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Area football teams set to start practice on Monday

Sports writer

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Clovis High’s Eric Roanhaus begins his 42nd year in the program, and 37th as head coach, on Monday looking to fill a lot of skill positions for the Wildcats.

“We’re replacing a lot of people at our skill positions,” Roanhaus said. “We’ve got a majority of our linemen back.”

The team will practice from 8-10 a.m. and approximately 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. from Monday through Friday, then have a morning workout on Saturday. The next week is unsettled with coaches having to work around teachers’ in-service meetings.

The Cats, 6-6 last season and ousted in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs by top-seeded Valley, scrimmage Las Cruces High at 4 p.m. on Aug. 22 before opening the season against Class 4A power Goddard at the Wool Bowl in Roswell on Aug. 30.

Clovis, now a member of the new Class 6A, has three of its first four games on the road, including Saturday away contests against Goddard and Atrisco Heritage.

“It’s not ideal,” Roanhaus said of not playing regular Friday games early on. “We just don’t have that luxury the first four weeks. We’ll have some short weeks (of preparation).”

All of the area schools are scheduled to begin practice on Monday:

• Texico, which moves into Class 3A this year, will practice from 7-9 a.m. and from 10 a.m.-noon during the first two weeks, coach Ryan Autrey said. School starts on Aug. 20, and the Wolverines open at home on Aug. 29 against former district rival Santa Rosa.

Autrey said the Wolverines are chomping at the bit after a 5-6 season that ended in the first round of the 2A playoffs last year.

“We’ve got a bad taste in our mouths that we need to get rid of,” said Autrey, in his sixth season as the Wolverines’ coach. “We’ve got a good group of kids and we finally have a (junior varsity) program so our young kids get to play.”

• Class 1A Fort Sumner will start with camp in Cloudcroft for four days, beginning Monday. The Foxes plan to go from 5:30-8:30 a.m. and 5:30-8 p.m. the first three days, then have two early workouts on Thursday before returning home.

“I think it’ll be good, because we’ll have everybody there,” coach Matt Moyer said. “We know we’ll feed the kids good and they’ll be going to bed on time.”

Fort Sumner opens the season on Aug. 28 at home against the Clovis sophomores.

• Melrose plans to practice from 6-8 a.m. each day next week, with teachers doing in-service. The Buffaloes, coached Dickie Roybal, went 6-4 last year and lost in the 8-man semifinals.

They open at home against Mescalero on Aug. 29.

• After co-opting with Melrose last year, Clovis Christian is fielding a team again this season in 6-man and plans a “midnight madness” tonight at its practice facility.

First-year coach Josh Johnson said the practice is slated for 12:01 a.m. and will run only about 20 minutes.

The Eagles will go from 6:30-9 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday and from 7-9 a.m. on Friday.

CCS goes across the state line for its Aug. 28 opener against Marfa, to be played at Garden City, Texas.

• Muleshoe, now Class 3A in Texas, plans to practice from 7:30-9:15 a.m. and 10 a.m.-noon next week. School begins Aug. 25 and the Mules, coached by David Wood, host Levelland in their opener on Aug. 29.

• Bovina has an 8 a.m.-noon schedule on tap next week with a break in the middle, coach Hector Guevara said. The Mustangs host Plains in their opener on Aug. 29.

• Farwell has a new coach in Danny Britton, and the Steers have 7:30 a.m. practices on tap next week. Farwell opens at home on Aug. 29 against Panhandle.