It’s that time of year. Ballers are coming out of the woodwork to tell anyone that will listen how they used to do it when they played high school football. On Wednesday night, defending 5A state champion Roswell Coyotes took off their crown and had to go back to work in hopes of securing another title. Wednesday night’s scrimmage against Mayfield was nothing but a business meeting for the team with high expectations. The scrimmage was more of a Hi-ho, it’s off to work they went as Roswell put on their hardhats and went back to the mine to try and win another 5A title.
In Roswell’s first action of the pre-season, they finally had a chance to hit another team with another color uniform on. By the sounds of things, the Coyotes are in midseason form. The one takeaway from the scrimmage is they are more explosive on offense, and they can throw the ball up to the silky smooth Jasia Reese who caught many balls on defenders and was able to get vertical and score.
The other question is “who would fill in as quarterback for the capable leader of Ethan Valenzuela?” Ethan gave the team poise and was unflappable and made the big plays when he had to. By the looks of things, the answer may have shown up in the lethal running of Dominic Nava. Dominic is also a Reese look-alike when he makes a move up the field and can cut on a dime. He starts his long strides and before the defenders know it, Dominic is even and leaving as he gallops for a long touchdown run Wednesday.
The biggest draw and ovation of the night was the appearance of Robert Chavez, the father of injured Goddard footballer, Dominic Chavez. The Roswell booster club organized a hotdog cookout. The boosters asked Eastern New Mexico Medical Center for help and they did by donating hotdogs, buns, chips, ice and waters. The Otero and Lomeli family donated extra hotdogs and cookies. Charlie’s Angels and Roswell High School Cheer donated ice and waters. The Angels walked the stands with a helmet collecting donations for the Chavez family. As usual, the Roswell community was generous with their donations and time — the event was very successful.
Both teams were able to move the ball up and down the field and Roswell has some players that are looking impressive and winning battles for the few open positions available.
“It was a good scrimmage for us,” RHS coach Jeff Lynn said. “We gave it to them a little bit and they gave it to us a little bit. We have good depth on this team — the defensive backs were probably the best looking group on the field today.”
One of Lynn’s concerns is to figure out before opening day who the feature running back will be. He has three to pick from and could choose to go running back by committed and go with the hot hand and in a 10-game schedule, all three will see action.
Another issue for Lynn is replacing All-Sate linebacker Cade Manzanares. One of the leading contenders is junior Armando Silva — who stuffed the holes on the inside running game against Mayfield.
Last season, Silva was a defensive lineman and has been moved to linebacker because he is able to shed blockers and find the ball. Lynn also feels like he has good depth and he will be able to replace Xavier Hernandez’s 12-team high sacks. Look for Elijah Morales, Zack Buckmeister and Gabriel Garcia to share snaps.
“I think Elijah Morales is doing a really good job,” Lynn said. “I think he has a chance to be an all-state defensive tackle. I don’t know if we will have one guy, but we will have a platoon of guys we can roll out there.”
This season, Roswell is healthy. Last season, the Coyotes lost starting tackle Xavier Lomeli early in training camp and in the second week, they lost another starting guard. The team is deeper in Special Teams. With a tough schedule, Roswell will play seven teams that made the playoffs last season.
With the end of camp nearing, RHS’ freshmen and sophomores will travel to Capitan on Friday for a scrimmage.
“I coach to help these young men,” Lynn said. “You have to remember that this is Dominic Nava’s, Joel Sanchez’s and Jasia Reese’s senior year as well. So we have to do our very best for those kids because they have one year left.”
Roswell will play at 7 p.m., against Ruidoso on Aug. 23.