In this business, you know the years have flown by when you start writing about the sons and daughters of athletes you wrote about when they were in high school and college.
Even after more than two years of covering UTSA football, I'm still struck by a feeling of deja vu every time I talk with Roadrunners sophomore running back David Glasco II and junior quarterback Eric Soza.
Both members of UTSA's first recruiting class, Glasco and Soza are the sons of athletes I first wrote about when they were in high school more than 30 years ago. They not only look like their fathers, they have the same work ethic, competitive ferocity and temperaments as their dads.
"It's awesome," Glasco said, responding to a question about the similarities he shares with Soza. "If it's coincidental or not, I don't know. It's fate, it's destiny, for us to be here together. It's a great feeling. I just think it's a cool thing. It's like we're a reincarnation."
David Glasco was a football, basketball and track standout at Sam Houston and Chris Soza, a quarterback, helped lead Alice to the Class 4A state semifinals in 1979. Coincidentally, both graduated from high school in 1980 and played against each other in college.
Glasco went on to a stellar career as a defensive back at Southwest Texas State after transferring from Nevada-Las Vegas in 1981, and Soza was the starting quarterback at Texas A&I in 1983 and 1984. Those were the days when SWT, now Texas State, and A&I, now Texas A&M-Kingsville, were fierce rivals in the Lone Star Conference.
"Tell Eric's dad that I don't hold it against him that he went to A&I," Glasco said, chuckling.
UTSA hosts Northwestern Oklahoma State on Saturday
Hired as a sportswriter by the Express-News in August 1979, I saw Glasco and Soza compete as high school seniors and throughout their college careers. Actually, I first wrote about Soza in 1977 when I was a sportswriter with the Kingsville Record-News. Only a sophomore then, Soza was the starting quarterback on the 1977 Alice team that advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
Austin Reagan beat the Coyotes 31-13 in regionals, but Alice came back to beat the Raiders by the same score, in the same round, two years later at Memorial Stadium in Austin. Coached by L.G. Henderson, the 1979 Coyotes beat San Antonio Wheatley in the state quarterfinals the following week.
Alice's most successful season ever ended with a loss to Houston Memorial in the semifinals. Henderson, by the way, moved to Jay in 1980 and coached the Mustangs for four seasons.
Glasco was a starting guard on the Sam Houston basketball team that lost in the 4A state semifinals in 1980, and ran a leg on the Cherokees' sprint relay that qualified for the state track and field meet that spring.
All these years later, Glasco and Soza's sons are in the same offensive backfield at UTSA and are good friends.
UTSA (3-0) plays Northwestern Oklahoma State (0-3) at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Alamodome.
The elder Glasco and Soza will be in the stands, looking on proudly as their sons carry on their legacies as athletes. Chris Soza is now head football coach and athletic director at Alice, and Glasco is a bail bondsman in San Antonio. Both are 50 years old.
Glasco II, Soza key offensive players for UTSA
Glasco II, who graduated from Wagner in 2010, is the Roadrunners' starting tailback and leading rusher. He has run for 190 yards on 26 carries, an average of 7 yards a pop, and scored two TDs.
Soza was a four-year starting quarterback at Beeville when his father was the Trojans' head coach. He started his college career at Texas State in 2009, but transferred to UTSA in January 2010.
Soza has figured prominently in the Roadrunners' fast start this season, completing 47 of 76 passes for 580 yards and six TDs.
Like Glasco II, he speaks with his father by phone often.
"He's just great," Soza said of his father. "My dad always has been a role model for me, someone I strive to be like. Knowing that I have someone that has my back, both him and my mother have always been there for me through thick and thin. It's great to have parents who will do that for their son. They're not afraid to tell me what I don't want to hear."
Glasco II, called simply "2" by his father and other members of his family, has been around Eric Soza long enough to know he's just a chip off the old block.
"You can tell by the way Eric carries himself that he's a coach's son," Glasco II said. "He comes from a wonderful background."
Soza was four-year starter at Beeville
Not surprisingly, Soza wants to be a football coach when he completes his playing career.
"I couldn't talk him into being a doctor and lawyer," Chris said, chuckling. "He wants to teach math and coach. I've told him that if he came on with me, he'd be the first one I'd talk to about our quarterbacks. He'd be my quarterback coach."
Eric practically grew up on a football field, shadowing his father during practice and working as a ballboy.
"He started school in Mathis when I was an assistant coach there, and would walk to my classroom at the high school and go to practice with me," Chris recalled. "When my oldest son (Justin) played quarterback at Mathis, Eric idolized him."
Chris Soza guided Mathis to the 3A Division I state final in 1999.
Eric started at Beeville as a freshman and helped lead the Trojans to the playoffs in each of his four high school seasons.
"When you're a coach's kid, people are going to say all kinds of things about you, especially if you're the starting quarterback," Chris said. "But Eric handled it all well. I think that's why he's so calm under pressure now. He understands that the most important play is the next play."
Glasco keeps '2' humble with his honesty
Glasco II calls his father "my biggest fan and my biggest critic," and is well aware of his father's feats as an athlete.
"I've heard all the stories," Glasco II said, smiling.
The elder Glasco was an all-conference cornerback at SWT, and played on the 1982 team that went 14-0 and won the NCAA Division II national championship under Coach Jim Wacker. The Bobcats beat A&I in the regular-season finale that year, snapping the Javelinas' nine-game winning streak in the series.
"I just think it's great that 2 and Eric are playing together," Glasco said. "They're alike in that they understand that when you get to college, the stakes go up. There are no shortcuts and no pill you can take to make you better.
"The only thing you can do to improve is to work hard. Eric's dad and I, I'm sure, have instilled that in our sons. Whenever 2 tells me how hard he's working, I'll ask him, 'Who's working harder than you?' He's always told me Soza is one of the hardest-working guys on the team."
Glasco II, a communications major, plans to go to law school.
While Glasco is proud of his son, he keeps him humble with his characteristic candor.
"When 2 was a little kid, I thought it was important he and I have a bond," Glasco said. "With all the gangs and drugs out there, I wanted to make sure that my son understood there was an open door, that he could talk to me about anything.
"I made a deal with him. I told him, 'If you never lie to me, I promise I'll never lie to you.' That's why I've always been honest with him about everything. That includes what he does on the football field."
With fathers like that, no wonder Glasco and Soza are succeeding on and off the field.