The concept of football is simple: The team that scores the most points
wins. In order to score the most points, a team must have a good
offense, or more importantly good backs. Anybody can throw pads on
themselves and run behind linemen, but what happens when there are no
linemen left and a group of defensive players stand between you and your
moment of glory?
You make something happen.
Welcome to the backfield.
The 1997 edition of the Monahans Lobo backfield has all the key
ingredients of a champion. They are ready to dive into the season, trap
any opponent who dares to venture into their web, and pass everyone on
their way to a championship. That is one pitch that no coach in the
state will counter. If you combine the desire of the backfield with
their natural talent, then all you are likely to see is the back of
their jerseys on a is the back of their jerseys touchdown bound.
Coach David Burnett has the helm of the Lobo backfield in 1997.
Besides talent and desire, the Lobo backfield has another major
asset experience. All three projected starters for the Loboes have some
experience on the Varsity level. Experince in these big games will be a
tremendous plus for the Loboes, who hope to have many more "big games"
in store for them.
With their previous experience and success, the 1997 Lobo backfield will
take on a more familiar look.
At tailback, playing time will likely be split between Junior Benny
Rodriguez and Senior Robin Hanna. Hanna has 2 years of varsity
experience plus a state championship under his belt. Rodriguez also
found playing time on the Varsity level last year as a Sophomore.
Competing with Hanna and Rodriguez for the tailback position are Seniors
Mark Thompson and Dewoyne Lowe.
Experience and talent run wild at fullback as well. Senior Lucas
Jaquez, who rushed for 660 yards last season, leads the pack of Loboes
vying for the fullback position. Joel Najar, a Junior returning
letterman, provides competition for Jaquez along with Sophomore Roy
Porras. Jaquez, Najar, and Porras. Each has previous experience for the
Loboes on the Varsity level.
The 1997 Lobo backfield looks to be a tremendous part of the Loboes
success this year. Whether they run, receive, or block, the backfield
will help lead the Loboes this season. Regardless of the outcome, you
can believe that the backs took this season and ran as far as they could
Will they score?Stay tuned.
When the lights come on in Big Spring on Friday night, it is probable
the first truly game-related announcement you will hear on the Public
Address system is "Joel Najar back to kick off for the Loboes."
Najar, a junior, enters his second season as a member of the Varsity.
In addition to being the Loboes primary place kicker, he is the starting
middle linebacker and a reserve fullback.
"Joel takes a lot of pride in his kicking," Coach Larry Hanna said. "He
has a tremendously strong leg, and has a very explosive kick."
Do you feel the word explosive is too strong? Najar hit a 47 yard field
goal last year against Clint, as a Sophomore. Najar held primary kicking
duties for the Loboes last season. Najar kicked the most extra points
in the district and was rewarded with the first team all-district kicker
Najar's back up is Gerald Lopez, also a senior.
Says Hanna: "You lose a little bit of distance but Gerald is accurate,
Punting chores fall to Brandon Stephens.
"Brandon gets the ball off quickly from the snap." notes Hanna.
"He gets good distance (35-40 yards), height and hangtime." Back up is Juan Moreno, and his distance is comparable.
Over the years, the Loboes have been blessed with talent at the position
of quarterback. However, no matter how far he can throw a ball or how
accurate, his supporting cast remains the key to his success.
The Wing-T offense used by the Loboes offers two general targets for
their quarterbacks. These two targets are the split end (commonly known
as a wide receiver), and a flanker, sometimes termed the wing back. The
split end and flanker are the epitomy of an offensive "utility" player:
when needed they catch passes, pass block defensive linemen, rush the
football, and lead block for their teammates. Regardless of the job
that must be done on Friday night, these players do it, and they do it
Coach David Burnett holds responsibilities for the flankers, while Coach
Jeff Jones keeps the split ends at the pinnacle of their game.
Senior returning letterman Nathan Swarb (6-1, 170) heads the Lobo pack
in line for a starting spot at split end. Seniors Jose Prieto (5-9,
160), Mark Weaver (5-9, 150) and Angel Orona (5-7, 105) are all chasing
Swarb for that starting position. Another Senior returning letterman,
Juan Moreno (5-10, 155), leads the way at flanker. Senior Anthony
Aguilar (5-9, 155) as well as Junior Junior Cordova (5-8, 155) have
their sights set on flanker as well.
This season when you gaze onto the field, take a couple of plays and
watch some of these men. Observe how one play they catch a touchdown
pass, and on another they throw the final block which allows a running
back to coast into the end zone. Remember split ends and flankers are the ultimate do everything players.
If it's true quarterback is a synonym for offense, this season in
Monahans the synonym for quarterback is three-year Lobo Starter Brandon
Stephens, a 5-10, 165 pound senior, already is mentioned as a potential
all-district, all-Permian Basin signal-caller.
"He's like having another coach on the field," says Head Coach Larry
Hanna of his quarterback. "His attributes? Number one of course is
experience. Brandon has competitiveness. He doesn't rattle easily. He
throws a good tight spiral and it's a catchable pass."
Stephens also runs -well.
Both factors combine to blend easily with Hanna's philosophy because
this state championship coach controls the ball.
"We're going to take what they give us," says Hanna. "We will throw and
we will run."
And the game dictates when that happens not some arcane gridiron formula
a mediocre defensive coordinator breaks in two series.
On Hanna's teams, the coaches call the plays although the quarterback
has the option "in definite, pre-set situations within reason" to change
those plays at the line.
You get the impression that a quarterback who changes the coach-called
play had better be ready to defend that change in chapter, verse and
documentation. If the quarterback can do it, the coach says, "good job."
On Hanna's depth chart, another senior, Rocky Rivera, taller (6-1) and a
little bigger (175), is the back-up to Stephens.
From Hanna: "Rocky has a height advantage as far as seeing over the
line. He's not as fast. Rocky throws a nice pass."
Third in line at quarterback is Nathan Swarb, who also is a wide out and
a defensive back. Swarb's another senior. He's 6-1, 170.
More from Hanna: "We might run some option but not a lot. We're not an option team."
LAKE ARTHUR, N.M. - Cowboy Andy Leyva intercepted a Lake Arthur pass
early in the first quarter, cruised into the end zone and triggered the
thunder and lightning of the Grandfalls ground attack.
When it was over, called at the half under six-man high school
football's 45-point mercy rule, the Cowboys had won the interstate
The victory in New Mexico Friday, Aug. 29, opened the 1997 season for
the Cowboys, the defending chanpions of District 8-1A.
Leyva's 15-yard interception jaunt for a touchdown with 9:20 left in the
opening quarter ignited the Grandfalls offense.
Thunder was Alfonso Marquez. Lightning was Roy Vasquez. Both had a pair
And they came quickly after Leyva's big play.
Three minutes and a few seconds after the Leyva theft, Marquez slipped
28 yards for a touchdown. Two minutes and a few seconds later Vasquez
flashed 58 yards to score.
Two minutes and a few seconds later, Danny Santiago added to the Cowboy
blitz when he slipped seven yards for the TD. And a minute later,
lightning flashed once more when Vasquez shot 65 yards for another
Jeff Corean had converted on all the touchdowns. (In six man football,
conversion kicks are two points; conversion runs, one point.)
The first quarter was over. Cowboys 40, Lake Arthur 0.
In a game that strted at 3 p.m. in the afternoon, almost unique for high
school football whose usual venue is Friday night, the game was finshed
after Marquez added his second touchdown, a 17-yard sprint behind
devasting interference, and a four-yard touchdown dive from Grandfalls
Corean's leg must have been tired. He missed the conversion on Marquez's
second scoring run. No conversion was attempted after Blake Knight
scored because the game was called and the victory was awarded to the
Texas Cowboys from Grandfalls.It was getting ugly.
Friday, Sept. 5, 7:30 p.m., the 1997 edition of Lobo football takes the
field in Big Spring for its season opener.
This one won't be easy. Big Spring is never easy. It's a higher
classification school in a district where the Big Green Lobo once
roamed. Last Autumn, the Lobo scored in the last 41 seconds to win 34-28
in a barn burner that sent Monahans on to a district championship and
Big Spring tumbling to the bottom rung of District 4-4A.
Big Spring will remember.
In addition to that and normal "first game hype," the Mean Green Lobo
carries a little more weight on its shoulders.
The Monahans Pack rides a 10 game regular season winning streak dating
back to the 1996 season; this is the first opportunity for the Green to
showcase the years of teaching that they have crammed in the past four
weeks; and Coach Larry Hanna carries his personal best 16 game winning
streak into this game.
The 1997 Lobo football team has set high goals this season, and their
achievement begins Friday night. Nineteen seniors are expected to start
- 11 on offense and eight on defense.
Hanna sees the 4-A Big Spring Steers as a formidable adversary, and a
"They are a faster team than we are," Hanna stated, "However, we have a
definite size advantage and hope to use it."
Hanna also has words on the rivalry:
"We're just one year removed from their district, and have continued to
play them. We definitely have a heated rivalry, and we hope to keep the
rivalry in our favor."
The Lobo Pack leader did see some positive signs in the scrimmage on
Friday, Aug. 29, against Kermit.
"We felt we had some concerns," says Hanna. "We felt like we made some
great strides. Kermit is really an improved ball club. They got their
share of the yardage but when they got close to the goal line. The
defense had to jell and have confidence in one another.
"One thing we were really impressed with was an increase in enthusiasm.
Take it to Big Spring.
PROBABLE LOBO STARTERS
QB 10 Brandon Stephens Sr.
FB 30 Lucas Jaquez Sr.
TB 21 Mark Thompson Sr.
WB 43 Chris Allen Sr.
SE 12 Nathan Swarb Sr.
TT 77 Randy Salazar Sr.
TG 55 T.J. Bustos Sr.
C 53 Robert Dendy Sr.
SG 61 Micah Wilson Sr.
ST 64 Quint Melius Sr.
DT 72 Gerald Lopez Sr.
DT 75 Luciano Hinojos Sr.
DE 88 Ruben Sanchez Sr.
DE 24 Roy Porras Soph.
LB 44 Joel Najar Jr.
LB 22 Jerry Toscano Sr.
LB 60 Gabriel Ontiveros Jr.
CB 13 Rocky Rivera Sr.
CB 7 Juan Moreno Sr.
S 10 Brandon Stephens Sr.R 12 Nathan Swarb Sr.
First (62) - Two teams tied at 10 under. A scorecard playoff decided
first and second place.
1. Jack Hill, Vernon Rowe, Russ Bowman and Billy Wells.
2. Jerry McDonald, W.T. Phipps, A.D. Weier and Melvin Cherry.
Third (64) - Two teams tied. A scorecard playoff determined third and
3. Al Gallas, Dean Wells and Bill Beair.
4. Bill Neace, Bo Mooring, Merve Harper and J.R. Merchant.
Fifth (66) - Jack Higginbotham, Joe Bravo, Glen Smith and Noel
Sixth (67) - Don McCoy, Jim Marks, Jim Davalt and Dan Woods.
Seventh (70) - Four teams tied. A scorecard playoff determined the order
7. Larry Patterson, Abe Collins, Ray Price and Don Stacy.
8. Audilio Cobos, Bob Baker, Rudy Neace and Milbert Helm.
9. Don Thresher, Charles Jones, Wally Watson and Travis Pool.
10. Dan Blair, Charles McNabb, Jerry Hardisty and Henry Ridings.
Eleventh (72) - Clyde Smith, C.A. Hayes, Chuck Johnson and Don Vincent.
Closest to the Pin
Bill Neace hit to four feet of the number 11 flag to win the jackpot for
Closest to the Pin.
Lobo Tennis Coach Justin Quest was proud after his Big Green tennis
players shreaded Pecos and Fort Stockton in team competition on
Saturday, Aug. 30.
It was a hard and successful day for Lobo tennis.
"I was very pleased with the effort in regards to Saturday's win against
Pecos and Ft. Stockton. I felt it was a great accomplishment for each
member of the team to play four competitive matches on a very hot day."
Quest says the multiple competitions on Saturday were a crucible in
which his players were being molded to meet the team's goals this season.
His players were positive from service to service, return to return, set
to set, match to match.
More from Quest:
" I was impressed with the way they represented their school and the
positive attitude they kept on the court.
" I honestly believe we are well on our way to my goal of building a
close group dedicated to each other and winning."
Copyright 1997 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Steve Patterson, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314
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