital, Brownsville St. Joseph athletic director and head football coach Tino Villarreal said on Wednesday.
The 10-player symbol is one of many on Friday night for both St. Joseph Academy and Santa Rosa, two programs and communities that have started this young football season dealing with tragic deaths.
“Both communities are hurting,” Villarreal said.
Santa Rosa senior offensive lineman Arturo Sauceda was shot and killed on July 25 in San Perlita.
“We start our practice over here with a team prayer,” Santa Rosa athletic director and head football coach Joe Marichalar said. “We send that prayer over there to those families, that team and community, because we know how it is. We know what they are going through and send our prayers.”
Marichalar, on behalf of Santa Rosa ISD, hopes the community of St. Joseph can heal soon, he said.
Jobi and Sauceda were key players and seniors for both programs. Jobi on defense, Sauceda on offense.
Jobi was the type of kid to try to make everyone happy and accepted everyone without question, Villarreal said.
“He was just a great kid to coach,” Villarreal said. “Jobi, you can say was the glue. It hurts our team to lose a brother. It is like cutting a limb off your body, it hurts us … we are hurting and we are hurt.”
There has been an overwhelming outpour of support from all around the Valley, Villarreal said.
“We are blessed to be surrounded by amazing people here in the Valley,” Villarreal said.
The Bloodhounds play in TAPPS Division II District 3. District coaches and programs reached out to Villarreal and will wear No. 10 on their helmets.
“Stuff like that is special, it just shows that we love the game of football, but ultimately it is just a game,” Villarreal said. “It reminds us that what we are doing here is helping transform and shape the lives of young people through a game, and it is amazing to see when you go beyond the game and get that type of support.”
The Warriors (1-0) and the Bloodhounds (1-0) are coming off impressive showings in their season openers. Santa Rosa beat Harlingen Marine Military Academy 54-28, and St. Joseph beat Brownsville Lopez 60-21.