Saddle Up Podcast Serving to Two Former Males’s Basketball Teammates #RallyTheValley

Gonzalo Garza

Matt Palmquist (42)

Lalo Rios (left) and Matt Palmquist

– There’s an innate sense of household that radiates all through the Rio Grande Valley.Whatever the area’s fast progress and growth, the Valley maintains its feeling of a small, tight knit, household centric neighborhood. That tradition emulates inside The College of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) and its Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.andexperienced that tradition first-hand as males’s basketball teammates within the late 1990’s. It is one purpose they nonetheless really feel, over 20 years after graduating, an immense sense of satisfaction within the college, and why they’ve taken the initiative to bridge the previous to the current by means of their podcast, Saddle Up.”We will not respect the place we’re except we take a look at the place we began, and this journey, this run down reminiscence lane, it should take us there,” Garza stated to open the primary episode, which was launched Feb. 3, 2023.The Saddle Up podcast celebrates the wealthy historical past of UTRGV Athletics. Season One featured visitors and tales tied to the Broncs of UTRGV’s legacy establishments and offered a take a look at what the UTRGV Vaqueros have carried out and hope to do. Palmquist and Garza need to acknowledge those that laid the inspiration for UTRGV and strengthen the ties with alumni to assist push the Vaqueros additional.Season Two debuts Friday, and Palmquist and Garza – the creators, co-hosts and greatest pals on the coronary heart of the podcast – cannot watch for Broncs and Vaqueros alike to saddle up and benefit from the subsequent leg of this trip.”Saddle Up felt like a pipe dream not way back and now we have carried out 20 episodes,” Palmquist stated. “What’s actually cool goes again and listening to how the varsity performed a big position in folks’s lives. I want we might do that on daily basis.”It began on a Zoom name.Palmquist, Garza and a number of other of their closest pals – together with fellow males’s basketball alums(1995-99) and(1995-97) and different main Valley sports activities figures and UTPA graduates likeand– joined weekly Zoom calls in the course of the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. They needed to take pleasure in one another’s firm even whereas they needed to keep aside, so that they’d discuss and snort for hours, and each dialog led them to reminiscing on their school days.Garza is a Brownsville native, a former three-sport star at St. Joseph Academy, the place he earned All-State accolades in basketball and soccer and reached the state monitor & discipline meet. The 6-foot-0 guard was on the boys’s basketball roster from 1996-98, fulfilling his dream of enjoying for the Broncs which stemmed from frequent visits to the Fieldhouse to observe his hometown crew and Valley hero,(1987-91).Palmquist, a 6-foot-10 middle/ahead, made his solution to the Valley as a walk-on from Bastrop, Texas. He performed from 1996-2000, incomes a scholarship alongside the best way. He performed in all however one UTPA sport throughout his four-year profession, averaging 6.0 factors and three.9 rebounds per sport whereas surpassing 70 profession blocks.Palmquist recounts the primary time he met Garza in Saddle Up’s debut episode, a day he stated he’ll always remember. They have been greatest pals ever since. So, when podcast began creating from thought to actuality, it was a no brainer for them to do it collectively.”Matt and I’d take these calls to a different stage. We would get again on Zoom till about two or three within the morning, simply speaking about every little thing. We got here up with this concept that it would be fairly cool to do a podcast at some point,” Garza stated. “Then Matt, it is like a lightbulb got here on, he stated, ‘I have been speaking to a bunch of UTPA guys and girls and we have now to bridge the hole. We’ve to in some way convey that world that we lived in and all these folks from that point and bridge them to what UTRGV is turning into.’ And I stated, ‘Man you’ve got bought one thing proper there. Let’s do that.'”They began making a listing of potential visitors, from legendary student-athletes and athletic figures to folks presently concerned with UTRGV Athletics. They used their connections to start out reaching out to of us, and as folks agreed to being a visitor, the joy grew.Palmquist is the inventive founder for 610 Advertising and marketing & PR, so he took the lead with the logistics. They did some observe runs with relations as visitors to kind out the technical aspect of the podcast. Beginning Saddle Up did not occur with out obstacles, however their robust bond and sense of satisfaction pushed them to get it off the bottom.”There have been quite a lot of telephone calls between G and I, quite a lot of questioning ourselves, questioning if we should always actually do it. Hear, there are episodes we’ll by no means air from once we had been first enjoying with it. It was actually unhealthy,” Palmquist stated with amusing. “It has been actually cool to see the way it was in its infancy, when it was simply an thought, to what it’s now. It is nice to see the engagement and the suggestions that we have gotten. We’re actually pleased with the product that is popping out on a weekly foundation and to see persons are connecting to it.”Saddle Up releases one episode every week. There have been 21 episodes within the first season, which wrapped up June 30. Company be a part of a Zoom name which Palmquist data so the episodes will be watched on YouTube or listened to on Spotify and iTunes. As soon as within the assembly room, Palmquist and Garza instantly ease any nerves their visitors could have as their boisterous hellos and pleasant demeanors create an informal surroundings.The duo jokes about having solely 4 subscribers (two being themselves) throughout Saddle Up’s first month of existence. “Our greatest pals did not even imagine in it and thought it was simply Matt and G clowning round,” teases Palmquist. However with Season Two drawing close to, they’re on the verge of 800 mixed subscribers and followers throughout varied channels.Extra necessary than how many individuals are being reached is what these folks consider the podcast. Palmquist and Garza love the messages they have been getting from listeners having fun with the journeys down reminiscence lane and studying new issues in regards to the division’s historical past. They respect when visitors circle again after recording an episode to inform them how a lot enjoyable that they had. It means the world to listen to folks thank them for what they’re doing.”For us to take an thought and put it into an idea and develop it and have it obtain the eye and fanfare and appreciation that Saddle Up is gathering, it makes us really feel actually good. It is surreal. We adore it,” Palmquist stated.A good quantity of labor goes into producing Saddle Up, from scheduling visitors to doing analysis and compiling speaking factors for every episode. It hardly looks like work for one of the best pals, who respect the additional hour or two every week to hang around with one another and reconnect with folks from one other chapter of their lives.However the duo does not need the podcast to come back off as two guys simply speaking in regards to the good ol’ days with their buddies. They need to be an asset to UTRGV Athletics and assist push extra former athletes to be concerned. Palmquist and Garza are each lifetime members of the Varsity Membership, UTRGV’s official group for all letterwinners which strives to maintain alumni engaged, create connections between present and former student-athletes, and foster relationships that span all sports activities and generations in UTRGV’s historical past.To determine validity early, Saddle Up’s first visitor of the season was UTRGV Vice President and Director of AthleticsHaving Conque’s help was immensely necessary to Palmquist and Garza, and the podcast’s future. “Truthfully, we might’ve had some actually critical conversations if Chasse had stated, ‘in all probability not a good suggestion, guys,'” Garza admitted.As a substitute, Conque noticed the podcast’s potential to reengage letterwinners and ignite extra pleasure for the Vaqueros. The connection the co-hosts have developed with Conque drives what they do.”What an effective way to rejoice UTRGV, our legacy establishments, our historical past and actually bridge the inspiration that was constructed by guys like Matt and G to the place we’re immediately,” Conque praised throughout his episode.Saddle Up welcomed 18 different visitors in its first season, starting from legendary athletic trainerwho labored for the college from 1980-2017 and is a Corridor of Honor member, toa member of the Nationwide Basketball Corridor of Fame and Texas Western’s 1966 males’s basketball nationwide championship crew who battled repeatedly in opposition to the Broncs. A number of the most outstanding names in UTRGV’s males’s and girls’s basketball histories have been on, together with Corridor of Fame members(MBB 2000-02) and(WBB 2009-13). Every episode leaves Palmquist struggling to resolve which elements get left on the slicing room flooring as a result of the convenience of the co-hosts ends in prolonged, gratifying conversations detailing how UTRGV and athletics performs a serious position in folks’s lives.”G and I, we did not win quite a lot of video games once we performed. However our experiences at Pan Am nonetheless made us the boys we’re immediately,” Palmquist stated. “Being part of one thing you possibly can see is rising, and for Chasse and his crew to be so welcoming of what we’re making an attempt to perform and trusting that we will help in our personal distinctive, inventive method is thrilling.”Tales shared in Saddle Up showcase the robust bonds the buddies preserve with former Broncs and the way they intention to show these bonds into useful relationships. Takefor instance. Shankle performed males’s basketball for UTPA from 2004-08 and stays a loyal supporter of the varsity. He lives and owns a restaurant franchise in Corpus Christi, residence of UTRGV’s rival, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Palmquist launched Shankle to Conque, and now when the Vaqueros head to Corpus for South Texas Showdown competitions, which occurs at the very least seven instances a yr, the groups eat at Shankle’s restaurant.”It is all about relationships,” Garza stated. “Matt is a glue man. He is a magnet. He is superior at bringing folks collectively. My contribution is that I reside within the Valley. I present up and shout for Vaquero Nation. I take my household and produce pals to occasions, name up the outdated basketball gamers when UTRGV had the viewing celebration for basketball. We’ve relationships with individuals who went to Pan American and we’re making an attempt to convey these folks again to be a part of the connection with UTRGV.”The connection on the middle of Saddle Up is Palmquist and Garza’s friendship. It resonates in each episode. Dialog flows with straightforward banter between the co-hosts. They razz one another usually, playfully teasing Garza’s 12 profession factors or stating how Palmquist led the nation in fouls, mentioning the notorious bottle dance and applauding one another on utilizing large phrases.They don’t seem to be educated podcasters. At instances, they could stumble or discuss over one another. However the pure chemistry between greatest pals retains issues regular. They’ve realized to learn one another when it comes to co-hosting, realizing when to sit down again or take the lead primarily based off physique cues or facial reactions.They intention to maintain issues unscripted and comfy for his or her visitors, and it results in natural conversations folks like listening to. The suggestions after the primary season – and the messages, calls, even shouts whereas on the grocery retailer from folks asking, ‘When are you going to have me on the podcast?’ – lets them know they have factor going.Palmquist and Garza perceive any hesitancy felt by former athletes and alumni to leap on the UTRGV practice.The UT Board of Regents authorised the merging of legacy establishments UTPA and UT Brownsville to create UTRGV in 2013, and the primary class of Vaqueros stepped on campus in 2015. It was an thrilling new chapter within the college’s historical past, which incorporates the times of Pan American College (1971-89) and Pan American School (1952-71), however there have been some blended emotions.”We felt sort of deserted, and quite a lot of different athletes felt that as nicely. Pan Am is what we shed blood, sweat and tears for after which abruptly, it is one thing totally different. What helped us is the connection that we gained with Chasse,” Palmquist stated. “There isn’t any turning again, so we are able to both cry and never get something carried out, or we are able to work collectively and construct UTRGV into one thing nice that everyone will be happy with. That is what we hope to perform with this podcast, to assist different former athletes settle for it and transfer ahead.”With that mission on the forefront, Palmquist and Garza are getting ready to take Saddle As much as the following stage throughout Season Two. They’re revamping the look of the present, bringing in new and thrilling visitors, creating merchandise. They need to “take this present on the street” with the purpose of recording episodes from the basketball convention tournaments in Las Vegas.Their dedication to creating Saddle Up a good podcast goes again to the tradition of the Valley and UTRGV. When somebody involves the Valley, they get engulfed in that tradition in the event that they purchase in, Garza stated, the best way Palmquist did. And irrespective of how large UTRGV will get with sport growth, improved amenities and unimaginable teachers bringing extra folks to the area, that tradition won’t ever go away.Saddle Up desires to develop alongside UTRGV whereas ensuring the Broncs’ athletic historical past isn’t forgotten. So, leap on the saddle with the participating and relatable duo of Palmquist and Garza. Take within the humorous and motivational tales they and their visitors share. Be taught one thing new in regards to the place we name residence or get transported again in time as outdated haunts and figures are mentioned. They’d like to have an hour of your time and #RallyTheValley.”I would by no means carried out a podcast earlier than. I used to snort at folks that may begin one. I’ve fallen in love with it,” Garza stated. “Being part of this, having the chance to develop with UTRGV, it is a blessing. There are such a lot of people who we might like to have on. I hope we are able to do it for a very long time.”