MARFA -- It's a different kind of year for the Marfa Shorthorns. This season they make the transition from 11-man football to six-man.
"There's no experience," said Head Coach Jeff Jones. "Coaches or players.It's hard to understand where we're at. I think we're looking good out there but until we really face somebody that's played 6-man before we're really not going to know where we're going to be."
"Offensively we're pretty much running spread, the same thing we did last year," said Senior Running Back Rene Granado. "And defensively, it's a smaller field, you have to play the runner different"
"The quarterback can't run either," said Junior Quarterback Timothy Flores. "So it's just having to translate from that. From being able to run to not being able to run."
"I think us coaches are having a little harder time," said Jones "It's hard watching certain positions. The plays happen so fast we're having to get adjusted to it. The players are still blocking, tackling and running so they're used to that. But as far as coaching goes, it's been pretty tough."
And the UIL is not cutting any slack in their inaugural season. Marfa was placed in one of the toughest districts in the state with Rankin, Garden City and Fort Davis.
"I knew when we decided to go 6-man they were going to stick us in a pretty tough district," Jones said. "All the 6-man teams around here, division 1 and 2, know how to play football. And all of them have a tradition. Yeah, they're kind of throwing us into the fire but I think we can go and compete at a good level but its going to be tough. Garden city, Rankin and Fort Davis are three of the top teams in the State of Texas and we're going to find out real quick what the 6-man game is all about."
But, the tough district opens the door for a rivalry with their neighbors to the northeast.
"This is the first time in like 11 years that we get to play Fort Davis," said Granado. "It's really exciting, everyone's pumped, everyone's ready . That's what everyone is talking about."
"I'm really excited," said Flores. "I have friends over there and we talk smack about who's going to win and all. I'm really excited to start a rivalry with them."