ODESSA HIGH FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Bronchos begin preparing for next season
Nov 14, 2012 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
After a weekend off for the first time since July, Odessa High head coach Ron King and his staff got right back to work Monday.
Even as players were turning in equipment and cleaning out the varsity locker room, plans were being made for the team's offseason workout routines.
Decisions also were made on when to bring up the junior high players who will be sophomores next year, and which coaches would go down to the lower-level programs to work with their athletes in the offseason.
King still is looking for one coach to fill out his staff but must wait on the administration to see what teaching field opens.
"It's disappointing that we aren't in the playoffs, because that's the goal of every team," King said. "But we'll have a lot of players returning next season and it's time to start getting them going in offseason and build for next year.
"We have some good kids coming up from the JV and some players at the junior high level that we are going to want to see in the spring. So there is plenty to do."
--AVID SUPPORTER: As the Bronchos were in the process of winning their first game of the season, Odessa High principal Gregory Nelson was a keen observer from the press box, living and dying with each snap.
When quarterback Dayton Dennard swept around the right side for a touchdown on the Bronchos' first drive, Nelson was the first to notice the penalty flag for holding that nullified the score.
On a fourth-and-2 play by Amarillo Tascosa at the OHS 38-yard-line, Nelson called for a turnover and the Rebels obliged, fumbling the ball away to the Bronchos.
Finally, when Dennard powered his way into the end zone with 5:29 left in the first half, Nelson slammed his hand on the counter in celebration of the Bronchos' first lead since holding a 2-0 margin against Lubbock Coronado.
Nelson could only shake his head in frustration when the Bronchos had back-to-back possessions inside the Tascoa 20 and came up empty both times. Then, when Tascosa finally leveled the score with a quick, three-play drive that covered 76 yards, Nelson was like the rest of the Bronchos' fans in hoping they could find a way to respond.
OHS did, driving 70 yards in 10 plays before backup quarterback Angel Iniguez slipped through a crack in the line for a 1-yard touchdown with 2:57 remaining in the game.
That's when Nelson got up to leave and quickly was reminded OHS had gotten the lead with him where he was, and if he didn't stay, things could change.
"OK," he said, laughing. "I'll stay right here."
And he did, until Odessa High's Cesar Saldana recovered the third Tascosa fumble of the game at the OHS 39 with 1:14 remaining to play and the Rebels out of timeouts, clinching the victory for the Bronchos.
That's when Nelson finally got his chance to head down to the field to congratulate King and his staff.
--QUICK START: It was senior night Friday for the Bronchos and, as usual, all the players stepping onto the field for the final time lined up with their parents to be introduced to the crowd before the game.
Normally, King and the rest of the staff are down in the field for the introductions, but when he came down the stairs to the field after the final pregame meeting, half of the seniors had already been introduced and were lined up on the field.
"Came down to the field and found out they had started without me," King said. "I stood and watched as the rest of the seniors were put up on the video board as they were introduced.
"Just like every year, it's bittersweet when they are introduced because it's the last time a lot of them are going to play organized football."
Senior Shelby Mobley already had come to terms with that after being injured during the Red-White game and then subsequently being diagnosed with a narrowing of the spine that ended his football career.
All season long, Mobley, one of the team's captains, was there for his teammates, but he knew Friday was going to be tough.
"I thought about it a little over the weekend," Mobley said during practice last week. "But I've moved past not playing this season, though it was tough. Of course you want to be on the field with your teammates, but it wasn't how things were supposed to be."
--LOWER LEVELS: The Bronchos finished the season strong by traveling to Dick Bivins Stadium on Thursday to defeat Amarillo Tascosa in a JV game.
That put OHS at 3-7 overall and 2-2 over its past four games.
Contact Lee Scheide on twitter @OALeeScheide, on Facebook at OA Lee Scheide, or call 432-333-7703.
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