Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012 | 2 a.m.
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- High school football section
Cimarron-Memorial High coach John Parcells is undergoing a lot of change this year, and it’s more than just a new division. Parcells’ Spartans enter the Southwest League with a reloaded and inexperienced roster.
“We’ve got about five starters coming back on each side of the ball, but a couple of those guys are at different positions,” Parcells said. “So we’re trying to determine who can step up.”
The roster upheaval comes at an inopportune time, but really, there’s no good time to have to work in a lot of new faces. It’s something that almost every coach has to deal with every few years. It’s going to test his patience, but Parcells is also able to see the big picture for the program.
“Part of it is exciting because you are counting on some younger guys, so you hope that bodes well for the future,” Parcells said. “But at the same time you do get yourself adjusting your expectations for some of those guys. You’ve got to give them an opportunity to grow.”
One young guy getting an opportunity is sophomore quarterback Derrick Morefield. Parcells said he’s impressed with Morefield’s progress in the mental part of the game. The next step is becoming a leader and making plays on the field.
Helping give Morefield time to make those plays will be 6-foot-2, 320-pound Aaron Manu, the anchor of the offensive line.
“He’s got a little aggressive side to him,” Parcells said of Morefield.
And moving over from the receiving corps to compete for the top spot at running back is Justin Davis, whom Parcells said can run a 4.4-second 40-yard dash. Davis isn’t very big, but with that speed he should be able to make some significant plays by finding holes in the line and then bursting through to the second level.
The Spartans are a running team, Parcells said, and that’s not likely to change this year unless Morefield makes a big breakthrough. That means Davis and Manu may play some of the biggest roles on offense in determining how far this team can go.
With the set of circumstances coming into this season, Parcells doesn’t have much choice but to be patient. But you never know when someone is going to break out and surprise you.