by Victor Lopez
WEST TEXAS--If you follow Roughnecks football, the new slogan for this season pretty much says it all. "New name. New season. New attitude. That's what we're going to bring to everybody," West Texas Roughnecks Co-Owner, Dale Morris, said.
The most obvious change is the name, Odessa Roughnecks is no more. According to Morris, the new name, West Texas Roughnecks, embraces a much larger area, "We are Odessa's team. But we also want to be Midland's team. We want to be Big Spring's team. We want to be Monahans' team, Andrews, Crane. We want all the surrounding areas to come in and join. This is fun."
Morris and his grandfather are the new owners of the team. A hometown boy, he graduated from Midland Lee. Both fans from day one, they've had other shots at owning a team, but always turned them down, until now.
"This is different. This one, I wanted. I wanted to be a part of this. I wanted to change it, especially after last year," Morris explained.
Another new for the Roughnecks will be Spring Training Camp in Andrews. Morris says, that works well for the team's new image, "That's just our first step forward, if you will, to say we want the community."
Head Coach Chris Williams says it's good for the players too, "We've done training camp, here in Odessa, a number of years and we've had a lot of distractions with things to do in Odessa. I felt if we just get them out of this community and just get them away and have them focus on football for two weeks, that would be an ideal thing for us, football-wise."
Williams says, he welcomes the new direction the Morris' are taking with the team, "I've seen Jay and Dale cheer for this team for many, many years, and I'm just excited at having them be a part of, and having them wanting us to be successful and wanting the team to be successful and caring about the team and all those things. I think, when you have that kind of energy going, the players will feed off it."
A few more changes are still in the works, like uniform colors, new helmets, even new names on the roster. While everyone's eye is on another championship, the goal is to get more fans in the seats to come see it happen.
"It's professional football. It's not just West Texas football. It's indoor West Texas football and it's at it finest. It's a lot of fun," Morris added.