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Football

Football

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Published by: MineralWellsGraphics on Aug 28, 2013
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08/29/2013

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FOOTBALL PREVIEW
2013
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Rams add new wrinkles for 2013 – page 3
 
2013 FOOTBALL EDITION • MINERAL WELLS INDEX • PAGE 2
 
2013 FOOTBALL EDITION • MINERAL WELLS INDEX • PAGE 3
Rams’ moves on offense key for success in ‘13
By TONY EIERDAM
sports@mineralwellsindex.com
Mineral Wells Rams head coach Chuck Lawrence had a serious decision to makelast spring in preparation for the 2013 highschool football season, which begins Friday.The coach knew he had a now-seasonedquarterback returning in junior CalebAcosta, but the Rams’ go-to guy runningthe ball for the last three years, GilbertCastorena, was gone due to graduation.Lawrence and his staff knew for Acostaand the offense to be effective the Ramshad to have a strong running game, so ahuge personnel decision was made. Junior Josh Hardee, who as a sophomoreinside linebacker last year led the team intackles and solo stops, was moved to run-ning back. In spot duty at running back lastyear, Hardee scored four touchdowns andaveraged more than 10 yards a carry.It would be easy to make Hardee playat both running back and linebacker, butwith the Rams showing depth at line-acker and not as much at running back,Lawrence has made a decision.“We have to have Josh tote the mail,”Lawrence said. “He is our best ball carrier.If our offense is going to have the runningthreat that we need in order to throw thefootball – to be balanced – we have tohave him back there running the football.“Yes, he is probably our best defensiveplayer. But, we feel like that we’ve gotplayers who can step in at the linebackerposition better than we have players whocan step into the running back position.“Again at that running back position,when you look at Gilbert Castorena thelast three years and what he did for us,we think Josh can do the same thing.”Offensive Coordinator David Tarversaid the offense can do more with anexperienced Acosta at quarterback.“It is big and it will help our progressthat we have Caleb at quarterback withan entire year of experience under his belt,” Tarver said. “Caleb took some bigstrides this spring, and he started tounderstand the offense even more thanhe did as he progressed throughout theyear last season. His decision makingimproved each game last year.“In conversations between us he nowtells me what he is expecting, what he islooking for and what he is going to do.That’s a positive step, and it gives me alot of confidence in him.“The biggest thing about Caleb, with hisyear of experience and talent – everyoneknows he has a great arm – is also a greatleader. Even as a sophomore newcomer tovarsity he took control of the huddle. Hehas that in him and stepped in the huddleand displayed it. That was impressive thathe, as a sophomore, looked in that huddleof mainly seniors and took charge.“He also shows great leadership. Whenhe needs to be, he is not only a motivator, but a disciplinarian as well. If the guys aredoing something wrong or not hustling orconcentrating, he lets them know. Andwhen he does something wrong he takesfull responsibility. You can’t ask muchmore from a leader than that.”Tarver said he can add much more tothe offense since Acosta has a greatunderstanding of what the coaches want.“Without a doubt I can throw more onCaleb’s plate,” he said. “As we startedadding things in the spring, because he isfamiliar with the offense, we can tie newthings into already existing schemes andCaleb picks it up right away and does agreat job with it.”Coming into August practices the Ramsreturned just two offensive linemen, righttackle Enrique Gamboa and left tackle JacobPilkington. The starting guards are projectedto be Trent King and Angel Gutierrez withAaron Hite at center. Also competing forplaying time on the offensive line will bePreston Hoskins, Marcelino Tafolla, JacobBoyd and Dakota Dahlhauser.“We have some guys on the offensiveline that have not taken many varsitysnaps, but we like who we have thereand we will be fine,” Lawrence said.“Gamboa and Pilkington are our mostexperienced offensive linemen and prov-en starters. Both have a full season undertheir belts. They know the offense and both are helping the young guys. Theother guys are strong, smart and it willtake a little time for them to gel as a unit.We have had many veterans in the paston the offensive line, but this year it willtake a little more time.”The Rams will return a starter at tightend, senior Jarrod Bennett, with startinglinebacker Toby Almanza spending timeas a back up and a second tight end incertain offensive formations.“Jarrod and Toby played quite a few
See RAMS, page 4

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