prep player profiles
Senior Zach Esquivel had a leadership role in football as the Warriors quarterback, and he now finds himself in that comfortable but challenging position again in basketball. Taking over at guard for the first time this season, Esquivel compared his new role to that of playing quarterback.
“It is challenging,” he said. “You have to make sure everyone is in the right spot.”
At 6 feet, 2 inches tall, Esquivel is filling in the position nicely, according to his coach Lawrence Baca.
“He does all the little things,” Baca said. “He’s not up there on points but averages eight to nine rebounds and assists,” said Baca.
Esquivel leads the team during practice as well as games and has earned his spot as a team captain, said Baca.
“He is vocal and a great leader. He works hard every day. He has the experience and it shows. He gets the team going and takes care of business,” Baca said.
Esquivel said that the team has had its ups and downs so far this season, but, with the Warriors putting together a string of wins lately, he’s eager to see how good they are come playoff time.
Time to Shine
Socorro High School senior Michael Contreras has been playing basketball his whole life, but it wasn’t until this season that he has finally gotten his chance to shine.
Playing on varsity since his sophomore year, Contreras is getting to start for the first time this season. Given the opportunity to succeed, Contreras is showing what he has to offer.
“He has come a long way,” said Lawrence Baca, the Warriors’ head coach, who added that Contreras plays with a big heart. “He is our senior point guard and is capable of doing good things when he puts his mind to it. He can be a big boost.”
Contreras has found his rhythm this year, due in part to the fact he is playing with guys he’s comfortable with. He’s shared the hardwood with teammates like Jared Marquez and Zach Esquivel since they played together in youth leagues.
“It is better because you know how they play,” Contreras said. “You know who to pass to and how to get the open basket.”
Contreras said he’s also comfortable with stepping into the role of point guard.
“It is kind of hard but I love it because I know it really well,” he said. “It feels good.”
While he’s charged with helping run the Warriors’ offense, Contrereas can be a scoring threat himself. He’s reached double digit point totals several times this season.