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CHS linemen revel in drills at camp

Sports writer

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PORTALES — While the “skill” players are off trying to either score touchdowns or prevent them, linemen in events like Friday’s 7-on-7 competition at Eastern New Mexico University have a different mindset.

Taking on 10 drills during the day, none involving a football, the linemen compete for team honors just like their cohorts do.

Clovis High finished fourth out of 16 teams in Friday’s lineman competition, which includes a bench press, a farmer’s walk, a log run, two versions of a sled push, a 20-yard dash, a 50-yard truck push, a tire flip, an obstacle course and, last but not least, a tug of war.

link Staff photo: Joshua Lucero

Clovis High defensive tackle Derrick Brown flips a tractor tire during tire flip relay portion of the lineman challenge during Friday’s 7-on-7 competition at Eastern New Mexico University. Brown helped the Wildcats finish fourth among 16 6-man teams in the lineman competition.

“I think it’s great (to help) the kids to build chemistry,” said CHS assistant and Clovis Freshman Academy coach Chris Hanks. “Everyone’s got to pull their own weight.”

For junior nose tackle Javier Hermosillo, it’s a lot of fun.

“I love it,” the 5-foot-8 1/2, 260-pounder said. “I love how it tests my personal ability, as well as getting to compete against other teams.”

Hermosillo played junior varsity ball last season, but hopes to have a chance to start for the Wildcats this fall. Still, he knows he’s got his work cut out.

“I think I’ll have a chance to start,” he said. “There’s a lot of talent ahead of me. I’m ready for the season to start and experience the intensity of a varsity game.”

Hanks said the competition has a purpose, but it’s not all business.

link Staff photo: Joshua Lucero

Clovis High wide receiver Kaine Bender twists his body to catch a pass during Friday’s 7-on-7 game against Amarillo Caprock at Eastern New Mexico University.

“You want the Wildcats have fun, but this kind of shows where you’re at, physically and endurance-wise,” he said.

Meantime, the Cats bounced back from an early loss to rival Hobbs to beat the Eagles in the large-school finals of the 7-on-7 competition.

Senior wide receiver-free safety Kaine Bender said it’s important to take some of the intangibles from the camp.

“The first thing is communication,” he said. “If you don’t communicate (on the field), you don’t know where to line up.

“The second thing is you’ve got to be able to play fast. You can’t be stagnant.”

Senior receiver Christian Caldwell said the 7-on-7s are a good opportunity to get some early work in.

“Being a receiver, you just know (the play’s) going to be a pass, so you know you’re going to get an opportunity. It’s (done for) conditioning, but it lets us get our timing down.”

The Cats begin two-a-days on Aug. 4. They open the season with a Saturday game on Aug. 30 at the Wool Bowl in Roswell against Goddard.