Experience could come in handy for Cougars
The Alamo Navajo High School football team didn't win a game last season, but it put up points on the scoreboard.
That fact alone was a small victory for Head Coach Kent Tomah's Cougars.
"I was told the team never scored any points before I came here," he said. "We were constantly shut out. We scored 100 points last year. That's good for us; gives us the opportunity to build on what we had."
Alamo lost only one senior to graduation last year. The Cougars return a full roster of 22 players, according to Tomah, who's in his second year coaching the team.
"We're going to be more competitive," he said. "We're a little bit bigger. Most of my kids have been in the weight room all summer."
Key returning players for the Cougars include junior quarterback Daryl Apachito, junior running back Jade Loma, sophomore running back Trevor Guerro, freshman center Isiah Guerro, freshman right guard Lehmer Ganadonegro, sophomore left guard Chris Loma and sophomore wide receiver Jose Secatero.
Tomah also expects contributions from newcomers Christian Bustamante, a sophomore left guard; Kagen Apachito, a freshman wide receiver; Kai Key, an eighth-grade lineman and Scott Apachito, an eighth-grade wide receiver.
"The young man has some hands," Tomah commented.
Alamo Navajo will compete in New Mexico Activities Association's eight-man football District 3, which includes Magdalena, Carrizozo, Cloudcroft and Mescalero Apache.
"It's a fast game," Tomah said of eight-man football. "If you're not on your toes, the game could be over with before you know it."
The Cougars open the season 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29 at home against Tse Yi Gai.
"We're working hard to get better," Tomah said. "We have a great group of kids. They're hard workers. They don't play around. When we come to practice, they're ready for business."