Football 2015 preview: Bloomfield ready to build on strong 2014 season
Despite implementing a brand new system on both sides of the ball, Bob Allcorn navigated Bloomfield to a 9-2 record last season in his first year as head coach.
Bloomfield won the District 1-4A title, going 5-0 in district play. After dropping the first game of the season, the team won nine consecutive games, scoring at least 30 points seven times and eclipsing the 50-point threshold three times.
This year, Allcorn said the team is already in midseason form when it comes to understanding the playbook.
"The kids understand the concepts a lot better. Defensively, they're picking things up pretty well," Allcorn said. "Even though we've got a number of new starters, those kids are catching on and getting familiar with our schemes."
Thirteen seniors from the 2014 team have graduated, but Allcorn said a lot of his underclassmen received meaningful playing time last year and are ready to step up.
He pointed to a trio of senior two-way players - JD Robinson, Brendan Ramsey and David DeHerrera - as his leaders and standout playmakers.
Robinson racked up 63 tackles as an inside linebacker while also manning the fullback position on offense. The senior starting middle linebacker said he believes the Bobcats can be even better this season if they can buy into a team-first mentality.
"It's about building a brotherhood, and that starts in the weight room every summer," Robinson said. "This offseason is the most I've seen the guys come together as a team in my four years."
DeHerrera plays right tackle and defensive end for the Bobcats and thinks the defensive line could be a bright spot.
"We got a senior, in me, and a junior on our line. That should be a strength," DeHerrera said. "We got a lot of sophomores and some freshmen (in the secondary), so it's kind of on the defensive line to make things happen."
Junior Brendon Charley will be the starting quarterback. He has a full year of experience under his belt after starting under center his sophomore season.
Allcorn said Charley's grasp on the offense is getting better by the day.
"He's come in really prepared after getting a feel of what the position demanded from him as a sophomore," Allcorn said. "Mentally, you can see he's taking ownership of the offense, and he really understands what we're trying to do, in depth."
During the last year, Charley said his biggest improvement has been reading defenses. He will also be expected to limit the turnovers and effectively manage a run-first offense, which is becoming less common among San Juan County teams.
"Everyone's gone pass happy, and they want to pass the ball, but we're kind of old school in that we want to establish the run," Allcorn said. "We definitely have to have a physical mindset. It's not a finesse game like it is for some."
Physicality on both sides of the ball will be Bloomfield's identity in 2015, according to Allcorn. And it's why his players have spent so much time in the weight room during the offseason.
"Our defense is designed to be quick to attack, and we need to be strong in order to run block on offense," Allcorn said. "That's why we've been hitting the weight room so hard as a team."
Bloomfield opens the regular season at Aztec on Aug. 28. The Bobcats hosted Aztec to kick off the season last year and lost 20-0.