The first game on most H.S. and college football schedules is usually a Mary. A team that is less talented and viewed as a tune up before the tougher teams come calling . That will not be the case this year for our Punchers as they open up against the Braves of Iraan who are currently ranked 18th in the state.
Iraan, who won the state championship in 1996, went three deep in the playoffs last year and fell one game short of playing for the state title. This year, like the Punchers they will be returning 18 starters and are the preseason favorite to win their district. Iraan will feature All-State RB / DB Zach Calvert who is their leader on both sides of the ball. On defense look for a couple of bookends by the name of Drew Allen and Jose Chavez who combined for over 200 tackles last year. Their QB, Call Cade started the last six games in 2007 and was pivotal to their success. His go to guy will be WR Dakota Green.
Both schools are expecting large turnouts due to the fact that they are considered to be two of the top 30 teams in the state. The Iraan fan base is notorious for being one of the most vocal group of fans that you will ever run up against. It is common practice for Brave supporters to show up an hour before game times, dressed out in their war paint, chanting “Fear The Spear“ as they beat their tom-toms.
The Mason faithful who at times can be down right intimidating are prepared to make their own statement as they introduce the Braves to THE PUNCHER ZONE !!
The game will be played at Angelo State University on Thursday the 28th of August at 7:30 p.m.. The atmosphere should be electric as both teams will be trying to make a statement early in the season and set that all important tone for district play. The Punchers will wear the hat of the underdog in this one and history shows that it is a look that suits them. Need I remind you of the 2004 upset of Comfort or last year's thrilling overtime victory over the state ranked Harper Longhorns. These are the type of games that our Punchers seem to flourish in and I like our chances !
The Punchers, who have made several personnel changes, have a different look and feel this year. That all important swagger that comes with maturity and senior leadership has been prevalent on and off the field. They have looked extremely solid during the preseason with highly focused practices that have been riddled with teeth rattling contact.
Unless you go deep in the playoffs, games like this do not come along very often. This is what the bright lights of Friday night are all about. It just does not get any better then this. I can already envision a sea of purple heading up HWY 87 to San Angelo.
To assure that we represent our community and high school in the way we have become accustomed to, the Puncher Club is exploring several options relative to spirit buses that would provide transportation for students and the general public to the game. This is not a game you want to listen to on the radio. I highly urge you make the trip and send the message to the Braves of Iraan, that there is a new sheriff in town and he wears purple and white !!!
NEXT WEEKS ARTICLE:
The Puncherdome Comes Alive
GO PUNCHERS !! GO COWGIRLS !!