The Clovis Wildcats have one more week before the scores count. They’re hoping they can make their last few pre-season days count, as well.
The Wildcats, ranked fifth in the Class 5A preseason poll, are on the road Friday for their annual neutral-field scrimmage against Las Cruces.
The Bulldawgs, ranked third in 5A, will make the longer trip of the two, with the 4:30 p.m. matchup at the Wool Bowl in Roswell.
“The scrimmage will be a big test for our linebackers,” Clovis assistant coach Darren Kelley said, “because they’ll have to function at game speed.”
The Wildcats, who finished last season 5-7, are already fighting through injuries. The injuries are primarily on the line, where Michael Mileg is out at least six weeks with a broken leg, and senior Kenny Betts will sit out the scrimmage with back spasms.
“Right now, mainly it will be tough on our linemen,” Kelley said, “but some kids will get reps and do things they don’t normally have a chance to do.”
Betts said he expects to return for Clovis’ season opener Aug. 26, when the Wildcats go a little further south to Alamogordo.
Clovis expects a challenge from the Bulldawgs, but are pretty confident.
“We’ve been really good (in practice),” senior receiver Eddie Trevizo said. “We have a big line. We’ve got good receivers. We’ve got good tight ends who can either catch passes or help with run block.”
Trevizo remembered last season’s scrimmage as the Wildcats taking a few lumps, and he’s hopeful the team can shut out the Bulldawgs, even though that might not be realistic in a format that includes goal-line situations.