The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Dora adjusting to role as six-man power


Many communities in the southeast quadrant of the state have long traditions regarding football. Dora does too, but for a long time the tradition was not to field a football team at all.

Things are progressing quickly in the little town though since Dora High started playing six-man football in 2007.

Now, behind second-year coach Mason McBee, the Coyotes are at the point where thinking of a state championship is not far-fetched. After advancing to the state semifinals last year, Dora has started the current campaign with five straight wins.

The Coyotes will get a much better idea of where they stand in the six-man ranks after playing Lake Arthur tonight. It's a rematch of the semifinal game where Dora was ousted from the postseason, against the team that went on to capture the 2011 state title.

"It's gonna decide whether we're the best in the state or second-best in the state," said Dora senior Anthony Pena, a wide receiver and running back for the Coyotes.

Senior Tyler Sites is Dora's quarterback while Pena, junior Justin Watson at running back and Lane Carrasco at receiver handle the ball the most. Junior Koby Cone and senior Armondo Arzate, who also plays at running back, are usually the ones to snap the ball to Sites to start an offensive play.

Defensively, it's the same set of athletes — along with sophomore Eddie Arzate and freshman Josh Walker — who put the stop on Coyotes' opponents.

"I think we have a real good chance. I think we're one of the best teams, if not the best, depending on whether we show up," McBee said.

McBee was a standout in both football and basketball when he played at Springer High. His introduction to this part of the state came when he came to play football at Eastern New Mexico University.

Despite the recent success for the Coyotes, McBee notes that some traditions are hard to overcome.

"We still have parents who don't let their kids play because they're afraid of injuries. But we didn't have injuries last year and we haven't had any injuries this year. I think our conditioning is part of that," McBee said. "We still have a lot more kids walking around the school not playing who should be playing."

Pena, who said that the Dora players were overconfident the last time they played Lake Arthur, is hoping that success this season will lead to more participation by the student body on the gridiron.

"I hope so," Pena said. "I have a little brother who's coming up and I hope they'll have enough for a team when he's here."


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