The Odessa High Bronchos missed out on the playoffs after falling to Midland High in the final game of the regular season. To make matters more challenging,
OHS will turnover two-thirds of its varsity roster. Much of that experience departing is on the offense side of the ball – running back Josh Lara, quarterback Trey Smith, and wide receiver Tyrone Caufield are just a few of the players lost to graduation.
To fill those shoes, head coach Danny Servance will call up some new faces from Odessa High’s JV farm system.
“It’s like having a minor-league team, where you’re really honing in on those guys’ skills, so that they can help you the next year.” said Servance. “I think that’s what we’ve done.”
“It’s been hard, but I think it’s all coming together,” said senior offensive lineman Joel Rodriguez. “I feel like some of the younger guys are finally stepping up to where they need to be.”
The Bronchos do return five starters on defense. That includes senior linebacker Cade Mendoza – a player sporting some interest from several Division I college programs.
“Being an old middle linebacker myself, I know how important it is for that guy to be returning,” said Servance. “He’s the quarterback on defense.”
“I’m trying to improve my quickness and my reading,” said Mendoza. “As a linebacker, you have to read the line all the way to the triangle. You have to read it all.”
After coming agonizingly close to making last year’s playoffs, the Bronchos are focusing on the details to try and avoid that same disappointment.
“From taking the right six-inch step to being in the right stance, we know that a collection of those little-bitty small things is what makes a really good product,” said Servance.