Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 | 1 p.m.
For Cimarron-Memorial High football coach John Parcells, one figure shows his program is heading in the right direction.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer try to contain their excitement for the start of the football season enough to get through the first slate of games. They also discuss the two defending state champions, Bishop Gorman and Faith Lutheran.
At the end of last season, Cimarron had 91 players on three teams in the program. This year they have 125 players, including 50 freshmen.
“That’s a good freshmen group. We have been able to school them up,” Parcells said.
Cimarron finished with a 6-4 record last year, losing in the Sunset Regional quarterfinals to Palo Verde. Cimarron led in the first quarter and the game was even for the first half.
Cimarron returns seven starters, including all-Southwest League selection Maurice Bennett at running back and kick returner, and linebackers John Nelson and Joe Tito. The 6-foot, 195-pound Nelson had more than 100 tackles last season.
Derek Morefield, who passed for 1,030 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013, returns at quarterback.
“We are trying to put our athletes in the position to succeed,” Parcells said.
Cimarron opens the season Friday against Cheyenne in the Duel of the Desert game. Both schools opened in 1991 to create a natural rivalry. Cimarron leads all-time series by one game, Parcells said.
“That’s a pretty good rivalry for us,” he said.