Exclusive: Cardinals set to scrimmage Deion Sanders’ Prime Prep Academy
By Eladio Jaimez
The Harlingen Cardinals football program is stepping it up another notch.
On Wednesday, Cards head coach Manny Gomez confirmed exclusively to RGVBlogger.com that a three-way scrimmage has been scheduled between former Dallas Cowboys great Deion Sanders’ Prime Prep Academy and the Sharyland Rattlers.
The exhibition will take place on Friday August 23 at Boggus Stadium in Harlingen at 7 p.m. Sanders will be at the game.
Sanders, known to fans as “Primetime” and “Neon Deion,” played for the Cowboys from 1995-99. Sanders started his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 1989 and played through 1993. He spent one year in San Francisco in 1994, winning a Super Bowl against the San Diego Chargers.
Sanders finished off his NFL career with one season with the Washington Redskins (2000) and two with the Baltimore Ravens (2004-05).
Sanders also played in the Major Leagues from 1994-2001 most memorably with the Atlanta Braves (1991-94) and Cincinnati Reds (1994-95, 1997, 2001).
The Cardinals and Rattlers have been the class of 5A football in the Valley the past few seasons.
Last year, the two met in a highly anticipated postseason clash with the Rattlers advancing to the third round of the playoffs with a 42-2 win against the Cardinals.
Sharyland’s won four straight District 30-5A titles from 2009-12 but the postseason hadn’t been kind to the Rattlers until last year. In 2009, the Rattlers were ousted by Edinburg North in the area. In 2010, the Edinburg Bobcats rallied in the fourth at Memorial Stadium in McAllen to upset the Sharyland in another premature area exit. In 2011, Laredo United pulled off a bi-district stunner sending back the Rattlers right off the bat.
For Harlingen, it’s been a joy ride under seven-year head coach Gomez.
The Cards have made the playoffs every year under Gomez and are currently riding a 13-year postseason streak.
Harlingen’s won five straight league crowns including last year’s 32-5A championship despite starting the year 0-2.
But it was 2012 that’s been the most memorable campaign so far.
Forever a Valley hurdle, the third round of the playoffs and San Antonio Warren were no match for a determined Big Red squad.
Harlingen blasted the Warriors 53-28 to move on to the Class 5A state semifinals against San Antonio Madison.
That same year, Harlingen made headlines in the offseason when it scheduled the Abilene Eagles, a renowned state powerhouse, in a non-district affair. Harlingen beat the Eagles, 45-44, in double overtime in front of nearly 5,000 at Heroes Stadium in San Antonio.
Check back with www.rgvblogger.com for more updates.