Wolverines, Buffs tune up for title defense

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

Texico football coach Mike Prokop acknowledges the two-time defending Class 1A state champion Wolverines may have a target on their backs this season, but he’s not concerned.

“I’m sure we do, but we can’t worry about that,” he said. “We just have to try and keep our kids focused.”

Texico tuned up this week’s season opener by hosting Dexter on Friday in a scrimmage. The contest was shortened by lightning after the teams had worked for about 1 1/2 hours, Prokop said.

“The kids did a good job,” Prokop said. “We’ve just got to work on our execution a little bit, but I thought the kids gave great effort.”

Texico scored the only touchdown of the scrimmage, Prokop said, noting several Wolverines were unable to participate due to commitments at the Curry County Fair.

“I’m happy with the way some of our other kids stepped up and performed,” he said.

Texico’s offensive line played well, Prokop said, while on defense the Wolverines allowed only two pass completions for about 30 yards and no run of more than nine yards.
Texico hosts Smyer, Texas, at 7 p.m. Friday in its season-opener.

The Wolverines were one of several area teams participate in scrimmages last week.

Bovina — The Mustangs traveled to Shamrock, Texas, on Saturday and scrimmaged the Fighting Irish to a scoreless tie during the main part of the scrimmage.

Bovina coach Kent Torbert said Shamrock, which has struggled in recent seasons, showed signs of improvement with a wide-open offense.

“Shamrock’s a lot better than they’ve been, much-improved,” the third-year Mustangs coach noted. “They’ve got a new coach this year. They’re doing a good job.

“I think they threw the ball about every down. We bent a couple of times, but we never broke.”

He said his team moved the ball reasonably well on offense, but committed a couple of turnovers.

“We played extremely well defensively,” Torbert said. “We just shot ourselves in the foot (on offense) a couple of times.”

Bovina’s opener is Friday at Morton.

Farwell — Steers coach Jacob Thompson said he saw some good things in his team’s scrimmage against visiting Olton on Thursday, although the Mustangs scored two touchdowns to one for Farwell.

“We learned some things about ourselves,” Thompson said. “We started out kind of slow, but we finished strong.”

Farwell and Olton, one-time district rivals, met in a preseason scrimmage for the fourth consecutive year. The Steers’ only score came on a run of about 70 yards by senior fullback Logan McFarland.

Thompson, whose team begins the season on Friday at Plains, said the idea of the scrimmage isn’t to win it as much as a measuring stick.

“You’re trying to find out what works and what doesn’t,” he said. “We were able to see where we have depth and where we don’t.

“Probably the best thing is we didn’t get anybody hurt.”

Melrose — The defending state six-man champions Buffaloes hosted Floyd and Carlsbad-based Valley Christian Academy on Saturday.

“We just kept it basic,” Melrose coach Dickie Roybal. “We hit well and we did some good things, but we’ve got a lot of things to work on.”

Floyd beat Melrose for the District 3 title last season, but then lost to the Buffs in the state championship game. Both teams finished 11-1, but the Broncos were hurt by graduation losses.

“It wasn’t bad,” said first-year Floyd coach Rafael Roybal, who is Dickie Roybal’s uncle. “I’m not going to say it was great. We’re taking very small steps right now.

“We’re young — we started to freshmen and an eighth grader today. When you’re that young, you’re not going to be consistent.”

Dickie Roybal said the Broncos looked reasonably good in the scrimmage.

“They did some good things,” he said. “They really moved the ball. They’re going to be better than people think.”