Thursday, August 5, 2010

State Runner-up Warriors Open Football Camp On Aug. 9

By John Severance

SOCORRO – Four starters are back on offense and four are back on defense.
Coach Damien Ocampo, though, has that Warrior mentality and he is hoping to instill that in his players.
“We can be one of the top five teams in AAA in New Mexico,” Ocampo said. “But we just have so many question marks.”
The Warriors, who have been lifting and attending camps during the summer, will open camp at midnight on Aug. 9. Ocampo said there will be a scrimmage the following week at home against Academy and the Warriors open the season at home on Aug. 27 against West Las Vegas.
Socorro is coming off a magical 9-4 season where it won its second straight district championship and rode the momentum of two home playoff wins against Robertson and Raton into the state title against perennial power Lovington.
The Warriors gave Lovington all it could handle, but they gave up a touchdown in the final three minutes and fell 28-21.
On offense, the Warriors averaged 24.8 points per game and on defense, they gave up 19.1.
Offensively, the Warriors return quarterback Zach Esquivel, who led them on their playoff run before injuring his shoulder in the state title game. Esquivel is back and healthy, having played on the basketball team.
Also returning will be receiver/running back James Thornton, tight end Sam Hale, and receiver Ibrahim Maiga.
Heading the defense will be linebacker Matthew Lopez.
“He is as good as they come at the AAA level at linebacker,” Ocampo said.
Ocampo’s biggest concern, though, are his offensive and defensive lines.
Candidates for the lines include Bryce Sandoval, Julio Estrada, Abran Sarate, Leon Guerrero, Isaac Chavez, Aaron McDaniel and Jeremiah Farmer,
In all, Ocampo is hoping to have 55 to 60 players out for football. “We have to do some recruiting in our freshman class,” he said.
Ocampo, though, is optimistic the Warriors can have a good season.
“It is going to be tough especially in AAA,” Ocampo said. “We have to keep people healthy but we are also going to get after it. In the first part of camp, we will working on our base offense and base defense.
“We have so many young guys and along the lines it’s going to take time for them to come together as a unit.
“Football is the ultimate team game. You are only as strong as you weakest link. These are the most question marks we have ever had. But we also have kids who want to work hard and improve.”
A complete preview of the Warriors will appear in an upcoming edition of the Mountain Mail.

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