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Welcome to the 8-Man free-for-all

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“I’m happy.”

Those are the words Gateway Christian School head football coach Shaun Wigley used to describe his team’s return to the 8-Man playoffs.

The Warriors ended the regular season Friday night in Cloudcroft with a 58-8 win over the Bears.

“We got a big win Friday, that’s the best we looked all year,” Wigley said of the Warriors bagging the Bears.

Gateway(4-3) takes on Albuquerque Menaul(5-4) in the opening round of the playoffs Friday at 7 p.m. at Warrior Stadium in Roswell.

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The Albuquerque Menaul Panthers ended the regular season with 38-12 loss to fellow Duke City school Foothill.

The Warriors are the no. 7 seed in the playoffs, while the Panthers are no. 10. The winner faces the no. 2 seed Mountainair in the quarterfinals next week.

Melrose, the defending 8-Man state champions are the no. 1 seed and will face either Cloudcroft or Carrizozo next week in the quarterfinals.

The Bears are the no. 8 seed and the Grizzlies are the no. 9 seed and will square off in Cloudcroft Friday at 7 p.m. Both of those schools are in District 3 along with Gateway.

Two other District 3 schools are off this week. Mesilla Valley Christian is the no. 3 seed in the tournament. The Son Blazers face either Foothill or Logan.

The Falcons check in at no. 6 and the Longhorns are no. 11 in the playoffs. Both teams face off at 1 p.m. at Milne Stadium in Albuquerque.

The final team from District 3, Tatum is the no. 4 seed in the tournament and will play either Dora/Elida or Pinehill.

The Coyotes are the no. 5 seed in the tournament and the Warriors are the no. 12 seed. Kick off in Dora is Friday at 7 p.m.

Wigley said District 3 is,”one of the toughest toughest district’s in 8-Man. We have always known if you can win district you can make it to state.”

Even though Mescalero Apache High School will be staying home, Wigley said the Warriors were in the hunt for the playoffs.