Ex-Gonzales football coach puts his stamp on Cardinals programs
AREA TEAM INCLUDED IN THIS POST: Southside.
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New Southside football coach Ricky Lock likes the challenge of rebuilding programs. His influence, though, may also extend to other Cardinals teams in need of a boost.
Lock, who also serves as Southside’s athletic director, has hired baseball coach Larry Wuthrich, girls basketball coach Jessica Macias-Cardenas and softball coach Amy Behlen since the end of the 2013-14 school year. The girls basketball team was the only squad in the four sports that qualified for the postseason last year.
“I think it’s a great opportunity coming in,” Lock said. “I like building programs. I think Southside has been in the playoffs four times in school history, to my knowledge, and I don’t think they’ve won a playoff game.
“With the economic growth and the companies coming in on the south side, I think it’s an excellent opportunity. We’ll have new facilities with Field Turf being installed on the football field and an indoor facility being built that all sports will be able to benefit from.”
The Cardinals most recently qualified for the playoffs in 2010 and 2011 under Lock’s predecessor, Paul Haberer. Southside finished 1-9 overall and 1-6 in for eighth place in eight-team District 29-4A last year. It will compete in District 29-5A for the next two years.
Lock, who has a 120-76 overall record in 18 seasons, comes to the Cardinals after five seasons at Gonzales. He took the Apaches to five playoff appearances. They reached the Class 3A state quarterfinals twice. Including last season when they fashioned a 9-5 record.
“We’re in a district I feel we can compete in,” said Lock, who had a 43-16 record and made the playoffs three times at Gonzales.
“The kids we have here are good kids. They are really respectful and have a good work ethic. I’ve been pretty pleased so far.”
Southside also has yet to win its first postseason game in baseball, having made the playoffs for just the second time in 2011 under Fernando Garcia. In the recently completed season, Southside finished 4-20 overall record and eighth in 29-4A with a 1-13 record.
Wuthrich, who’ll coach the receivers during football season, has worked with Lock at both Elgin and Gonzales. He coached at Gonzales the last four years, following two years at Gainesville and four at Elgin.
“There was a change of philosophy and leadership in Gonzales,” Wuthrich said. “When the opportunity came to follow (Lock) to Southside, it was a no-brainer.
“I came to visit Southside twice and now we’re having a strength and conditioning camp. I like what I’ve seen. The boys are working hard for Coach Lock, and there’s no substitute for hard work.”
The softball team has made seven playoff appearances, with its last foray being in 2012 under Behlen’s predecessor Mike Alfaro. The new coach comes from a program that is used to advancing to the postseason. Behlen has been an assistant to Bryan Waller and Megan McCutcheon at East Central, which has a four-year postseason streak.
The Hornets have advanced to the area round each of the last two years. Behlen, who has built the Adrenaline club program, hopes to achieve that type of success at Southside. The Cardinals finished 5-21 overall record and 2-12 for seventh in 29-4A last year.
“East Central was kind of struggling when I first got there,” said Behlen, who coached seven years at the school. “It was a blessing to see it get to where it is. I plan to do the same thing at Southside. We may not get there the first year, or first couple of years, but we’ll get there eventually.
“I want to see Southside up there with East Central, O’Connor and Johnson – in the city’s top 10 rankings.”
Girls basketball has been one of the school’s most successful programs, reaching the playoffs seven times. Macias-Cardenas was chosen to replace Dolores Sulaica, whose teams qualified twice during her five seasons at Southside.
The Cardinals finished with an 18-14 overall record and 10-4 mark for third in 29-4A. Sulaica will coach at Poteet.
Macias-Cardenas was the top assistant at South San, under longtime Bobcats coach Lucy Sanchez.
“She does a great job,” Lock said. “She has an extensive background in basketball and tremendous knowledge of the sport. We’re very excited to have her at Southside.”
MORE TO COME