By Kevin Wilson
Change is good. At least that’s how Glen Johnson sees it.
The Portales Ram football team had an off day on Wednesday, but Johnson was at work to make some changes for this weekend’s scrimmage.
Johnson didn’t like the prospect of having his team travel to Hobbs to play its junior varsity squad, so he nailed down a date with Dexter instead. The two teams will play Friday at the Portales High practice field, starting with a junior varsity scrimmage at 6 p.m. The varsity scrimmage will follow.
The Rams hosted Hobbs as part of a three-team scrimmage last August and pummelled a mix of Eagle varsity and junior varsity players. Simply put, Johnson didn’t think a similar situation would help the Class 3A runnerups improve.
“We don’t want to play a JV. I can’t see that benefitting us.”
The Demons were in a similar situation, Johnson said. Dexter, a Class 2A school. was set for a three-team scrimmage with a pair of 1A clubs.
“They got free from their scrimmage,” Johnson said. “So they wanted a better scrimmage, more relative to the competition they’re going to be playing in a week.”
The Ram team is making other changes, overall. The offense is expected to be more pass-oriented, while the defense will make changes in positions rather than philosophy.
“We’re still going to run the same two fronts that we did last year,” said Mark McAfee, the Rams’ defensive coordinator.
What will change instead are the roles that each player fills. Though McAfee has several returning members playing defense, only lineman Dustin Bare will be playing in the same position as last season.
“We’re trying to put in the guys who played defense for us (last season) instead of someone brand new,” said McAfee, who reasoned that juggling responsibilities of experienced players will help Portales more than throwing inexperienced players into the fire.
The Rams open their season at home against West Las Vegas next Friday.