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Football team resumes practice

Head football coach Joe Prud’homme said Tuesday that the team is excited to use the off-season to improve.

The team plans to use the off-season for “getting bigger, stronger, faster and more disciplined and installing a new offense and sharpening up the mental dimension of the game,” Prud’homme said.

The Rams’ goals are a little bigger than just getting better at football, he said.

Their biggest goal during off-season is “[to come] together and ramp up a sense of urgency for the upcoming season and to add to the core of the team and developing more leadership,” Prud’homme said.

He said he was “not sure” when the schedule for the 2018 season would be released. According to, the website for Wayland Baptist University’s athletic program, Texas Wesleyan will play WBU in Plainview on Oct. 27.

On Monday, the team did height and weight measurements; the rest of the week is devoted to strength training, running back Da’vonte Mitchell-Dixon said.

The players are eager to start working out together again, Mitchell-Dixon said.

“I’m glad to be back with the team,” he said. “This team is my family and always will be.”

The team hopes to use the off-season to get stronger and faster so they can apply that to games next season, Mitchell-Dixon said.

“We are going to work on being the best we can be to compete,” he said, “and make this next season way better than it was last year.”

Mitchell-Dixon hopes to use the off-season to strengthen his injured shoulder.

“As long as I approach everything with a positive attitude,” he said, “I’ll get positive results.”

Hard work bonded the team together last season so they’re excited to get back to work, quarterback Justin Arth said.

“It feels great to be back with these guys that I worked hard with all season long,” Arth said. “There’s no feeling like the feeling of brotherhood and a bond created when giving everything we have to accomplish the same goal.”

The team is using the off-season to change up their offense, Arth said.

“We will be installing an all-new, fast-pasted spread offense that will help us simplify the game and score a ton of points each and every game,” he said. “Other than that we, as a team, will be getting in better shape, physically and mentally, to perform well on the field and bring home some wins next season.”

The team has its heart set on improvement, he said.

“My goals for this off-season are to constantly become one percent better than the day before,” he said. “Anything from mastering the offense, to getting bigger, faster, stronger and more consistent in order to help this team achieve our goals this next season.”

The Blue and Gold game will be played in April, Mitchell-Dixon said.

“It will be similar to last year,” Prud’homme said, “definitely a scrimmage set up with the Blue and Gold game.”

The team doesn’t know the exact date yet but the players are excited for the Blue and Gold game.

“I expect it to be competitive,” Mitchell-Dixon said.

The Rams love the Blue and Gold game because it’s a chance to challenge each other to get better, Arth said.

Three Rams quarterbacks, including Justin Arth (left) and Erik Richards (middle) throw the ball during the football team’s first practice, which was in fall 2016.
Photo by Karan Muns
Rams quarterback Justin Arth (right) works out during media day in the fall of 2017.
Photo by Karan Muns
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Football team resumes practice