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Capital Wins District 5A Football

Winning district earned Capital the 12th and final seed for the state 5A football tournament, in 4A St. Michael’s won its district and is the top seed Jaguars to travel down I-25 for opening round test at Los Lunas Friday night, Horsemen get first-round bye

Arnie Leshin

By ARNIE LESHIN, Santa Fe Today
So much for winning district. For Capital High, all it did was earn an automatic berth in the state football tournament.

The Jaguars were awarded the final spot, 12th. It will travel to 5th seed Los Lunas Friday night for the opening round of 5A. Capital went 6-4 for the regular season, and was 4-0 in District 2-5A.

Well, Los Lunas did have the better record, 7-3, but did finish second at 3-1 in 5-5A. Perhaps it got the selection committee’s attention by losing only 47-46 to undefeated district frontrunner Belen in the final regular-season game.

What’s done is done. As usual the Jags become the only school from its district to make it to state.

“Well, we did have the fourth toughest schedule in 5A,” said Capital head coach Bill Moon, “but they don’t count that in the seeding. I don’t like it, felt we deserved better, but we will be at Los Lunas for the first round.”

The Capital-Los Lunas winner will meet up with 4th seeded Farmington (7-3) in the quarterfinals. Artesia (8-2) is the top seed and will await the first-round winner between No. 9 Lovington (5-5) at No. 8 St. Pius X (6-4) in the quarters. The Bulldogs and Farmington have won five in a row.

The lower half of the bracket features second-seeded Belen (10-0). It will face the No. 10 Deming (6-4) versus No. 7 Miyamura (8-2) winner in the quarterfinals. The 3rd seed is Roswell (7-3) and it gets the opening-round bye before taking on No. 11 Goddard (4-6) versus No. 6 Aztec survivor in the quarters.

What’s interesting is four schools with 7-3 records, three at 6-4, two at 5-5, and Goddard as the other one with a losing record. Goddard might be ahead of Capital because it won the regular-season head-to-head. The Jaguars also lost at home to Miyamura and Lovington.

It’s also interesting that unbeaten Belen is seeded behind two-loss Artesia, the school with a state-record 28 football championships.

In 4A, streaking St. Michael’s (9-1) gets the top seed. It has won its last seven after its lone loss at Moriarty. It turned back Robertson on the road with a big second half, and won at West Las Vegas, 28-14, to clinch district last Friday night.

The Horsemen get the first-round bye and will await the winner of the No. 9 Shiprock (8-2) at No. 8 Hatch Valley (6-4) in the quarterfinals. The second seed is Portales (9-1), whose only defeat came on a 1-point loss at St. Michael’s. The Rams take on 10th seed Albuquerque Hope Christian (4-6) at 7th seed Taos (7-3) in the quarters, and have won six straight.

West Las Vegas is 6th seed and joins District 2-4A rivals St. Michael’s, Robertson, and Taos in the 12-school field. The Dons are at 6-4 and are home to 11th seeded Silver (3-7). That winner meets up with Robertson (9-1), the 3rd seed.

The 4th seed is Ruidoso (7-3), which earned it by defeating Moriarty Friday night. That dropped the Pintos (7-3) to No. 5, and they are home to 12th seeded Socorro (5-5), with the winner going against Ruidoso.

Here, you have three schools with 9-1 records, one at 8-2, three at 7-3, two at 6-4, one at 5-5, and two with under .500 records. Silver made the field, but its record is a surprise for a program usually among the best in its class.

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