Smaller Minatare team looking for larger success
     2016-08-26      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
The 2016 Minatare High School football team includes, from left to right in the back row: Caesar Garduno, Ephroen Lovato, Kyler Lane, Rome Lerma, Destin Standley and Darrian Gutierrez. Front row: Kaleb Gonzales, Gilbert Rodriguez, Isaac Gomez and Ivan Gibbons. Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen 
Coming off a 3-5 record from last season, the Minatare Indians football team is making improvements while trying to keep injuries to a minimum. Minatare plays six-man football in the Minuteman Activities Conference.

“We need to keep the injury bug away from us,” said Head Coach and former Minatare player JJ Ozuna, now in his fifth year. “We were expecting a lot of guys to come out, but that didn’t happen. Our numbers are down and we’ve already had a couple of injuries.”

Ozuna said his goal is to field a competitive team for every game.
With the six-man format, players are on both offense and defense and they’ve been practicing at a number of different positions. He also wants to implement an accountability system to assure the players stay eligible.

“One of our big games of the year is against Arthur,” Ozuna said. “We haven’t beat them since I’ve been coaching and it’s kind of a rivalry. We also want to see what kind of team Banner County has after a year off.”

One of the challenges in six-man football has been traveling long distances for away games. Ozuna said that in past years, several of the schools Minatare plays are in the Grand Island area. But recently, more of the smaller schools in western Nebraska have been going to six-man, so teams aren’t faced with long travel distances.

“Our first game is on the 26th at home, which is nice,” Ozuna said. “We’re playing South Platte. They moved down to six-man this year, so we’re not that familiar with the team. A couple of other teams also went to six-man.”

While there will be adjustments along the way, Ozuna and his team is looking forward to the 2016 season with the goal of putting more games in the win category.

Team Schedule:

Aug. 26 vs. South Platte 6 p.m.

Sept. 2 at Cody-Kilgore 1 p.m.

Sept. 9 vs. Arthur County 6 p.m.

Sept. 16 at Banner County 7 p.m.

Sept. 23 vs. Potter-Dix 7 p.m.

Sept. 30 at Hay Springs 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 7 Bye

Oct. 14 at Hyannis 6 p.m.

Oct. 21 vs. Sioux County 7 p.m.

Oc. 29 State Playoffs TBA

Nov. 4 State Playoffs TBA

Nov. 11 State Championship TBD

Share this story on Facebook
LOGIN or REGISTER for exclusive access to premium content

Good Morning friend!
Recently Read Sports
1315Smaller Minatare team looking for larger success
1379Cats’ Holscher leads tennis charge
1143 New coach looks to successful year for Bearcats
769Bayard’s Smith named a finalist in high school Heisman program
670Ill-depleted Tigers fall at Perkins County: Area football roundup
921Twin City Invite field ready for weekend competition
647Annual alumni game
7402012 Scotts Bluff County Fair - Lawn Mower Races
936Invitational meet morphs into Bulldog/Bearcat tussle
831 Benson’s four TDs power Bearcats past Patriots
852Cougar men, women take wins into semester break
1158Holscher finished fourth at state tournament
1243Banner County wrestlers ready for action
689WNCC men's basketball team inks all-staters from Utah
686Bulldogs erupt for four-set victory: Scottsbluff rallies to split first two games before Gering sweeps last two
695Bayard Girls Stopped by Morrill in Subdistricts
795Bearcat girls a perfect 10 wins for 2011
680Bearcat girls fall short of Alliance in first round district action
884Gering track teams ready for district challenge
1490Inaugural Monument Marathon attracts runners from 25 states: Nearly 400 runners test their mettle on Panhandle terrain
Most Read Sports 2012
3938Mitchell track off to a strong start
3820Morrill baseball back in business
3221Rivals make good friends, better training partners
3006Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2970Gering wrestling builds on experience
2874Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2657Raising the bar high
2636Gering resident lives his dream
2634All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
2612Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2593Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2528All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
2427Doing the heavy lifting
2410Basketball girls hungry for more wins
2360Cougars clench 18th straight Region IX title
2323Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2309Beam to golf at Midland
2286Sterkel Colorado bound, inks with Rangers
2146Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
2098New Bayard coach looks for productive season
Most Read Sports 2011
3938Mitchell track off to a strong start
3820Morrill baseball back in business
3221Rivals make good friends, better training partners
3006Mendoza spirit lives on in softball tournament
2970Gering wrestling builds on experience
2874Bulldogs basketball ready to run Class B gauntlet
2657Raising the bar high
2636Gering resident lives his dream
2634All Points West: Time to get tough Huskers
2612Gering breaks two records at Chadron: Track season gets underway at Chadron Indoor Meet
2593Kizzire and Kautz take first place
2528All Points West: We’ll miss 2016 seniors
2427Doing the heavy lifting
2410Basketball girls hungry for more wins
2360Cougars clench 18th straight Region IX title
2323Gering girls’ soccer team creating team first attitude
2309Beam to golf at Midland
2286Sterkel Colorado bound, inks with Rangers
2146Morrill Lions move to eight-man offers opportunity
2098New Bayard coach looks for productive season
Platte Valley Companies
Fresh Foods
Hale Multimedia LLC
Spectrum Photo
Kendell Henderson
= = = Platte Valley Companies' = = =
Sports Page

Check out the
Gering Bulldogs on