SAN ANTONIO — Take one peek into a Patriots practice. 

It is easy to see, and hear, why Christina Camacho is at Veterans Memorial.

"Oh, my God. I mean, I love once we put in something ⁠— I just love watching them execute it."

Four years ago, a fiery, finger-pointing perfectionist with nothing to prove took her roughly 30 years of coaching experience to a school with no experience at all.

"In my career I always want to have challenges," Camacho, who has also coached at Burbank, Holmes and Wagner High School, said. "I think I was at the point to where, well, let me try to open up one more school and this was a little bit more challenging because we opened up with freshmen and sophomores."

Texas A&M signee Sahara Jones said, "Everyone here is like a little family and only those people really know...how it felt to come to this school and start it off."

Vets Memorial seniors
Brenna Perez (left), Sahara Jones (middle) and Vivian Castro (right) are laughing after dancing in front of the camera.
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Jones, Brenna Perez and Vivian Castro were three of those freshmen and they have been playing heavy minutes with the Patriots since day one.

"We all kinda already knew each other," UIW signee Perez said. "I think our chemistry and our connection got a lot better."

Fellow senior Castro added, "I love playing with them, (especially) knowing what they like to do on the court."

All three seniors remember Camacho from her days at Wagner. They knew she was a no-nonsense coach, but they also knew she was successful for a reason.

"I thank those kids for coming here because they actually had a choice," Camacho said. "I know it was a risk for them and I'm glad it's paying off."

Entering their last playoff run, Camacho and these seniors have earned 121 wins with one trip to the state tournament. The Patriots lost in the 4A state championship. They are now a 5A school.

"We talk about winning state," Camacho said. "We talk about what has to be done every single day to do what we want to do."

For the seniors, this is their last shot.

Vivian Castro
Vivian Castro as a sophomore playing in the 4A state championship game.
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"I'm a bit nervous. When it was (our) sophomore year, we knew we had two more years to get to state," Jones, who has more than 2,500 career points, said. "I'm a bit nervous, but not so nervous because I know that we're going to get there and we're going to win this year and that's always been the goal."

"Is it possible?" Camacho asked. "Yes, it is possible."

That's not coach-speak because at Veterans Memorial, the coach speaks more than enough.

It is working.

And quickly.

"It's good to see a legacy start to build," Perez said. "It's nice to know we started the foundation here."

Camacho said, "It's an everyday challenge and I hope it ends up where they want to be at the end."

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