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For Seymour’s Andres Castro, the timing was right for him to join the Seymour football team at the beginning of his junior season.

“I wanted to come out years before, but I couldn’t or wasn’t able to, and then I could my junior year,” Castro said. “I started lifting in the Winter Warriors.”

Castro said that, when practices started, it didn’t take long for him to realize that he had to be aggressive.

“I got used to it because it’s more intense, and you have to be more physical with it, and I was up to the challenge,” he said.

This season, Castro is playing defensive tackle for the Owls.

In games, the senior focuses on his assignments.

“When a guard pulls, I usually follow him, and my key is the running back, or I tackle the quarterback,” Castro said. “It’s pretty much what we say; you have to do your 1-11. If we all do our 1-11s, then we’ll get to the ball.

“I’ve had a few tackles for loss and one or two sacks.”

Castro weighs 225 and sometimes is matched up against offensive linemen weighing 250 or 260.

“I’m usually quicker than them,” Castro said. “I’m quick off the ball. So having size and quickness is a big plus. Usually offensive linemen are built bigger, and they get tired easily, and they just get up and block standing up, and one huge thing (for the defense) is staying low and go for the tackle.”

Castro said he watches the offensive linemen to see how they are blocking; and if they take a step back, he knows it is going to be a pass, so he has to attack accordingly.

“We always look at the coach for the signs,” he said. “We look for certain signs, especially in the D line. I usually stay inside because I trust my teammates to make the tackle outside.”

Success starts on the practice field, Castro said.

“Practice is a huge,” he said. “We usually start off with offensive practice and then defense, and we have certain times where we’re as a team; or we’re doing specific parts, so we know what to do for that certain team. That is a huge help so we know what to do on Friday nights.”

Castro said you have to talk on every play and make sure no one misses an assignment.

In all games, he said, communication and keeping a strong mental game can make or break the team.

“Communication is really big,” Castro said. “If we don’t do that and miss our gaps or go to the wrong place that is a big play for them. Once we do communicate and make the play they have a loss of yardage.

“The mental part of sports is huge. I don’t think we would be as successful if that mental toughness wasn’t there. We all have to be mentally tough.”

Q&A

Q: What’s it like playing at Buelleit Stadium?

A:  “(Home games) are a lot of fun. The crowds are pretty loud, and that’s a huge help for us because that motivates us. Senior night was very emotional. It won’t happen again, and it was pretty good to actually have a win on senior night.”

Q: Do you like going to Seymour High School?

A: “I’ve enjoyed it here. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. It’s pretty fun here. I like my classes, and the teachers are pretty nice. They’re not really strict.

Q: Is this a close group of seniors on the football team?

A: “I wouldn’t trade the other seniors for anybody. They’re actually motivating, and that’s what helps us to go out there and make the plays — and hopefully get those wins.”

At a glance

Family: Mother, Elizabeth Morales; siblings, Jose and Yesenia

Sports: Football, two years

Athletic highlights: Defensive player of week

Organizations: A capella choir

Plans after high school: Attend Indiana University, study real estate and development

Favorite food: Chinese

Favorite TV show: “The Tonight Show”

Favorite singer: Drake

Favorite team: Ohio State

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.