Led by third-year senior quarterback Bobby Lyon, the Bobcats will host the defending champion St. Michael's Horsemen in Week 1. Though Bloomfield has a solid non-district schedule with 4A competition, a lot will ride on the first game against the Horsemen in the eyes of the seeding committee due to the lack of strength in Bloomfield's District 1-3A schedule.
"We are treating it like the state title game," Lyon said. "We are going in with everything we have got."
A week out from the season opener, Bloomfield scrimmaged Piedra Vista and Los Alamos, both of which are 4A schools. Every player on the Bloomfield sideline was motivated for the St. Mike's game, saying they were already in state tournament mode.
"They are the defending state champs and have been 25-1 the last two years," said Bloomfield head coach Bruce Hatch. "It would be a big win for us. Like anything, we have got to win as many games as we possibly can, but we definitely have to have a good showing in that game. We have to have a good record coming out of our non-district and district schedules and hope for the best with the seeding committee. Every game counts, but that one is huge."
Lyon emerged during his junior season as a solid threat after suffering through growing pains as a sophomore first-year starter. Bloomfield glided to a district championship but suffered losses to Grants, Miyamura, Farmington and St. Mike's in the regular season, all of which are back on the schedule for 2013.
Bloomfield earned a No. 4 seed in the tournament and a bye in the first round of the playoffs, but No. 5 Lovington went into Bobcat Stadium and took a 21-8 win in the state quarterfinals to end Bloomfield's season.
With a few new pieces and a dynamic weapon in Adrian Vigil, Lyon is looking to make the next step in his final season.
"I went to a lot of camps over the summer and feel real confident with my abilities going into this season," Lyon said. "Adrian Vigil is a really fast guy. With him, I know we will be alright."
A good group of wide receivers will help keep Bloomfield's offense balanced, and an experienced offensive line will help Lyon stay on his feet in the pocket and allow him to be creative with his feet when plays break down.
"Our receivers and our offensive line have gotten a lot better since last year," Lyon said. "The guys are all picking up their blocks, and our inside receivers are catching about everything I throw to them.
I couldn't ask for much more."
Josh Archibeque produced nearly 1,200 yards of offense for Bloomfield in 2012, and Hatch is hoping Vigil can make up for that this year since Archibeque has graduated.
"We think Vigil can fill that role, but we do have some other guys we can mix in, too. It is hard to replace Josh's speed and quickness because he was such a fast kid, but Vigil is up there, too," he said.
While the Bobcats plan on scoring a lot of points, as long as they control the football and limit turnovers, the fate of Bloomfield's season will largely rest in the hands of its defense.
"We are young on defense. Not age-wise, but experience-wise," Hatch said. "We are looking to hopefully get better as the season goes and hit our stride mid to late November."
What has impressed Hatch and Lyon the most this offseason is the way the team has gelled through all the workouts.
"It is almost like the guys can read each other's minds. They know what the other is going to do, and everyone can rely on each other to do the job," Hatch said. "We have a ton of good kids who all get along. It has been really great."