BLOOMFIELD — The Bloomfield Bobcats have lofty goals in mind for the 2014 4A football season.
Bloomfield has its sights set on not only matching the success of the 2013 season — which saw the Bobcats earn a No. 4 seed and a first-round bye into the quarterfinals of the 3A state tournament — but making a run in the 4A playoffs.
"This year, we're really hungry, and we have a lot more people buying into the system," said Bobcat senior running back and safety Adrian Vigil. "We want it bad. I think that will motivate us to get past the first round of the playoffs, like every year, and get as far as we can."
But replicating the success of past seasons could be challenge for the Bobcats, who are implementing a new offense under new head coach Bob Allcorn.
Bloomfield will operate out of the Delaware Wing-T, a run-heavy scheme that plays to the strength of the Bobcats.
"We have a lot of good running backs here, and we can attack from anywhere on the field. It's a very diverse misdirection offense and something I've been running for a lot of years, and it has always been very effective," Allcorn said.
Allcorn knows it will take time for the players to get comfortable with the new system and add to the complexity of the playbook. But he said they've added all the pieces to make the team successful during the first part of the season.
"It's a slow process putting in a new offense," Allcorn said. "The kids are picking it up pretty well, but we're a long way from being a polished team right now. We're also not trying to overload them too much. They're getting better and better each day, and we've had some really good practices this past week."
Senior quarterback Josh Stowell said the team has picked up the new offense pretty well in the first weeks of practice. Now, he said, the Bobcats need to focus on getting the details right.
Junior running back and linebacker JD Robinson said the team's efforts will not only work out the kinks of the new playbook but bring the Bobcats to the top level of play in the state.
"It doesn't matter who we play," Robinson said. "We could play any team in this basin, any team in the state, as long as we come into practice every week and do what we need to do, Friday nights will handle themselves."
And Robinson is ready for that first Friday night when Bloomfield will host 5A Aztec.
"I'm very, very excited," Robinson said. "Very excited. I'm trying not to overthink it. Just go to practice and give it everything I have during the week, and Friday night, come out and show what I and the team have been working really hard for. As coach always says, 'You got be the harder hitter. Be the aggressor. Go make the plays.'"
Rather than focusing on early season success with a limited playbook, Allcorn said he's more interested in seeing how aggressive his players are in the first few weeks during practice, in the weight room and throughout games.
"That's how I'll gauge things, by the personality of our team," Allcorn said. "I know we have those abilities, and I'm looking to enhance that. As the kids get better at execution, I expect we'll be a much better team down the road. I want to see that we are steadily improving and playing our best football at the end of the season, going through districts and into the postseason, hopefully."