When San Antonio Brennan took on San Antonio East Central in a matchup of two former playoff teams, Brennan defensive end Derick Roberson had an extra fan in the stands.
No, he wasn't attached to Brennan. And up until the past year or so, he wasn't especially close with Roberson. But Trey Lealaimatafao went out to catch Roberson's game, as part of the growing friendship between the two, caused largely by their shared commitment to Texas.
"He was really doing well," Lealaimatafao said. "They were kind of cut-blocking him a lot. But he was doing good."
Having to deal with lineman lunging at your knees is yet another thing that the duo has in common. When dealing with high-level defensive linemen, the easiest option for high school blockers is often to try and make a quick cut block, rather than having to stay up and win a block.
"In my last game, I got cut almost every play," Lealaimatafao said.
But cut blocks haven't been enough to slow Roberson from a big year this season, and Lealaimatafao hasn't really been limited either. San Antonio Warren is 2-2 on the season, but have shown flashes — like with a 48-7 win over San Antonio Jay last week — of turning it on.
And the defensive tackle didn't necessarily like where things were going so, after a loss, he helped conduct a team meeting.
"We just have to put it together," Lealaimatafao said. "It's our senior year, you know? We can't go out like we went out last year."
Lealaimatafao said he and Roberson talk consistently about how excited they are to get to Texas and play alongside each other on the defensive line. He said he's interested to see how the defense changes under the leadership of new defensive coordinator Greg Robinson.
"When I first committed, they told me there weren't going to be any coaching staff changes," Lealaimatafao said. "But it's cool. I'm waiting to see what happens."
It helps that Lealaimatafao really likes area recruiter Duane Akina, the Longhorns' defensive backs coach. Lealaimatafao said that Akina jokes with his little brother — a 12-year-old who plays running back and defensive back for his youth team — about when he's going to join Trey on the 40 Acres.
When Lealaimatafao does arrive, he doesn't consider the job finished. He's headed to Texas to excel, not to blend in.
"We're going to have high expectations," Lealaimatafao said. "It's Texas, we're bringing in the top recruits. We've got too many defensive tackles for people to handle, and we'll have defensive ends coming from everywhere. We just need to get there and mesh. I'm excited for next year."
Part of that excitement stems from Lealaimatafao looking forward to coaching from Texas defensive tackles coach Bo Davis. Davis worked with Lealaimatafao at Texas camp this summer, and while it wasn't a prolonged period, Lealaimatafao said he improved from the one-day's work.
"II like that he's really hands on," Lealaimatafao said. "He's up-tempo about everything. He's straight to the point, and he's blunt. That's what I like about him.
"There were just the little things that he was teaching me that are going to make me better," Lealaimatafao said. "He wants me to come off the ball hard and try to stay low. And he wants me to keep my head up on cut blocks."
That last technique should come in handy for both Lealaimatafao and Roberson as they continue their senior years.
"I just want to keep getting better," Lealaimatafao said.