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Prep soccer: La Cueva passing combo having fun with a spectacular season

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La Cueva’s Ian Sanchez (left) makes a catch in entrance of Farmington’s Alex Serrano throughout Nov. 11 playoff motion at Wilson Stadium. (Mike Sandoval/For the Journal)

There’s a line that runs via the soccer relationship between Aidan Armenta and Ian Sanchez, a line that originated over a decade in the past and one which terminates Saturday at Wilson Stadium.

That line traces again to their days as little boys within the neighborhood, to their Saturday mornings in YAFL uniforms, and later to the summer season days of seven on 7s.

“Brothers,” La Cueva soccer coach Brandon Again stated of his massively productive and infrequently unstoppable quarterback/slot receiver duo.

There’s arguably not been a extra electrical or efficient QB/receiver combo this season in New Mexico than Armenta and Sanchez.

Armenta is the senior quarterback who will quickly signal with the College of New Mexico. Sanchez is his childhood good friend, Armenta’s favourite goal and a touchdown-making machine for the aerial-happy Bears.

“When me and him are on and clicking,” stated Sanchez, “we’re one of the best within the state.”

These two virtually by no means aren’t clicking, and their manufacturing is likely one of the main story traces of Saturday’s Class 6A state championship recreation between the second-seeded Bears (11-1) and No. 1 Cleveland (10-2) at Wilson Stadium.

“When you might have guys that make you look good, it would not provide you with anxiousness or nervousness,” Armenta stated with a smile.

Armenta has thrown 45 landing passes; 22 have landed within the fingers of Sanchez, who has 92 catches (about 7½ catches a recreation) for 1,590 yards.

“I am so comfy with Ian,” stated Armenta, who likes their soccer relationship to the one which defines Las Vegas Raiders (and pals) QB Derek Carr and WR Devante Adams. “I do know precisely what he is gonna do.”

The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Sanchez definitely isn’t any strange weapon; there’s solely been one recreation this season wherein Sanchez hasn’t caught a landing cross, and he is had a number of TD receptions in half of La Cueva’s 12 video games. He scores at a price normally reserved for highschool operating backs.

“We knew he had that potential,” stated Again, and La Cueva definitely has the current pedigree on the receiver place (suppose Reece Wilkinson, Connor O’Toole, Exodus Ayers) to have an understanding of how Sanchez would and will pan out. “That is the place we hold our hats.”

Sanchez, regardless of his gaudy receiving numbers, stated he solely has a pair of NAIA provides to date. Which seemingly makes Saturday the final time he shall be catching passes from Armenta in any official capability.

Exodus Ayers was lined up because the seemingly No. 1 receiver for the Bears this 12 months coming off an enormous junior season, however then Ayers left simply previous to the season for a prep college in New Hampshire.

“We relied rather a lot on X, however I knew with him leaving, I would have a much bigger position,” Sanchez stated. “I knew going into 7 on 7s, the best way me and Aidan had been working collectively, I knew a giant season was coming.”

Again in August, Again stated he was assured in his receiving corps and its skill to fill the void receptions and touchdowns created by Ayers’ departure. That was very true of Sanchez and Jackson Hix, who has 11 touchdowns of his personal.

This was true even in the summertime of 2021, when Sanchez broke his collarbone, setting him again for a few months. However Again, and Armenta, stated Sanchez all the time clearly possessed the traits of a No. 1 receiver.

It has been the exceptional chemistry between Armenta and Sanchez that has outlined this La Cueva offense practically your complete season. And that goes again to after they had been 6 or 7 years previous.

“I knew how particular he was,” Armenta stated. “I knew it will translate onto the sector fairly simply. (It is about) trusting him it doesn’t matter what. I do know he is gonna be in that spot the place I would like him to be.”

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