The state highschool soccer championship video games in Courses 5A, 4A and 3A have an genuine North vs. South footprint this 12 months.
Artesia, Silver and Ruidoso are all hitting the highway for prolonged journeys and Saturday championship title video games in Farmington, Bloomfield and Santa Fe.
A preview (The Journal will take a look at the 6A title recreation on Saturday):
WHO: No. 1 seed Artesia (10-2) at No. 3 seed Piedra Vista (11-1)
WHEN: 1pm Saturday
WHERE: Hutchison Stadium, Farmington
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Artesia—Nye Estrada, jr., QB; Peyton Greathouse, Jr., WR; Jesse Leroch, Jr., R.B. Piedra Vista—Jacob Ramsted, sr., RB; Zach Mora-Dotson, Sr., RB; Logan Howell, Sr., QB.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The Panthers have already overwhelmed the opposite three members of Artesia’s district (Goddard, Mayfield, Roswell), however now they tackle the most effective of that league as Piedra Vista makes an attempt to win its first soccer championship.
The Panthers actually would profit from a low-scoring recreation, just like the one that they had at Wool Bowl (13-7) in Roswell final week. Artesia has scored at the very least 30 factors in each recreation, and its solely losses got here to 6A powers Hobbs and Cleveland.
As Artesia chases title No. 31, vital to notice that the Bulldogs’ prime three offensive weapons — Estrada, Greathouse and Leroch — are nonetheless simply juniors. Estrada threw for 3,100 yards and 39 touchdowns. Greathouse has 11 TD receptions and averages almost 17 yards a seize. and Leroch has rushed for 10 scores, all on this offense which operates at a breakneck tempo.
Piedra Vista will look to set an early, bodily tone, run the ball, transfer the chains, and try and restrict Artesia’s offensive touches.
The Panthers have not performed for a soccer championship in 22 years.
“We in all probability would have been in a few extra if it wasn’t for Artesia,” PV coach Jared Howell stated with fun. One other irony: Hutchison Stadium is on the campus of the Panthers’ rival, Farmington Excessive.
The Bulldogs and coach Jeremy Maupin had been the 5A runner-up final 12 months at Los Lunas.
WHO: No. 1 seed Silver (11-1) at No. 2 seed Bloomfield (11-1)
WHEN: 1pm Saturday
WHERE: Bobcat Stadium, Bloomfield
ALREADY THIS SEASON: Silver beat Bloomfield 45-6 on Oct. 7 in Socorro.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Silver—Aidan Granado, sr., RB-LB; Mason Lockett, Sr. RB-LB; Matt Garrison, Sr., LB. Bloomfield—Ryan Sharpe, sr., QB; Drew Perez, Jr., WR; Jesse Seitzinger, Jr., R.B.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The Colts can full one of many nice defensive seasons on Saturday; they’ve solely surrendered 55 factors over 12 video games; even their one loss was a mere 7-0 setback to 5A semifinalist Deming. “To be sincere,” Colts coach Jerome Ortiz stated, “we must always have gained that recreation.”
Silver’s protection is constructed round its D-line and likewise an oustanding group of lineackers, led by Garrison, the group’s main tackler, and Lockett, each of whom anchor the center.
The Bobcats, coach Mike Kovacs stated, have to hold senior QB Sharpe upright lengthy sufficient to distribute the ball to a stable group of receivers, and Bloomfield additionally hopes its lately improved floor recreation will add essential steadiness. Kovacs stated Bloomfield should deal with higher than it did the primary time it met Silver.
Colts coach Ortiz is trying to be a part of a small membership of people that gained state titles as a participant and a coach on the identical faculty. He was a member of Silver’s 2005 championship squad. That was the college’s final blue trophy in soccer. Bloomfield is within the state ultimate for the third time within the final 4 years, however the Bobcats have not gained all of it since 1966.
WHO: No. 2 seed Ruidoso (11-1) at No. 4 seed St. Michael’s (11-1)
WHEN: 1pm Saturday
WHERE: Ivan Head Stadium at Santa Fe Excessive College
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Ruidoso—Kaden Sago, sr., RB; Cooper Pritchett, Sr., QB; Dalton Trapp, sr., TE/DL. St. Michael’s—Zach Martinez, sr., QB; Creed Chavez, sr., WR; Marcus Leyba, Sr., RB; Taven Lozada, sr., TE.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The upcoming winter storm rolling into southeastern New Mexico already has been an element; the Warriors had been going to journey to Santa Fe on Saturday morning, however Ruidoso has been pressured, simply to be protected, to go away as a substitute on Friday.
Sago is an achieved again (1,670 yards, 24 TDs), though the Horsemen have expertise in such issues, having gone up in opposition to Raton’s oustanding RB Cayden Walton already. St. Mike’s in all probability throws it a bit greater than Ruidoso does, with Chavez often the highest, harmful goal with terrific run-after-catch potentil. This Horsemen protection simply restricted high-powered Socorro, the No. 1 seed, to 6 factors within the semifinals final week, so Ruidoso’s offense absolutely can be severely examined on Saturday.
Each QBs (Pritchett, Martinez) have vital, big-game playoff expertise and led their groups to clutch scoring drives within the groups’ victories within the semis every week in the past.
A few veteran groups on this recreation, and two head coaches (Joey Fernandez of the Horsemen, Kief Johnson of the Warriors) who have already got been titles to their names. And each these groups had been runners-up final November — Ruidoso within the 4A ultimate to Lovington, St. Michael’s to Robertson within the 3A ultimate.
The final time St. Mike’s gained state, in 2012, it was additionally at Ivan Head Stadium (in opposition to Silver), simply as Saturday’s ultimate can be. Ruidoso, whose solely setback this season was at 4A Portales, final gained state in 2017.