• November 30, 2020

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Bronchos happy to be back on the field - Odessa American: Oavarsity

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Bronchos happy to be back on the field

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Posted: Monday, September 7, 2020 4:37 pm

Fast forward to the present day and the Bronchos finally took one step closer to returning to game action.  

The Bronchos had their first official practice of the 2020 season Monday at Coleman Field and for head coach Danny Servance, it was a relief to get back on the field with his team.

“It definitely felt great,” Servance said. “I was up a 4 o’clock this morning just chomping at the bit to get out here.

“We’ve anticipated this day for a long time and I’m just glad that it’s finally here.”

There is the realization that this football season is unlike any other due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday was the first day that Class 5A and 6A programs across the state could begin practicing following the UIL’s decision to delay the start of the season for the large schools.

Schools at Class 4A and below got to start as originally scheduled.

The Bronchos took the field with helmets only as they begin the acclimation period of moving up to shoulder pads and then full pads by the end of the week.

The team had been going through strength and conditioning workouts prior to Monday’s first practice.

Being able to devote more time to those workouts is something that Servance said will be beneficial for his team after being hit hard with injuries last season.

“I think there’s always a benefit when you can spend more time in the weight room and work on conditioning,” he said. “I think guys are going to be in a lot better shape reporting than what we’ve had in the past.”

The extra time has also allowed the new Bronchos coaches to get acclimated as well.

Servance said that the freshman team has five new coaches on staff with four of them working on the varsity staff in different roles.

Whether it’s been through technology or in-person workouts, the extra time has allowed the new additions to get up to speed as to how the program operates.

“It’s given them time to get to know the kids, the kids to learn the coaches and the coaches to learn the system we run,” Servance said. “It’s really helped us a lot to have that extra time.”

One of Servance’s mottos throughout the last few months has been “adapt and overcome” and it’s a message that he continued to share with his team during practice Monday.

For players like senior defensive back Jesse Cervantes, part of adapting has been adjusting to the new protocols in place during practice.

As he prepares for his final year as a Broncho, just getting to take the field for practice carries some extra meaning.

“I know things aren’t normal right now but we got to put on a helmet and I got to be with my brothers,” Cervantes said. “It felt like a normal day.”

There’s still plenty of work to be done between now and Odessa High’s first game against Lubbock Monterey on Sept. 25. While much of the focus is on the field, Servance said that the preparation off the field will go a long way in determining how the Bronchos fare in 2020.

“We talk a lot about the small things and paying attention to details,” he said. “Those are the things that we emulate in practice and those are important when it come to playing an actual game. Those will really make a big difference when we start playing.”

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

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