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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Area Notebook for Sept. 3 - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Area Notebook for Sept. 3

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Posted: Tuesday, September 3, 2019 10:00 pm

There are always question marks and concerns when the first game of a new high school football season approaches.

When the team heads toward opening night with a new head coach, the anxiety meter begins to redline.

Such was the case for eight programs Friday in the Permian Basin when Crane, Seminole, Pecos, Monahans, Fort Davis, Greenwood, McCamey and Iraan took the field under new leadership.

For the Golden Cranes, Rangers, Badgers and two sets of Indians, the evening ended in smiles.

“It was a little bit different,” McCamey head coach Michael Woodard said after the Badgers’ victory against Seymour in Sweetwater. Woodard was promoted when former coach Fred Staugh was named the Monahans coach in the spring.

“I paid a lot more attention to the offense. I had a blast; it was a good night and it’s always nice to win the first one.”

For the Eagles, Loboes and Braves, it was the first night of the season and gave them things to work on in preparation for this week’s contests.

All the coaches know to take both the positives and negatives with a grain of salt.

Every team that won Friday will have things to work on and every team that lost had good things happen during the course of the contest that it can highlight and build on going forward.

No one is stressing that more than Staugh, who watched as the Loboes were limited to just four possessions against Clint on opening night.

Not in the first half … for the entire 48 minutes.

“I don’t know if that was an accurate picture of what we can do,” Staugh said. “We took the ball down the field and scored on our first drive, but then we turned the ball over a couple of times and Clint is very good at limiting possessions.

“But we had a good (practice) day (Monday); I felt like we were focused and the effort was good. We have to have a real inward focus right now and work on getting better one rep at a time, one play at a time.”

Jeff Cordell at Crane is echoing that same mantra.

This in spite of a dominating performance against Iraan and first-year head coach Matthew Luddeke.

Crane did just about everything it wanted to against the Braves as the fast pace that Cordell expects took its toll on the visitors.

Still, as the Golden Cranes raced away to an 80-6 victory that featured a running clock throughout much of the second half, Cordell still found teaching points for his team.

“We had focused all week on being better than we were in our scrimmage,” Cordell said. “But we had way too many penalties and we are going to have to clean that up and we are going to have to prepare for this week just like last week, focusing on getting better each day.”

>> TOUGH OPENER: After traveling to Clint to face a stingy, ball-control team, Staugh and the Loboes will go 180 degrees in the opposite direction when they host the Andrews Mustangs at 7 p.m. Friday at Estes Memorial Stadium.

Staugh is opening things up at Monahans, having brought the spread offense to a program that was known for tearing up fields between the hashmarks in the past.

Still, the visitors have made the spread offense their own, led by quarterback Brett Leach.

“Andrews is a good football team,” Staugh said. “Well coached and always has very good athletes.

“They are good at what they do and they’ve been doing it a long time. We are going to have to be 100 percent ready.”

>> FAMILIAR FORMULA: Ty Palmer was a longtime assistant at Seminole and, like Woodard at McCamey, was promoted to the top spot when Kent Jackson retired in the spring.

And, like Woodard, Palmer comes from the school of “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”

So when the Indians faced Lubbock High in the opener, they were moving downhill in a hurry with Seminole’s triple-option offense.

“It wasn’t too different,” Palmer said of his opening night in charge. “Made some adjustments like we would have last year.

“But you don’t get prepared for this as an assistant, so that was a little change. But it was fun.”

>> Follow Lee Scheide on Twitter at @OALeeScheide

Odessa, TX

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