In one week, the Laramie Plainsmen will make their season debut and start the Paul Ronga era at Deti Stadium.

Laramie finished up two-a-day practices on Thursday and is getting ready for a scrimmage on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

New head coach Paul Ronga said he’s pretty comfortable with where they are after Wednesday’s practice sessions.

“I’m really impressed with the players’ development, and how they’ve grown since the first day of camp to where we are today (Wednesday). They’re embracing our philosophy, our offense, defense, and special teams, and their knowledge about it, and their book smarts have been really helpful to us.”

Ronga knows the Plainsmen have been in catch-up mode after the new coach didn’t arrive in the Gem City until mid-July.

He added, “They’ve taken to a new program, a new system, a new way of doing things, a new way of practicing, and it’s really working out pretty well.”

Two of the seniors leading the charge are both in their third year on the varsity, seniors Jackson Devine and Cooper Gray.

KOWB’s David Settle talked with the two about how fall camp has gone, what the next steps are in preparing for their first game, adjusting to a new coach and system, what they’re looking forward to in their final season of prep football, and more. That video is at the top of this story.

Ronga said the next step is to, “tighten up.”

“We have to now reach a new level, and we have to understand that it’s now game time, and we have to be in 'game mode.' So, everything gets amped up, and the focus needs to change and be more intense. It needs to be more game-orientated. That’s on my shoulders and the coach’s shoulders, as well.”

Ronga’s been so impressed with his squad’s ability to comprehend all that he’s throwing at the team since they’re so multiple (formations and looks) in every phase of the game.

Laramie’s been bitten by the injury bug during camp. That is a concern of Coach Ronga’s but he knows it’s part of the game and also part of having so much contact in camp to get the Plainsmen ready for the season ahead. The good news is there have been no serious or season-ending injuries, according to Ronga.

Laramie takes on Sheridan in their season opener on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021. The kick-off is at 6 p.m. at Deti Stadium.

 

LOOK: Pokes' unis through the years