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COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF 2019: Fort Davis Indians - Odessa American: Football

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Posted: Monday, August 12, 2019 12:00 am

FORT DAVIS Going into the 2019 season, the Fort Davis Indians might have a new head coach but it’s not anyone new to the program who is taking charge.

Curtis Pittman, who prior to this year was the junior high coach and high school assistant has been promoted to take over for Fort Davis, replacing former head coach Seth Nolan who left for Wichita Falls Christian earlier this summer.

Consequently, it hasn’t been difficult for Pittman to get to know everyone as he transitions to the top spot.

“I’ve got a good knowledge of the kids,” Pittman said. “I’ve known all these kids and coached them since junior high and these last couple of years of high school.

“When I found out that Nolan was leaving, the decision was ‘do I want to take this or let someone new step in’ and I decided to take it because I knew what these kids are doing and I wanting to just keeping it moving like it was.”

With the change in command out of the way, the Indians have returned to the field with high expectations for this year.

“We are very excited. We have a lot of enthusiasm and the players have been early to every practice,” Pittman said. “They’ve been working hard at each practice and we’re really excited about what they can do.”

Adjusting to the new position hasn’t been too hard for Pittman.

“This year as the head coach is just like going back to where it was before,” Pittman said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun with this group. They have a lot of discipline and they’re a good group of kids to work with.”

The Indians return seven new starters total from last year’s team that went 4-5 overall.

Pittman is expecting his team to have more speed than in previous seasons.

“Our offense is going to be much faster than what it was last year,” Pittman said. “We’re smaller than we were last year.

“We had some bigger boys that graduated but we feel like the quickness of this team can make up for that. On defense we’re also going to be a lot quicker than we were last year.”

Anthony Muniz and Paul Pittman return for Fort Davis.

“Paul was a good receiver for us last year and excellent on defense as our leading tackler last year,” Curtis Pittman said. “I expect a lot of him coming back. Anthony Muniz is a big guy right up the middle. He’s got a lot of strength and extra weight. He’s looking a lot better.”

Paul Pittman, who will be a senior this season, is hoping to make an impact.

“I’ve been waiting not just all summer but for maybe four years for this season and I’m excited to get going with my senior year and we’re all ready for the best year we’ve ever had,” Paul Pittman said.

While the goal is to win, Fort Davis is also looking to test its versatility during the season.

“We want to try and make entire games without people needing as much rest and more people able to execute multiple positions so that we can carry out more complicated plays and keep going entire games without getting worn down,” Paul Pittman said.

Playing alongside defending champion Balmorhea, Rankin and Marfa, the Indians know they’ll face tough competition in district play.

“We’ve got Balmorhea and Rankin and those teams are very tough,” Curtis Pittman said. “They’ve been tough in the past and they’re supposed to be really strong this year. We have some work to do.”

But getting to where they want to be, Pittman said it’s all a matter of getting the freshmen up to speed.

“We have a large freshman class,” he said. “We have six freshman coming in and they haven’t worked with this bunch so just getting them acclimated into the team is going to be tough.”

But with practices now underway and the start of the season getting closer, the excitement level on the team remains high.

“Practices have been really great,” senior John Lanpher said. “Everyone’s showing up early and everyone’s having a great attitude and giving it 100 percent each day.

“We want to give 100 percent each and every game and to have our teammates’ backs.”

>> Follow Michael Bauer on Twitter at @OAMichaelba

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