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

Portales focuses on strong finish at season's halfway point


September 29, 2018

PORTALES — The Rams find themselves at a crossroads, during this week’s bye week — and beyond. Portales football sits at 2-3, as the young Rams have had some missed opportunities through the first-half of their 2018 campaign. However, for coach Jaime Ramirez and company, there are still plenty of opportunities that lie ahead, if the Rams are up to the challenge.

“We can’t change the past, but from right now, we can start and change our future,” Ramirez said. “That’s kind of been our goal to focus on, from this point forward. Just get better and do the things we’re not doing good right now, and make those an area that we improve on.

“We need to stay focused. We still haven’t gotten to district, so all these games beforehand have been games that count towards our seeding, we know that. But, it doesn’t directly affect our district placement. We can still control how we finish in district, by the way that we are playing.”

So far, the Rams have beaten St. Mike’s and West Las Vegas, with losses to Hope Christian, Goddard and St. Pius. This week, the Rams are using modified practices, focusing on a couple of different areas of special teams each day, along with a virtual split in team offense and defense work.

Watching extra film for next week’s contest at home against Capital is also vital, as it gives the players a chance to be more prepared when that game rolls around. Next week, meanwhile, will go back to normal routine, heading into Friday’s game.

To this point, Ramirez says that a number of players have stood out to him as “surprises” thus far.

“I think Jordan Garcia coming in and playing that safety position has been a real pleasant surprise. He’s played bigger than what we knew he could play,” Ramirez said. “We always knew he was a great athlete, but I think that he’s even played above what we thought he was gonna play.

“Luciano Rodriguez has played really good on defense, when given the opportunity. Baylor Diaz has stepped up and played some big roles for us, as a sophomore. The punting has been great. Special teams for Baylor Diaz has been on-point for us.”

As for what Ramirez is looking forward to in the coming weeks, he says he wants one of his wide receivers to emerge as the go-to player. At any rate, Ramirez says that a number of wideouts did a great job of catching the ball against St. Pius, and that several of them had multiple catches in the contest.

The musical chairs of the offensive line, meanwhile, is another key area Ramirez hopes will be corrected very soon. Ramirez is very confident about the changes that were made on Monday, and he says that once this line situation gets figured out, Portales will have a really good offense.

All in all, there’s still plenty of season ahead for these young Rams, as it’s not always about how you start, but how you finish.

“We still have some goals that we want to meet,” Ramirez explained. “We still want to get better every day, try to win district, and do what we can in the playoffs to make it to state.”


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