Hounds coach likes early spring results

CNJ staff

PORTALES — Nearly two weeks into spring drills, Eastern New Mexico University football coach Mark Ribaudo likes the look of his team.

The Greyhounds are slated to have the first of two game-style intrasquad scrimmages at 3:30 p.m. today at Greyhound Stadium. Ribaudo said the scrimmage should last about two hours and is open to the public.

“We’re really getting educated,” Ribaudo said. “We’re getting some of our young players some experience, including some of our young OLs (offensive linemen).”

Unlike previous years, when ENMU split its spring drills around spring break, the Hounds will get everything in this time before going on hiatus. This year’s Green and Silver game, bringing spring drills to an end, will be played March 25 at Leon Williams Stadium.

Ribaudo said the Hounds have worked with longtime Clovis coach Eric Roanhaus to arrange the game. Two Wildcats seniors, quarterback-safety Devin Sweet and fullback Tanner Ficking, are slated to join the program in August.

“We’ve had a great relationship with Coach Roanhaus and our players from Clovis,” Ribaudo said in explaining why the spring game will be played at Leon Wiliiams. “We just want to pay back the people of Clovis for their support.”

The Hounds have a large nucleus returning on defense, but after struggling at times in 2005, Ribaudo said they are experimenting with some different schemes.

On offense, junior Michael Benton is the returning starter at quarterback, but Ribaudo said he thinks the Hounds have some good young potential at the position with sophomore Michael Carrasco of Albuquerque, redshirt freshmen Jeremy Thompson of Sweetwater, Texas, and Josh King of Stratford, Texas.

Ribaudo said the Hounds have a lot of work to do before the season starts in early September, but added that they’re making progress.

“We’ve got a long way to go with a lot of spots on our football team,” he said. “We’re not where we want to be, but we’re farther along than we were two weeks ago.”