By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
So much for low expectations. Andy Correll took over the Portales Ram football team last season and promptly won the District 4-3A championship followed by hosting the Class 3A state championship contest at Greyhound Stadium.
Now, less than a month before Correll begins his sophomore effort as the Ram head coach, expectations couldn’t be much higher, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We kind of set those expectations and the kids lived up to them last year,” Correll said. “We played (the state championship game on) Dec. 2 and on Dec. 3 we started on this year.”
Part of that preparation involved dealing with losses on both sides of the ball.
“We have two returning offensive lineman, but we lost the whole right side of our line.”
The two returning offensive linemen are seniors T.J. Garcia and Travis Fields.
“We’re still going to be able to run the football, I just think we’re going to be able to throw it a little bit better this year.”
Other losses on offense include running backs Eric Segovia and Cruz Ontiveros as well as wide receiver Todd McBroom.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Rams lost safety Kevin Gonzales and cornerback Richard Cage as well as linebacker and defensive captain Taylor Teague.
“We’re going to be pretty green,” Correll said. “I think it’s going to be a slow transition at first, but at the same time, I honestly feel like we’re going to surprise some people again.”
The Rams open with Robertson at home Aug. 31
“I’m kind of looking at this as a rivalry that we’re kind of starting here,” Correll said. “They’re a good team and we want to definitely be playing at their level if not higher, so I look forward to another great game. Hopefully it will turn out a little different this year.”
The first official day of practice is set for Aug. 13, the day before school starts but before that first day of practice, Correll and crew are holding a Ram football camp at the high school practice field starting Wednesday afternoon and running through Friday. 7th and 8th grade boys will hit the field from 4-5:30 and freshman through seniors will begin at 6 p.m. The camp will cost $20 per student.
“We had a great summer turnout with weights,” Correll said. “We played in seven-on-seven tournaments and did fairly well and we’re just looking forward to another great season.”