Miners heading to Alpine for preseason camp
With the start of the 2013 football season less than a month away, the Miners are headed to Alpine, Texas, for their preseason camp from Aug. 8-20.
New head coach Sean Kugler, is ready to start a new era of football in El Paso and this camp will be full of changes, excitement and competition.
"I'm very excited, we're all excited, these kids have worked very hard this summer," Kugler said. "I'm just looking forward to seeing them get to work. We got a lot of competition ahead of us at camp at many positions, and I'm looking forward to getting started and evaluating the guys."
There are two big story lines in this 2013 season for the Miners. The first being a new defensive scheme brought in by Kugler and new defensive coordinator Scott Stoker, and secondly, the arrival of transfer quarterback Jameill Showers out of Texas A&M.
"Quarterback battle will be very interesting, we're putting Jameill Showers in the mix. We have a new defensive scheme, guys learning new positions,"Kugler said. "It should be interesting with defensive battles and with several positions up for grabs."
In most cases a change in coach and position can be detrimental and nerve-racking, but senior linebacker Horace Miller has gone through school and coaching changes before. He has filled a leadership role seamlessly for the Miners, and the new defensive scheme and coach doesn't seem to faze Miller. This year is all about focus and Miller said he understands the importance of his last year on the team.
"I've started doing that over the spring, and it's about having more focus more than anything, more attention to detail Miller said. "I've noticed myself growing and maturing in that aspect, all I plan on doing now is going from there."
In terms of leadership, Miller is ready to take on the role of mentor for the incoming freshman.
"I'll try to coach them up a bit," Miller said. "I wouldn't mind taking some guys under my wing and I've been talking to some of the freshman on defense and they have been paying attention to detail, and that's what college football is about, paying attention to detail."
Miller isn't the only Miner ready to put the team first, junior wide receiver Jordan Leslie said he would rather sacrifice individual success for a winning season. Last year, Leslie nearly hit the 1,000-yard receiving plateau as a sophomore, but duplicating that success isn't on his mind.
"Well last year I came close, but that didn't win us a conference championship and it didn't get us to a bowl game, so I'm not worrying about that,"Leslie said.
The Miners open their season against the New Mexico Lobos on Sept. 7 at 6 pm at the Sun Bowl.
Javier Cortez may be reached at email@example.com
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