When you lead your football team to a district championship and then a football championship in your rookie year as head coach, you deserve to be a candidate for Coach of the Year honors.
When you quarterback your team to those same laurels as your new head coach, Robert Garza, you deserve to be considered as Player of the Year.
And when you’re the leader, as middle linebacker, on a team that claimed district and state championship honors, probably you should be the Defensive Player of the Year. (Volcano Vista senior QB Elliott Paskett-Bell was the district’s Offensive Player of the Year.)
And it came to pass for Cleveland High head coach Robert Garza, senior quarterback Evan Wysong and junior Stratton Shufelt when the 1-6A All-District names were released last month.
The state champs dominated the first team: Wysong, running back Josh Perry, wide receiver Nic Trujillo and tackle Emanuel Negreiros on offense; end Psalmon Kegler, linebackers Shufelt and Isaac Medrano, and safety Devonte Shendo on defense.
Offensive guard Gabriel Marquez was a second-team selection on offense; linemen Charles Birch and Javis Garcia, plus cornerback Andres Aguirre were on the second team defense.
Receiving honorable mention for the Storm were Carlos Barela, Andres Armijo and Angel Rodriguez.
Rams get 13 honorees
Ten members of the Rio Rancho Rams were named to the first or second teams, with Rayce Ramirez, Michael Cordero-Gill and Nick Baca tabbed as honorable mention selections.
On the first team were offensive guard Jase Smith, defensive tackle Xavier Provencio and cornerback Sebastian Rubio.
Quarterback JJ Arellano, wideout Traiven Williams, tight end Javas Maria and guard Jose Ontiveros were All-District second-team offensive members. On the second-team defense were linebackers Andrew Gustafson and Chris Montoya, and safety Vascon Smith.
Hey, now: You’re an all-star
Without the annual North-South All-Star Game in existence anymore, the New Mexico High School Coaches Association sponsors large- and small-school all-star games Saturday at the Bulldog Bowl in Artesia.
The big-school game kicks off at 3 p.m.
Locals named to the Green team are Wysong and Garcia of CHS, plus Maria and Smith of RRHS.
On the other side of the ball, on the Red team, will be Rams Montoya and Rubio, plus Storm Negreiros, Shendo and Trujillo.