• August 19, 2019

COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF 2019: Iraan Braves - Odessa American: Football

e-Edition Subscribe
Don't Miss:

COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF 2019: Iraan Braves

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Related Videos

Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2019 11:45 pm

IRAAN For the third time in as many seasons, the Iraan Braves football team will be under the direction of a new head coach.

For some schools, a continuous change in command would be arduous to overcome.

But Iraan’s senior halfback and strong safety Dylan Kent and his teammates are eager to show that they can continue to produce results on the field.

“You can see it as a good thing or a bad thing but our senior class has had three different coaches and I think every time we’ve handled it well,” Kent said. “We have great talent and great coaches so that’s looking good.”

Matthew Luddeke has taken the reins of the program, replacing Corby Maurer.

Luddeke comes in after serving as the offensive coordinator at Industrial ISD season.

“Iraan is full of tradition out here,” Luddeke said. “We’ve got a lot of players who are excited to get back out on the field.

“We’ve spent a lot of offseason time preparing and the town’s excited and knows what football’s all about. These guys love football and we’re ready to get going as a staff.”

The Braves are coming off a 10-2 season in 2018 that included a trip to the area round of the Class 2A Division II playoffs.

Getting acquainted with his new players didn’t take long for Luddeke.

“Getting to know the guys, that all started back in May when I got here,” Luddeke said. “I knew these guys within a couple of days. Started to learn about our program and what we want to be about.

“Getting the coaching staff hired was the most important thing to do during the summer. We want a group of guys that are pushing for the same thing and I think we hired a great staff with great experience. We’re ready to get after it.”

The number of returners has given Luddeke reason to be optimistic.

“I think the biggest strength is the tradition of this program,” Luddeke said. “We definitely have a bunch of players returning. I believe we have somewhere between five and six on one side of the ball and three or four on the other. There are guys with varsity experience playing here.

“These guys know how to win around here and I think that’s a strength in any program. Sometimes, you have to teach guys how to win but these guys are already winners so we’ve gotten that taken care of.”

However, the total number of players on the roster gives the Braves little room for injuries.

“I think one of the hurdles that we’re going to encounter is our numbers,” Luddeke said. “This year, we’re as low in numbers as we’ve been in a long time. We’re going to have to take care of ourselves and stay in shape and put the right things in the right place. But if we can keep our 19 guys healthy, we’ll be all right.”

Last year, the Braves finished second in the District 1-2A standing behind rival McCamey and with Iraan playing in a four-team district that also includes Wink and Van Horn, the Braves’ playoff place is already secured.

Luddeke is still anticipating a tough fight from everyone in the district.

“I think our district is going to be physical,” Luddeke said. “I’ve looked at some of the teams that we’re playing and Wink’s the favorite. You also have McCamey and Van Horn. You can’t take anyone lightly. Everyone out here in West Texas knows how to play football.

“I don’t know if we’ve proved anything yet. We have a new team as far as roles of the players go. I feel like we can play with anyone in this district but it’s going to take everyone that we have.”

For Kent and his senior teammates, it’ll be one more opportunity to suit up this fall.

“We’ve been training and practicing and getting ready throughout the summer,” Kent said. “I know like 10 of us that are seniors and I can say that we are ecstatic. We can’t wait for this year and to show everyone what we can do.”

>> Follow Michael Bauer on Twitter at @OAMichaelba

Top Picks

Please enter a valid ID.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Sunny
96°
Humidity: 32%
Winds: SSE at 15mph
Feels Like: 99°

Your Extended Forecast

Tomorrow

weather
High 101°/Low 76°
Sunny. Highs 99 to 103F and lows in the mid 70s.

tuesday

weather
High 99°/Low 75°
Sunshine. Highs in the upper 90s and lows in the mid 70s.

wednesday

weather
High 97°/Low 73°
More sun than clouds. Highs in the upper 90s and lows in the low 70s.
Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7670 to sign up today.