Goddard football coach Chris White knew he had something special this season. Last year, in 2017 injuries devastated his team before the season began. Not one to make excuses, White played the players he had and moved some players into different positions than they were used to. In the season, White’s team was young and took some lumps, but a year in the weight room and the early mornings of pulling ties helped the team bonding. White knew there were better days ahead.
It manifested itself in this season from the very first game. Goddard returned to the power running attack that labeled them Goddard. Goddard punished teams and never abandoned the run even when they were 14 points behind Los Lunas.
Goddard was able to make believers out of naysayers, as coach White defeated Artesia two out of the three years he has played them. White used a turnover from deep in their territory and rode the legs of All-State quarterback Dalton Bowles to the one-yard line of Artesia before taking a timeout and kicking a field goal with seconds left to play at the Wool Bowl.
Goddard was undefeated until the last game of the season and the No. 2 seed throughout the playoffs. Goddard’s future looks bright with several returning all-staters.
It will be hard to replace 5A Player of the Year candidate Dalton Bowles who was named to the first-team as a quarterback. He rushed for 1,910 yards and averaged 8 yards per carry. He had 20 TDs rushing and 1,053 passing and threw 10 TDs for a total of 30 TDs. Bowles set a state record for most yards rushing in a game with 435 yards against Artesia.
“Fantastic team leader,” Goddard coach Chris White said. “He started on varsity for four years. He has an outstanding heart and character.”
Larry Luna is 6-foot-5 and weighs 255. As a sophomore, he played on an offensive line that rushed for over 4,000 yards.
“Larry is only a sophomore,” White said, “and has a ton of potential.”
Senior Jonah Chavez is a 5-foot-8 cornerback. It was his first year of playing football at GHS.
“Great multi-sport athlete that brought toughness and determination to our team,” White said.
Timmy Burrell is a 6-0, 220-pound junior. He has started for two years with the Rockets. This season he had 40 tackles, four sacks, 10 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.
“Great team leader,” White said. “He plays multiple positions.”
Valentino Rubio made second-team all-state as a secondary player. The 6-foot senior was a two-year starter. He had 74 tackles, three pass deflections, two forced fumbles, one interception, one sack and six tackles for loss.
“Outstanding work ethic and leadership,” White said.
Robert Aragon is a 5-foot-10 junior who played outside linebacker for the Rockets. On defense, he made 75 tackles, had one pass deflection, one fumble recovery, one forced fumble, two interceptions and six tackles for loss.
Aragon also made second-team as a running back. He rushed for 972 yards and averaged 8 yards a carry.
Hunter Beene is 6-foot-3 and is a multi-sport athlete. One of two players to make all-state on both offense and defense. Hunter played defensive end, led the team with 19 tackles for loss. He had 65 tackles, two pass deflections, one fumble recovery, one forced fumble and 10 sacks.
Beene was also on the second team for the offense as a tight end. He had 15 catches for 220 yards and was an edge blocker in an offense that ran for over 4,000 yards.
Sammy Zaragoza is a 6-foot 185-pound sophomore. He led the team with tackles with 145. He had one pass deflection, two forced fumbles, four sacks, 12 tackles for losses.
“Zaragoza played linebacker and running back, White said. “He is a team leader.”
Kaston Ramage is a 6-foot 190-pound junior. In his first year starting, he had 75 tackles, one fumble recovery, two interceptions, five sacks and 12 tackles for loss.
“Ramage played middle linebacker and defensive tackle,” White said. “He also played fullback and was a tremendous blocker.”
For White, the 2019 season will feature several returning all-staters on both sides of the ball.