Chargers send five to the next level

BROWNSVILLE A large chunk of the core that made up Brownsville Veterans Memorial’s Class 5A DI state semifinal run signed to continue playing football Wednesday.

Chargers seniors Gerry Gomez, Israel Yanez, Matthew Pinion and Gilbert Trillo signed with Eastern New Mexico University, and Nick Tovar is staying in the Valley with UTRGV.

Brownsville Veterans defender Nick Tovar (88) leaps to block pass in the end zone meant for Corpus Christi Miller wide receiver Eathan Vela (3) in the final seconds of the game in a Region IV-5A DI championship at Sam Stadium on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, in Brownsville. Photo courtesy of Sixtum Pictures

Tovar, a tight end, grew into easily the most physical tight end in the Valley this season and is deciding to stay home with an eye on playing NCAA DI football in 2025.

“I have a dream of playing in the NFL one day, and I feel like this journey going to UTRGV will get me there,” Tovar said.

Tovar was a terrific blocker but also showed his ability to grab catches, especially late in the season.

Brownsville Veterans offensive lineman Matthew Pinion. (Courtesy Photo | BISD Athletics)

Tovar, along with Pinion and Yanez, made up the strong side of a Chargers offensive line that pushed around defensive lines this season.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Yanez said. “I think it will help me grow as a person and is an all-around cool experience to have.”

Eastern New Mexico University competes in the Lone Star Conference at the NCAA Division II level.

Yanez could play multiple positions for the Greyhounds along the offensive line, and Pinion has a chance to start at strong tackle.

Veterans Memorial Charger running back Gilbert Trillo (1) hustles with the ball Friday night against Weslaco East Wildcats in Brownsville. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

Gomez, Trillo, Pinion and Yanez are excited about the prospect of continuing to play in the same offense.

“Especially with people you are comfortable with and have chemistry with, it feels good,” Pinion said.

Trillo, the Herald/Star MVP for the 2023 season, also was named to the Texas High School Coaches Association’s Texas 5A Super Elite team this week along with teammate Jaime Martinez.

The Chargers’ standout safety/running back could play in a variety of different positions at ENMU.

“I expect great things, and we have to work, we always have to work hard,” Trillo said. “But we expect to put all of our passion into it.”

Brownsville Veterans Memorial receiver Gerry Gomez catches a pass from Sergio Sosa against McHi Friday night at Sams Memorial Stadium. (Andrew Cordero/Special to The Monitor)

Gomez, a standout receiver and defensive back for the Chargers, also is ready to possibly play defense. But he is likely to continue playing receiver and also is set to continue doing track and field where he is a state qualifier in the triple jump.

Gomez, along with his teammates, are ready to reunite with former head coach Kelley Lee.

“He is someone that just wins,” Gomez said of Lee.

The five players were extremely grateful and appreciative of the coaching staff at Brownsville Veterans and the community for helping them go to the next level.