There is joy and celebration in Hagerman as the Bobcats have won a playoff game and are facing a quarterfinal matchup with Lordsburg. Second-year coach Guy Rivers is a players’ coach, coaching in a no-nonsense way. In both of his seasons, he has increased the win total from four to six and counting.
Hagerman believes they can win because they have gotten solid play from their offensive line. Seems that first-year offensive line coach Hector Arvelo has paid off. He has allowed Rivers to coach positions he’s familiar with. It also helps that the team is running the same system for the second consecutive year. The team has received good quarterback play from Jonah Bejarano.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bobcats have been hard to run on. Senior Jose Rodriguez is having another all-state year at safety as he patrols things in the defensive backfield.
This is a young team and it is a part of the foundation that Rivers is laying for the future.
Hagerman has its work cut out as they take on Lordsburg. The Mavericks will run their base offense out of a spread offense. They will have their quarterback Maverick Contreras (6-foot, 160 pounds) in the shotgun.
In the backfield, Hagerman will have to stop all-state running back Cody McCants and senior Izaya Placencia. McCants is the do-it-all athlete that the Mavericks look to, and want to run him often. Hagerman needs to stop the run if they are going to have any chance of winning the game. Lordsburg’s motto is ‘Run ‘Em’.
When they throw the ball, they will look for Benjamin Guardiola and Josh Romero. Their offensive line is young with senior Chris Rodrigues (5-foot-10, 190 pounds) will be the anchor. They will also start three eighth-graders in Vincent Montoya, Jeremy Valdez and Roman Murillo. They will play both ways and have matured as the season has gone on.
One of the reasons the Mavericks play so many players is they’ve graduated nine players from last year’s playoff team. They were 3-8 last year and 3-1 in district play. The Mavericks have won back-to-back district titles in 2014-15 and won the Blue Trophy in 2016.
Hagerman travels to Lordsburg for a 2 p.m. kickoff.
Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or firstname.lastname@example.org.