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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Odessa High Notebook for Nov. 12 - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Odessa High Notebook for Nov. 12

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Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019 7:16 pm

The first day of school after the season’s end is not an easy one for anybody associated with the Odessa High football team.

The Bronchos spent Monday turning in equipment and closing the book on another season after Friday’s 23-13 loss to Midland High to finish the season 2-8 overall and winless in District 2-6A play. Head coach Danny Servance understands the emotion that goes through this day both as a player and a coach and says it doesn’t get easier.

“It’s never a good feeling,” Servance said. “It’s kind of bittersweet because of all the hard work everyone puts into it. You get used to those guys being around and you become a little bit attached to them and they become like your own kids.”

The weekly routine of practice and game planning for the next opponent has come and gone. For several seniors, it’s the last time they’ll ever put on pads and a helmet.

“It’s really kind of the end of the road for a lot of them,” Servance said. “When you turn in all your stuff, it just kind of makes things come to reality for those young people.”

“It’s very emotional,” senior wide receiver Dre Cobb said. “For me, I really don’t want it to end, but it’s just kind of tough.”

Cobb was one of several Bronchos asked to step into other roles after injuries and departures left the team shorthanded down the stretch of the season. Servance said that he lost 12 players to season-ending injuries and while that was tough to deal with, he believes that those seniors will be better for it.

“We had a lot of guys that were warriors for us and battled week in and week out and had resiliency and just never know how to quit,” he said. “That’s what we tried to establish in our program and I think our guys have learned this lesson and they can take it out into the real world.”

Servance also sees something similar for those returners coming back next season, including 13 sophomores who spent time on the varsity roster this season.

“I think those kids are now battle tested,” he said. “They’ve been through just about anything you can imagine as far as adversity is concerned. They did a good job of having to grow up fast and in a hurry and getting up to speed.”

“I think it made us stronger because we had to have a next-man-up mentality,” sophomore quarterback Diego Cervantes said. “A lot of underclassmen had to step up and I think we’ll be better for it.”

The offseason is focused on building a team up physically but as the Bronchos start the offseason, the goals are also focused outside of the field.

“Mental toughness is something you try and establish,” Servance said. “You bring in that toughness along with the skill part and working on your craft are some of the things you try to accomplish during the offseason.”

Diego Cervantes made his return in Friday’s game against Midland High after missing the last two games with an injury. In his first start since the Midland Lee game Oct. 19, Cervantes finished 15-of-24 for 83 yards to go with 89 yards rushing on 11 carries.

“It felt great to be back out there with the team and enjoy the last moments with them,” Cervantes said. “We tried to send the seniors out with a win but it just didn’t go as planned for us.”

Junior defensive back Jesse Cervantes had a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown during the second half Friday. It was the first special teams score of the season for Odessa High.

“We were one step from breaking one in I don’t know how many games,” Servance said. “It’s like he hit another gear and ran away from everyone on that return. I’m glad we have him coming back next year and we look forward to him doing great things for us.”

Servance is keeping tabs on what will happen with the next realignment. The next milestone occurs after Thanksgiving when the cutoff numbers are released for each classification. The new districts will be unveiled in February.

There is a possibility that Abilene High and San Angelo Central will be returning west after being grouped with the Metroplex schools. Servance knows, however, that things can change and that having a few plans is important.

“You prepare for anything just because you don’t really know what’s going to happen,” he said. “You’re talking with coaches and penciling each other in for games. You just have to wait and see what happens before you nail things down.”

Midland High 30, JV 0; Midland High 7, Freshmen Red 0; Freshmen White 38, Midland High 25.

JV Red, 2-5; JV White 4-2; Combined JV, 0-3 after combining for final three games of season; Freshman White, 5-5; Freshman Red 0-10.

Odessa, TX

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