By Thomas Garcia
The Tucumcari Rattlers will have their first football training session at 7:30 a.m. Monday, said Coach Dub Smith.
“The boys know what we expect of them,” Smith said. “They know we run a good hard practice and the players enjoy that.”
The training will be open to freshman through seniors. A physical and proof of insurance are required.
Beginning Monday through Aug.11, there will be two-a-days. Practices will be at at 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. with an hour break, then will resume at 10 a.m. to noon.
Smith said, for the first three days of practice contact is not allowed.
“We will be working on drills without pads (during that time),” Smith said. “Then starting Thursday the players will gear up for contact practice.”
One-a-days will start the week of Aug. 14. There will be practice after classes on Monday through Thursday.
The team will have two scrimmages before its first home game against St. Michael’s of Santa Fe on Aug. 25. The Rattlers Purple and Gold scrimmage is on Aug. 11, followed by a scrimmage at Taos on Aug. 18.
“We are getting ready for St. Mike’s,” Smith said. “We might be playing Taos but we will be preparing for St. Mike’s.”
Smith, who is also offensive coordinator, said the team and its coaching staff should be prepared to get back to the Class 2A state championship, which saw Hatch Valley defeat Tucumcari.
“We have a fine coaching staff,” Smith said. “They work with the students one-on-one and do a great job of preparing them for the season.”
Working with the team this year are: Wayne Ferguson, defensive coordinator and offensive line coach; John Span, receivers and defensive secondary coach and Gary Hittson, tight-end, defensive-end and special teams coach. Eddie Encinas and Brian Dunlap will be helping out during practices and on game nights.
“We have a tough schedule this year but we are confident we will do good,” Smith said. “Last year, we finished state runner-up with a record of 11-2. We look to improve on that this year and finish champions.”
Nur Badshah, M.D., will be conducting physicals for athletes at the Rattler Gym on Thursday from 4 to 6:30 p.m. The cost will be $15.