First-year Eastern New Mexico University football coach Josh Lynn is chomping at the bit.
The Greyhounds were scheduled to report for the new season on Saturday, with the first practices scheduled for 8 a.m. (returnees) and 3 p.m. (newcomers) today.
The team will run the same schedule through Tuesday, with the first full-team practice and first day in pads scheduled for Wednesday.
Lynn, a former ENMU player and assistant coach, said he expects around 150 prospects divided about equally between returnees and newcomers.
“It’s busy,” he said of the preparations. “I’m just ready to get going.
“I’m pleased with the guys coming back, but we’re going to need some newcomers to come in and play. We’re going to be a little young this year, especially on offense.”
School begins on Aug. 21. The Hounds currently have 9 a.m. intrasquad scrimmages on tap for Aug. 18 and 25 at Greyhound Stadium.
The regular-season begins on Sept. 1 at New Mexico Highlands, with the home opener a week later against Sul Ross State.
Volleyball — With Greyhound Arena currently undergoing improvements in its heating and cooling system, veteran coach Mike Maguire said the Zias will practice in a side gym next week from 9 a.m.-noon and at a time to be determined during the afternoon.
The arena is not expected to be ready until perhaps mid-September, Maguire said. As a result the Zias, who open in a weekend tournament at West Texas A&M Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, may have to play their first couple of home matches at Portales High School.
Maguire is starting the third year of his second stint at ENMU’s coach, the first run covering 1987-2006. Although the Zias haven’t had a winning record since 2004, when they made it to the NCAA Division II regional finals, Maguire has posted an overall mark of 411-310 at the school.
Men’s soccer — Fifth-year ENMU coach Harold Munoz isn’t too concerned about the Lone Star Conference preseason poll, which has the defending champion Hounds picked for last place in the four-team league.
“If it was about the polls, we wouldn’t play the games,” Munoz said. “I think we’ve been picked last every year.”
Most of last season’s key players are back, Munoz said. The Hounds, who open on Aug. 31 at Newman University in Wichita, Kan., plan to practice from 8-10 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. on Monday through Friday next week and again on Aug. 20, the day before school begins.
Women’s soccer — The Zias, coming off a program-best third-place LSC finish last season, open with two matches in Hawaii — Aug. 30 against Hawaii Pacific and Sept. 1 against BYU-Hawaii, both Division II schools.
Coach Todd Padgett said the team raised money for the trip through summer camps.
“It was a whole lot of hard work,” he said. “We’re trying to do something special for this group.”
The Zias, who graduated only three seniors but are bringing in 11 new players, begin two-a-days on Monday, going at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. They have exhibition matches scheduled each of the next two weekends, Padgett said.
Cross country — The Hounds and Zias , who don’t begin practice until Aug. 20, are currently looking for interim coaches after Mike Harney this week accepted a high school teaching position and possible parttime coaching position at Florida Gulf Coast University in his native Fort Myers, Fla.
ENMU’s men, the defending LSC and Southwest Region champions, were picked to repeat their league title in the conference poll.