Home Sports Local Sports Hagerman beats Jal, 32-12

Hagerman beats Jal, 32-12

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Chris Copeland runs the ball to the 20-yard line to set up a 1st and goal. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

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HAGERMAN — Hagerman Bobcats first-year coach Adrian Olivas leaned against the fence receiving a consolation hug from his mother, and then his wife. Finally, his little girl ran up from behind him and grabbed his leg. Olivas picked her up and hugged her before setting her down. No words were spoken. None needed to be as the Hagerman Bobcats lost a hard-fought game to Jal 32-12 Friday night at Bobcat Stadium.

“This game was intense, and hard-hitting,” senior Christopher Copeland said. “I’ve learned discipline this year. There are going to be days when you don’t want to get up and go to work that day, but you still must get up and go. There are days you don’t want to play, but you got to play.”

No matter what lies ahead for the young coach, the one sight Olivas won’t forget as he rebuilds this program in his image is seeing the Jal football team standing at midfield hoisting the District Title trophy.

“Our win gave us the district championship, Jal coach Caleb Aldridge said. “We won a state title in ‘99, but we didn’t win the district title. I played on the ‘99 team, and this is my third-year as head coach. We knew Hagerman would play us tough, because they have nothing to lose, and that a dangerous team when they have nothing to lose.”

Hagerman (0-8, 0-1 District 4-2A) stood toe-to-toe with Jal for the first quarter holding them scoreless. Playing shorthanded and with without quarterback Jakob Bejarano, hard-hitting sophomore Jose Rodriguez filled and led the team to a score before halftime, as they Bobcats trailed 20-6.

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“I’ve enjoyed my senior year,” senior Velentin Sierra said. “It hasn’t been the best, but I’ve had fun with my team and the new coaching staff.”

With an attrition of player and fatigue setting in Hagerman surrender, a touchdown in the third and fourth quarters in a game where the Jal Panthers threw only four times in the game, and those were on PAT’s.

If Hagerman won this game, they would have been playing for the district title against Lordsburg next week, unfortunately, next week will be their last week.

“These kids who are out here right now, they have my back,” Olivas said, “and I want them to know I have their back. This is a tough time for this program. We’re rebuilding, but they stayed out here, and they have stuck through it. That’s a great lesson they’ve learned throughout life that when things get tough they are not going to fold, they are going to continue with whatever they’re doing and finish it.”

Hagerman said good-bye to Chris Manz, Chris Copeland, Anthony Orosco, Martin Trevizo, Robert Munoz and Velentin Sierra.

The Bobcats will conclude their season next week when they travel to Lordsburg for a game that begins at 7 p.m.