By Arnie Leshin
One dozen football schools in New Mexico sport windless records, 19 have losing records, but for the quartet of grid programs in Santa Fe, there’s of that.
That’s right, Santa Fe High and Santa Fe Indian School are both 4-1, St. Michael’s is 3-1, Capital is all even at 2-2, and that makes for
a neat 13-5 record from the four.
And the Braves are the only ones to hit the road tonight for a 7 o’clock kickoff at Espanola Valley, one of those without a win, in a non-district game, while at Ivan Head Stadium, Santa Fe High will gladly welcome another windless team when District 5-6A rival Albuquerque Manzano comes to town.
These two join the seven-game Friday night schedule for schools in the area, with the lone Saturday contest featuring St. Michael’s, second ranked in 3A behind undefeated district foe Raton, versus 4-0 Socorro, which is third. This will be a non-district test before district play kicks off, and is scheduled for a 1:30 start.
At Capital, Belen (2-2) is paying a non-district visit against the 2-2 Jaguars under new head coach Joaquin (Wax) Garcia. He and Santa Fe High head coach Andrew Martinez previously assisted St. Michael’s head coach Joey Fernandez, as did Kevin Hauck, now assisting Moon at Indian School.
It’s like the City Different has gathered together all familiar names to guide the gridiron fortunes of the high school kids.
Then there’s Moon in his 37th year on the sidelines after kicking off the program at Capital in 1988. He returned to the Jaguars after heading south to help Rio Rancho High get its program underway, and then, after spending a short time coaching at Espanola Valley with his trusty assistant Hauck, came back to the Jags before settling in at Indian School, with Hauck, as its new head coach.
Moon and Hauck have brought a great deal of confidence and fun to the Braves, who usually struggle with a short roster and haven’t found success since Ernie Rodriguez strolled the sidelines for about 11 years as head coach of both football and basketball.
Now Indian School will tackle a Sun Devils team that has lost their way in losing all five outings and have scored 64 points and allowed a whooping 285. Two of the setbacks were shutouts, and with the new interest of the Braves fans, could outdraw the home team on a field so familiar to Moon.
Then there’s Manzano at 0-3, and probably the weekest team in the district. The Monarchs have tallied 33 points and have been torched for 158. They are led by quarterback Jared Melfi, who runs the offense through the air and along the ground, but not enough to get his team in the win column.
The one big thing they bring is a listed 129-man roster, so the Demons will have to be a good host and make room on the sidelines for the visitors.
Based on their records, Belen and Capital should be a toss-up, but the Eagles have had a quality program through the years and might arrive with a tough test for the Jaguars.
Elsewhere, Los Alamos (3-2) is an underdog at unbeaten West Las Vegas (5-0) in non-district play, Bernalillo (3-1) should handle Taos (1-4) on the road, Robertson (4-1) might come forth with a mercy-rule dominance of 2A Tucomcari (1-4), and Pojoaque Valley (3-1) should have no trouble overwhelming windless Gallup (0-5) on the road.
As for St. Michael’s-Socorro, the Horsemen are favored to end the Warriors’ undefeated record that has come via a rather soft schedule.
There’s also nine remaining unbeaten teams in the Land of Enchantment.