New Chargers staff emphasizing effort, discipline

The Brownsville Veterans Memorial Chargers may not have the same number of football players out as before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the new coaching staff is getting the most out of the athletes it has.

First-year coach Kelley Lee’s team is ahead of schedule in terms of learning the new schemes and systems thanks to the sport-specific time the UIL allowed throughout the summer. So, the focus for Week 1 has shifted to “playing hard, controlling the controllables and being physically and mentally tough.”

“It was huge with the UIL allowing that hour of skills,” Lee said. “Less teaching now in camp than there normally is and more trying to do it the right way. We’re way ahead of where we would have been. …

“We want to play with phenomenal effort, we like to say ‘fanatical effort,’” Lee continued. “We want to play harder than everybody we play. That’s our goal. It’s one thing to say that, but it’s another thing to do it. We grade effort every day, we run for lack of effort, and we encourage it and praise it.”

Lee has seen plenty of positives during his first few months on the job. He feels the offensive line and the linebacker core that returns its top two tacklers from the 2020 season — William Wassen and Jorge Alvarado — will be some of Brownsville Veterans’ main strengths.

There’s a three-man quarterback battle brewing at camp and plenty of competition for the other available positions. BVM returns five offensive and six defensive starters. Lee is pleased with the leadership he has seen from the veterans and the rapid, consistent growth across the board.

“What I really like about this team is we’re getting better every day,” Lee said. “A lot of times, you get into camp and you’ll see some good stuff but it’ll dip, and I feel like we’ve gotten better at not only knowing our schemes but the way we practice, our discipline, just growing every day. That’s encouraging because if we do that all year long, we’ll be pretty good by the end of the year.”

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