On paper, the Las Cruces Bulldawgs have the look of a good football team.
Potentially a very good one, as in one of the top teams in the state.
Yes, it’s still the summer time, and there is a long way before the season begins, let alone before the state playoff run in November.
And, last year at this time the Bulldawgs looked strong as well, eventually rolling through an easy pre-district schedule — and, outside of rival Mayfield, an easy District 3-5A docket as well — before succumbing down the stretch of their season and eventually falling to Rio Rancho early in the state playoffs.
But last year’s team was one-dimensional — the ball was going to running back Xavier Hall, or would be kept by quarterback Devin Perez who would look to create something with his legs.
It worked early in the season, but as the year moved along those predictable deficiencies really hurt the Bulldawgs.
But that’s also football — you play to your club’s strengths, and last year’s Las Cruces High squad was a run-first outfit.
Before that, it was a balanced attack because quarterback Jeremy Buurma could do both — he was equally adept at running and throwing the football, a dual threat.
And, this year’s team figures to be more of the throwing variety, attempting to implement a vertical passing game into its repertoire.
Joy will be key — he showed flashes last year of being a capable quarterback, but will now need to do it every week. If he can play, LCHS could very well be a force to be reckoned with.
Ditto for the running back position, which replaces Hall, a player who did it every week, for a handful of successive years.
And, of course, defense will always be of critical importance in terms of being a legitimate championship team.
But, with that being said, the Bulldawgs have the pieces, weapons, and coaching to be a strong offensive club this year.
Certainly a more balanced one, that should be more of a threat through the air.
Yes, it’s mid-summer.
But the high school football chatter has officially begun.
The 2012 season kicks off in two months.
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