The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Rams raring to go as practice opens

Though not many left from '17 semifinalist


August 7, 2018

Eric Murray

Portales quarterbacks Julian Urioste, left, and Baylor Diaz, right, go through "Figure-8" drills during Monday night's practice. The Rams had their first practice at 12:01 a.m. Monday, with the second coming 18 hours later. Portales will open its 2018 season at home against Hope Christian on Aug. 24.

PORTALES — Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is a championship-caliber football team.

Portales kicked off its fall practices on Monday morning with its only two-a-day of the season, and after one day, it's safe to say that it's still very much a learning experience for the Rams.

"We're learning, so everything is a little bit rusty right now," Rams coach Jaime Ramirez explained. "The players are just trying to learn what we're doing, and all the new players — the freshmen and sophomores — the pace is so quick for them."

Portales, which returns just eight starters on offense and defense combined, held its first practice just after midnight on Monday morning. That "Midnight Madness" practice from 12:01-2:30 a.m. was followed by another practice from 6-9 p.m. Monday.

The good news, however, is that while it may be a learning process for this young team, Ramirez is already seeing results. According to Ramirez, his Rams already looked better in the second practice than the first, which is certainly a positive step in the right direction.

Perhaps the best part of that is that the practices themselves weren't all that different. "Some of the drills were exactly the same," Ramirez said, "because we didn't add any new plays from this morning.

"Offensively, the plays have been the same. So what we're trying to do is just reinforce the repetition and proper technique in what we're doing. Pretty much everything's staying the same."

All in all, to compare this team's progress against the last two years' teams is like comparing apples to oranges. The 2016 and '17 teams had more experience, and weren't trying to replace as many players as this team.

With that being said, despite the positive progress, Ramirez knows his team still has a ways to go. "Probably more learning this practice than we've had in the past," Ramirez said, "(Because) of all the possible new starters. That's where we're at."


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