By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
The Port Isabel Tarpons varsity football squad will be at Donna North for their first scrimmage of the 2015 season this Friday morning.
The Press visited with P.I. head coach and athletic director Monty Stumbaugh this week to find out how preparations are coming along in this, the second week of practice.
“It’s going O.K. The kids have got a good attitude. We scrimmaged each other on Saturday and there was some good and some bad, like there always is. The things we saw in the scrimmage can all be corrected.”
Repetition is important and Coach Stumbaugh talked about the need for playing mistake-free ball; “There are some things we shouldn’t be forgetting. At the varsity level, blowing assignments, (things) that we’ve been doing forever, is totally unacceptable.”
The head man was asked how the process of deciding what players will be in what positions was going. “All our positions are open and we need to get a little more competition going. We’re going to find out who really wants to play.”
“Some guys are playing the same positions they did last year and some we’ve moved to different positions, because we think that’s what’s best for the team. We’re just trying to find who gives us the best opportunity to win.”
Contact work started last Friday when pads were put on for the first time and conditioning is still a primary concern. “You can play yourself into shape and it’s going O.K. All our running is timed and the kids have done a good job. It takes some a little longer than others to get back into shape.”
Players will continue to be moved around at this Friday’s scrimmage at Donna North. “We’re still looking at people … competing for jobs and positions. We’ll experiment, see what it looks like in a game (situation), different plays, different types of fronts (linemen) we want to look at. Mainly we want to see who’s going to give us that effort, who’s going hard on every play.”
With certain positions and offensive and defensive units, Coach Stumbaugh was willing to name names, starting with the offensive line. “We’ve got some good candidates for the offensive line. One who started last year was (senior) Peter Garcia. Juan Mireles (senior) played some and Oscar Del Abra (junior) played some at guard. They alternated there.”
Stumbaugh has more than the usual number of kickers to choose from this year. “Williams Romero (senior) is back from last year. Denilson Lozano, from the JV, has kicked. Kevin Ortiz played soccer and he’s coming out to kick. This might be the most kickers I’ve ever had. Trey Mock (junior) is back as a punter. I think our kicking game is going to be good.”
Williams Romero was 14-16 on extra-point kicks last year. Trey Mock averaged 37.9 yards on 28 punts in 2014. He punted for 40 or more yards per kick in four games, including the Rio Hondo game in which he averaged nearly 44 yards on five punts.
“We’re looking for 22 people to play,” Stumbaugh said. “(That’s) 11 on offense and 11 on defense, whoever that may be.”
This Friday’s scrimmage at Donna North is scheduled for a 10 a.m. start. Next Friday the Tarpons will conduct their second and final scrimmage at home and that one is scheduled to get underway at 6 p.m. On the following Friday, August 28, the regular season will start with a game against RGC Grulla in Tarpon Stadium.
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