Coming off of several losing seasons, few people outside of San Saba expected much of the 2009 San Saba Armadillos. What they got was the best season in 15 years. The Armadillos had a 9-3 record, losing to the Cisco Lobos in the area round of the playoffs.
The 8-2 regular season matched the record from 1994. Nine wins was the most since 1991. The unbeaten home season also matched 1991. The playoff win against Wall was the first win since 1987.
The defense allowed 123 points in the regular season. That is the fewest regular season points since 1991. The season total of 179 points is the fewest since 2001. The opening week shutout of DeLeon was the first shutout since 2001 and the three shutouts in the season were the most since 1994.
San Saba scored 328 points. It is the most since 1991. During the season, San Saba snapped long losing streaks to Bangs (12 games), Early (8 games), Comanche (7 games) and Coleman (5 games).
San Saba had 3457 yards of total offense. The Dillos had 3729 in 1992. The rushing game produced 2566 yards. That is the most since 1987. The Armadillos had 37 touchdowns rushing. According to people around the town, it is the most since 1968 when the Dillos went to the state quarterfinals.
Jack Whitten led the team in rushing with 912 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also had 5 receptions. Gary Gant had 685 yards rushing, 6 touchdowns and 7 catches. On defense, Gant led the team with 6 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries.
Hayden Oliver rushed for 512 yards and 5 scores. Anthony Salinas scored 11 times in his 241 yards rushing. Chase Key led the team with 19 catches for 294 yards and 3 scores.
Tucker Cromer led the team in tackles with 190. Salinas had 4 fumble recoveries, Pete Torres had 3 fumble recoveries and 3 interceptions.
There were 14 seniors on the 2009 Armadillos. Finishing their career at San Saba were Chase Key, Ryan Parks, Hector Jimenez, Hayden Oliver, Juan Rivera, Jose Olivas, David Smith, Tyler McIntosh, Manuel Landeros, John Hartranft, Anthony Salinas, Chance Gotcher, Pete Torres and Braden McBee. The seven linemen will be missed. Oliver and Parks at running back and receivers Key, Gotcher, Jimenez and McBee along with Torres at tight end played key roles during the season.
Returning are Juniors Gary Gant, Jack Whitten, Tucker Cromer, Jason Wells, Max Palacio, Cody Herd and Diego Gonzalez. Five Sophomores were on the varsity squad; Ryan Pannell, Alex Cervantes, Isaac Jimenez, Wil Sloan and Dominic Rosales. Joining them on Varsity next year as Juniors will be Clayton Perry, Luke Cox, Allan Hale, Zach Davis, Tanner Weyerts, Conner Arrington, D. J. McKinney and Celestino Aguirre.
Freshmen on the JV squad and suited up for the playoff games were Jarrett Mathis, Russell Lowe, Sean Argote, Aaron Perez, Nathan Amstead, Juan Garcia, Russton Ellis, Diego Montoya, Michael McKinnerney, Juan Ortega, Dusty Parham, Joseph Lindsey and Mario Valdez.
Oscar Villa also played on JV as an 8th grader because of UIL age limits. Joining Villa next year will be fellow 8th graders Kelan Verette, Dallas Caldwell, Jordan Watson, Kolton Ellis, Ashton Krueger, Ruben Aguirre, Daniel Calderon, Cosme Diaz, T. J. Hibler, Jerry Davila at the "skill positions." The linemen for the 8th grade team were Ismael Ramirez, Dustin Sloan, Branden Amstead, Gunnar Hibler, Kristian McCoury, Wesley Gates, Brian Rogers and Dylan Rosales. This line averaged 190 pounds.