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Prep Football Preview: Antelope Union Rams

Head Coach Gary Maudlin's Rams enter season with a lot of unanswered questions

WELLTON, Ariz. ( KYMA, KECY-TV) - Since November 8, 2019, the Antelope Union Rams have only played three football games. Amidst the current global pandemic, the Rams played only three games last season because of COVID cancellations. This summer, the Rams were scheduled to participate in a four team scrimmage with Kofa, Calipatria and San Pasqual, that also was squashed due to COVID.

"We don’t know how we compare with other teams," Head coach Gary Mauldin said. "We can only compare our players and I feel we have some very good skill players."

The Rams have some holes to fill especially at quarterback where three year starter Trey Holbein graduated.

"There was no type of evaluation for our young offensive lineman," Mauldin said. "We have a new quarterback and for him to get his reads in. So it’s just been us going against us for the last 12 or so practices."

Taking over at quarterback is senior Jonathan Whitley, the last time he played quarterback was when he played junior varsity football and it wasn't many snaps. Whitley will take the field on Friday night behind a very young offensive line.

"We have a couple returning lineman but our lineman are very young as in playing experience so, it would’ve helped to get that game under our belt against San Pasqual," Mauldin said.

What the Rams like in experience they make up with talent and skill players. The Rams strength entering the season will be on the defensive side of the ball.

"Defensive line I think we're going to be pretty strong," Mauldin said. "We have Jose Soto returning as a four year starter at defensive tackle. Martin Hernandez returning as a defensive end. Javi Solis got some time last year and he’ll be back at the other tackle position. He’s not fast but he’s quick for a 300 pounder and we have Rigoberto Marquez at the other end position."

Mauldin says his secondary should also be very good and fast. Offensively the Rams will operate primarily out of the Pistol formation and position the 6'3 Whitley four yards behind center.

"I feel we'll have a pretty good combination with Whitley and wide receiver Keenan Ragels," Mauldin said. "Ragels is 6'4 and is hard to cover. Ivan Lopez is another speedy receiver and Miggy Carrillo at runningback runs a 4.7 or 4.8."

Despite a lot of unknown's, Mauldin feels the Rams should contend for the Hassaympa Section title. The Rams kick off the season Friday night at home against the Honey Badgers of Highland Prep.

"Oh yeah, very excited," Mauldin said. "I’ve got some great senior leaders and they are just so excited about getting back."


Article Topic Follows: High School Sports

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Scott Gross

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