Thursday, October 20, 2011

Seminole football: The pieces for something special in West Texas

  As I stopped to grab a pop (or soda or Coke or whatever it's called out here) at a Seminole market before heading back to Hobbs after doing interviews following the Seminole football team's practice Thursday, two gentlemen started chatting about the team's game in Andrews on Friday as I waited in line.
  "Should be a good one tomorrow night," the older of the two men said.
  "Yep, we have some really good players at the varsity level. I really like that Burtch too," the other man said speaking about Seminole head coach Chris Burtch.
  "Me too," the older gentlemen said before I paid and left and stopped eavesdropping on the conversation.
  Spending an hour watching Seminole practice Thursday, I can see why those gentlemen like this team, the coaching staff and why the Indians are 7-1 with a chance to clinch a playoff berth tonight at the Mustang Bowl in Andrews.
  As is usual for most teams the day before a game, Seminole, which pounded a Monahans team last week 41-7 ranked in the Class 3A top 10 in one Texas high school publication, practiced with no pads but went through the hour workout with precision in the Indians' indoor facility. After spending time on defense, the real show began as the Indians went through their spread offense.
  I don't think Seminole, which is receiving votes in the AP Texas High School Class 3A poll, huddled or really stopped once as it went through a myriad of formations and passing plays. Quarterback Jacob Burtch (just a junior, see video highlights of his sophomore season) slung the ball around with precision to a slew of receivers, including the game-breaking Jarod Adams (who happens to be the cousin of former Hobbs running back P.J. Smith. I attached his highlight video from a year ago as well).
  Coaches just called out numbers and did hand signals from the sideline (as they would in a game) and the players reacted to the calls with a quickness. Very few mistakes were made on routes or formations. It was truly impressive.
  Seminole just had the look of a good football team. You could tell the players are well aware where the weight room is and have gone over these plays until they could run them in their sleep.
  It shows on the field for the quarterback Burtch as in just five games (he missed three due to a separated throwing shoulder) he has thrown for 913 yards, 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions on 49-for-84 passing (just under 59 percent). Add on 400 yards and five scores on the ground and that's pretty good production in five games.
  Adams has caught 37 balls for 830 yards and 13 touchdowns as well. Add to it the running of Juan Espino (781 yards, seven touchdowns) and Raylee Suarez (284 yards, three scores, 10.4 avg. per att.) and the Indians have an explosive, yet balanced, attack. I'm excited to get a chance to see them in action Friday in Andrews – a team that beat Seminole last season in Seminole, 28-21.
  It's also a good example of what hard work (including in the offseason when coaches aren't there to overlook your every move) can get you. Seminole has a chance to do something special this season.
  And remember, you can get updates and stats during Friday's game or any other game I'm attending by following me on Twitter at