Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 | 2:05 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer celebrate the return of football season with an hour-long podcast diving into anything and everything regarding local high schools. They also look back on the victories by Bishop Gorman and Moapa Valley in the Sollenberger Classic and finish with week one picks.
Other Northwest Division schools
- Palo Verde again at the top of the heap in competitive Northwest league
- Talented Legacy squad knows importance of opening season strong
- Newfound depth has hopes high at Shadow Ridge
- Cheyenne needs to improve defense to bounce back
- Jacobi Owens, Trajan Pili lead revitalized Centennial program into season
- Arbor View dealing with elevated preseason expectations
- Faith Lutheran has to replace several key performers from last year
- New coach, new attitude gives Mojave reasons to be optimistic
Cimarron-Memorial coach John Parcells hopes his players are angry and embarrassed in at least one way.
For the first time in 16 years, the Spartans missed the playoffs last season with a 4-6 record. Some interpreted their absence to mean the best days had passed for one of Las Vegas’ traditional powers.
“I want us to take that personally,” Parcells said. “That was obviously a different team, and this group wants to get us back on track. That should be the exception.”
Parcells is entering his sixth year on the Cimarron staff but his first as head coach. Last year’s coach, Rod Vollan, retired four months ago after spending 20 years at the school.
Vollan was an assistant on Cimarron’s two state championship teams, in 1998 and 1999, and instilled the same mentality in his players that Parcells hopes to ingrain.
“We’re going to do the same things we’ve been doing and not change much,” Parcells said. “The deal is counting on younger guys. There are not a lot of guys around who have had a lot of experience.”
DeMaryae Williams, who is expected to be the Spartans leading rusher, didn’t play last year. He was ruled ineligible while at Palo Verde.
But Williams has re-emerged at Cimarron as a senior and created some hype in his wake. He runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash and has a 39.3-inch vertical.
He’ll share the ball with junior running back Taz Taoipu and fullback DeMarlo Lewis.
“We’ve got some guys who can run it,” Parcells said. “It was a question mark going in, but we’ve got guys picking up things quickly.”
The potential for a dynamic offense is there for Cimarron, as senior Gerard Martinez will start for the second straight year at quarterback. Defensively, the Spartans will feature a lot of the same players.
Lewis will start at linebacker. Williams is a cornerback and Taipou will roam at free safety.
“Our skill people are talented,” Parcells said. “We’ve got to come together at the line. We’re starting to jell a little bit.”