By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
Portales Rams basketball coach Mark Gallegos will have to wait a bit for his full squad.
The reason — three Portales football players making the transition to basketball are injured, with two of them getting hurt in Saturday’s state football championship.
The Rams open their season tonight at Roswell High.
“We’re going to be pretty short-handed,” Gallegos said. “We’ll probably suit up about 16 kids total for junior varsity and varsity combined.”
Senior Kevin Gonzales broke a bone in his wrist and junior quarterback Chris Mosier sprained his shoulder in Saturday’s 28-6 loss to Robertson.
Senior Erett Grubbs has been out for a month with a broken collarbone.
Gallegos expects to get Mosier back in 10-12 days. Grubbs and Gonzales will be out at least a couple of weeks.
Despite those injuries, Gallegos expects the Rams to be competitive.
“I told the kids just a minute ago, we’re going to go up there expecting to win,” Gallegos said. “(The injuries) are just part of life.”
Gallegos knows what he wants to see from his team against a big, physical Roswell Coyotes squad.
“We’re going to have to control the game,” Gallegos said. “The biggest thing is we’re going to have to handle the press. We’re going to get some easy baskets. We’re just going to have to make sure we make those, and take advantage of the opportunities that we get.”
For the other players making the transition, Gallegos knows he’ll have to be patient.
“Some of the fundamentals are going to be a bit rugged because we’re playing with a different shaped ball for some of these guys,” Gallegos said.
Todd McBroom is one Ram who escaped the football season injury-free.
“Most teams have already been practicing for a while,” McBroom said. “We know it’s going to be a process (moving from football to basketball), but we expect to be ready after we get a few games under our belt.”
After tonight’s game, the Rams come home for a four-game home stand facing Tucumcari on Friday, followed by home games against Las Vegas Robertson, Carlsbad and Aztec.