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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Odessa High Notebook for Sept. 3 - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Odessa High Notebook for Sept. 3

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Posted: Tuesday, September 3, 2019 8:11 pm

The first game of a new season provides plenty of lessons on what went well and what needs to be worked on. With a young team, that also means a lot of growing pains. That’s what Odessa High football experienced Friday night at Ratliff Stadium.

The Bronchos took their lumps in a 55-13 rout at the hands of Lubbock Monterey and head coach Danny Servance says that the matchup against the Plainsmen proved to be a wakeup call for his team.

“I think it’s always like that,” Servance said after the game. “You’ve been used to playing against the scout team all this time and you have to adjust to the speed of the game once you come out here and start playing against another opponent.

“It’s hard to emulate in practice what your opponent is going to look like in terms of speed, size and strength.”

The Bronchos defense faced a difficult task matching up its new 3-4 alignment against Monterey’s speed and athleticism. The Plainsmen won most of those battles often, racking up 599 yards of total offense.

The Odessa High offense faced its own hurdles. Breaking in eight new starters, the Bronchos managed just 126 yards and five first downs in the opening 24 minutes. To the players’ credit, things did get better in the second half.

The Bronchos were able to move the ball and score twice in the second half on touchdown drives led by new starter Ivan Miranda. The defense also managed to force a couple of punts in the second half.

Servance says that there were some good things to build off but understands that there is plenty of work to be done.

“It’s a learning experience and there were a lot of kids on the field for the first time on Friday night,” he said. “They’ve been out here on Thursday nights but not Friday so now that they know what that’s like, we’ll go from there.

One player who understands that process is senior offensive lineman Louis Wilson. As one of the three returning starters from last season’s 5-5 team, he knows what happens up front has an effect on the rest of the team.

“We have to find a way to get dirty. That’s the number one thing on the line,” Wilson said. “If you don’t move, nothing moves and we didn’t get that done. We got it done later in the second half but that needs to be there from the start.”

The Bronchos will have that chance to get that done this upcoming week as they prepare to host Jefferson County (Miss.) at 7 p.m. Friday at Ratliff Stadium.

>> IN REMEMBRANCE: Servance said that the team would honor the victims of Saturday’s mass shooting with a decal on the helmets starting with Friday’s game.

One of the victims was 15-year-old Leilah Hernandez, a sophomore basketball player at Odessa High.

He spoke with his team following Monday’s practice about having an opportunity to bring people together.

“There are a lot of different aspects to athletics,” Servance said. “When you look at tragedies that have happened over the years, one constant that bonds people together is athletics.

“Having an opportunity to play at home Friday night, we want to do our part to try and mend and give some type of joy to the community after witnessing such a horrific event this past weekend.”

>> KNOW YOUR OPPONENT: Jefferson County High School is located in Fayette, Miss., approximately 25 miles away from Natchez on the Mississippi-Louisiana State Line. The school is located 755 miles east of Ratliff Stadium. This is the first time in school history that the Bronchos play an opponent east of Texas. The Tigers enter Friday’s game at 1-1 after defeating rival Natchez (Miss.) High 22-20 Friday night. 

>> SUBVARSITY RESULTS: The Bronchos’ JV Red squad lost 20-16 to Lubbock Monterey, while the JV White game was canceld. The Freshman White squad defeated the Plainsmen 14-0.

All four teams will play Midland High this week. JV White will start at 5 Thursday followed by JV Red at 7 at Dodson Memorial Stadium in Midland.

The freshmen teams will host the Bulldogs at the Ratliff Stadium turf fields, starting at 5 p.m.

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas


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