EACMonsters.com - The Official Site of Eastern Arizona College Athletics

PhotosAudioVideo

Eastern Arizona College

EAC News

8/23/2014

Gila Monsters Open the Season Against Glendale

THATCHER — After watching his team’s performance during a scrimmage with Phoenix College last week, Gila Monsters head football coach John O’Mera believes he knows the key to victory in tonight’s season opener. “It’s going to come down to special teams and turnovers,” O’Mera said. “Our Achilles heel has been turnovers. Hopefully, we don’t get the drops.”

Eastern Arizona College opens the 2014 football season Saturday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m. at John Mickelson Stadium, playing host to the Glendale Gauchos.O’Mera said he expects a tough game against Glendale and the other teams that make up the Western States Football League. “They are going to come at you 110 percent,” O’Mera said. “That’s what you’re going to get with Glendale — a dogfight. They’re well-coached and always a good team.”

In last week’s scrimmage, the Eastern defense did not let Phoenix score, while the first-team offense managed to find the end zone once. The second and third teams both managed to get deep in the red zone but failed to convert. “It was a good experience to play against somebody beside yourself,” O’Mera said.

Eastern returns a big, fast offensive line, as well as 220-pound running back Silas Jefferson and 235-pound running back Tim Cook. Returning at quarterback, and running the offense, will be Ryheem Dixon. “Our defense has a lot of young players with team speed,” O’Mera said. “We have good team chemistry to start out with — we’ll see how all that goes through the season.”

O’Mera brought some young talent to the sidelines, to add to an already experienced staff. Behad Rasool and Kerrick Sanders are the new assistant coaches working with the defensive backs. “I brought in two of my ex-players for coaching positions,” O’Mera said. “We’re excited to bring some youth into the program.”

Former EAC athletic director and head football coach Ladd Mullenaux will be remembered with a moment of silence tonight. The team will have Mullenaux decals applied to their helmets for the season. Mullenaux died Aug. 15. “We bring speakers into our two-week orientation,” O’Mera said. “Most of our guys did not get to meet him, but the speakers all have a Ladd story. So, at least, (the team) will know about him. He was always great to me.”

Story by Jay Murphy

Sports Editor

Eastern Arizona Courier