(Photo by Kara Calamba/The LANCE)
By Miguel La Torre
After being absent for more almost two decades, Colegio de San Juan de Letran’s collegiate football team is finally making their comeback in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 94.
Different factors have hampered the team’s resurgence. From the lack of players to behavioral setbacks; bringing back the collegiate football club was never an easy task.
However, despite numerous hindrances, head coach Rex Velasquez never lost hope as he willed the seniors team back in the NCAA football landscape. “A Letran football alumnus coach will always go the extra mile to make the alumni and the community proud,” he said.
“Despite all the many hindrances, obstacles, setbacks, and disappointments, we will always do our best for our Alma Mater,” he proudly added.
For a team that was absent in the league for countless years, the journey in bringing back football in the blue and red walls of Letran was never a walk in the park.
Velasquez admitted that recruiting players was the hardest part in bringing back the program as the Colegio is not a well-known breeding ground for the sport. Velasquez also claimed that rival schools are giving more incentives to their football teams, thus, placing Letran at the bottom of an athlete’s preferred destinations.
“Since we offer the least privileges to our football athletes, we are the last option for those good players,” he claimed. “We have more than 10 graduating high school players, unfortunately, only six of them stayed,” he added in disappointment.
Velasquez remained positive though, as he believes that the key in winning will always depend on the team’s preparation. “We will try to reach the final four. But qualifying is still greatly dependent on our preparation and on how the other teams have built their squad,” he explained.
Even if the team is back to square one, Velasquez assures the Letran community that his wards will be putting up a fight this season.
(First published on The LANCE's June-July 2018 Issue)