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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Odessa High Notebook for Aug. 27 - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Odessa High Notebook for Aug. 27

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Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 6:34 pm

The time of year that the Odessa High football team has been waiting for has arrived.

From the end of the season last November to the start of practice in August and everything else in between, the Bronchos will take the field for the first time in a game that counts in the win-loss column in 2019 when they host Lubbock Monterey at 7 p.m. Friday at Ratliff Stadium.

For fourth year head coach Danny Servance, the first game week is always one of his favorite times of the year.

“I’ve been doing this for 25 years so there’s nothing like the first week when you play an opponent,” Servance said. “The kids and coaches are excited and we’ve been preparing the last week or so for Monterey. It’s just good to get back into that routine.”

The players started getting back into that routine last week culminating with a scrimmage last Friday against Abilene Wylie. After watching the film and breaking everything down, the Bronchos have a better idea of where they stand heading into this Friday’s matchup with the Plainsmen.

“I feel pretty good about where we stand but we have a long way to go,” senior quarterback Ivan Miranda said. “That was just the beginning for us in that scrimmage and we’re working towards that first game. We have a lot of stuff to work on.”

Miranda will make his first varsity start against a Lubbock Monterey team that returns plenty of experience and athleticism on both sides of the ball.

“They’re very fast on defense,” said Miranda of the Plainsmen. “They react to the ball quickly in the secondary and I just feel like we all need to do our job and we’ll be fine.”

Defensively, Odessa High will look to do what it can to stop the senior quarterback-running back combo of Coreon Bailey and Damontrareis Lacy, respectively.

“Up front, our focus is going to have to be stopping that quarterback and running back,” senior linebacker Cade Mendoza said. “If we can do that, I think we’ll be in real good shape.”

One thing that the Bronchos are looking forward to is getting to stay home.

After having to travel to Lowery Field to start the season the last two years, Odessa High opens the 2019 campaign in its own backyard.

“We get to start the season right,” senior linebacker Brandton McLendon said. “We’ll have all our fans out there and we’ll do what we can in order to get the win.”

“I think it’s a luxury that we get to play at home for our first game especially with all the new kids taking the field for the first time,” Servance said. “We’re pleased to be at Ratliff and being able to play in front of your home fans.”

>> BEATING THE HEAT: Odessa High has dealt with plenty of hot days since the start of two-a-days. Monday’s practice at Coleman Field, however, was one of the hottest the team had to deal with in a long time.

Temperatures reached 111 degrees late in the afternoon which led to a shorter practice that included fewer periods and longer water breaks.

When practice was finished, Servance walked away pleased with how the Bronchos handled the tough conditions.

“You have to look and kind of find the silver lining in it,” he said. “Of course it’s tough and we want to take care of our kids because of the amount of heat that we have had in west Texas.

“For your kids to go out and practice as hard as they did, it makes you mentally tough because you have to overlook the environment and focus on the task at hand. It’s hard to do that for 16-, 17-, 18-year-old kids but I think they did a tremendous job of that.”

>> THEY SAID IT: Lubbock Monterey head coach Wayne Hutchinson is optimistic for a bounce-back year after his team finished 4-6 and missed the playoffs in a difficult District 3-5A Division I.

He says that his team gets a lot out of playing bigger schools like Odessa High to see where his team measures up. That being said, Hutchinson is also welcoming the change of scenery that this year’s matchup provides.

“I’m kind of glad that we get to play them in Odessa because they’ve beaten us in our own backyard two years in a row,” said Hutchinson by phone Monday. “A change of venue might actually help us start the season on the right foot.”

>> GOING STREAKING: The Bronchos are going for two separate three-game winning streaks Friday night.

Odessa High has won each of the last two home openers at Ratliff Stadium: a 28-21 victory agaainst Amarillo High in 2017 and a 63-7 blowout win over Buckeye Union (Ariz.) last season.

The Bronchos have also won the last two meetings against Monterey: a 28-24 victory in 2017 and a 23-11 win to open the season last year. Odessa High is 8-3 in the all-time series with the Plainsmen.

>> SUBVARSITY OPENERS: The Odessa High subvarsity teams all get their 2019 seasons underway Thursday. The junior varsity White and Red teams face off against Lubbock Monterey at 5 and 7 p.m., respectively, in Lubbock.

The freshman teams will host the Plainsmen that same night, with the White team starting at 5 followed by the Red team at 7 p.m. from Ratliff Stadium.

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

Odessa, TX

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