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

ROOSEVELT CO. FOOTBALL: Coyotes thinking 6-man title


DORA — 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 6-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, currently ranked second in 6-man will get a much better idea of where they stand in the six-man ranks after playing at top-ranked Lake Arthur (5-0) 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 going to decide whether we're the best in the state or second-best in the state," said 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 a 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," McBee said. "I think we're one of the best teams, if not the best, depending on whether we show up."

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 played football at Eastern New Mexico University.

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

"We still have parents who don't let their kids play because they're afraid of injuries," he said. "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. 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 the team's success this season will lead to more participation by the student body.

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


Dora (5-0) at Lake Arthur (5-0)

When: 7 p.m. today

Last week: The Coyotes rolled over previously unbeaten San Jon/Grady 85-32, while the Panthers dismissed previously unbeaten New Mexico School for the Deaf 56-12.

Of note: It's the District 1 opener for both teams. They could be playing for seeding in the playoffs. … A 6-man finals preview? Possibly. Lake Arthur is ranked No. 1 and Dora No. 2 coming in, although the Panthers leapfrogged the Coyotes this week. "It's no big deal," Dora coach Mason McBee said. "It doesn't really matter too much until the playoffs come around." … The defending 6-man champion Panthers, who beat Dora in last year's semifinals, have given up 40 points this season, all in two games. They have three shutouts by scores of 50-0, 53-0 and 56-0. … The Coyotes have scored more than 60 points in four games, and 53 in the other.

Dora coach Mason McBee: "I think we're better (than last year) and I think are kids are playing really well. If we play our type of football and play mistake-free, we should be in there."

Carrizozo (4-1) at Floyd/Elida (1-4)

When: 2 p.m. today at Floyd

Last week: The Grizzlies suffered their first loss, a 68-14 shellacking at Foothill. The Broncos lost at home to Mountainair 50-0.

Of note: It's the District 2 opener for both teams. … Carrizozo is in its second year in 8-man after dropping down from Class 1A. … Floyd, which has scored 26 points in four games since a season-opening 28-20 win over Springer/Maxwell, is working around some injuries. With a bye next week, coach Steve Foust said he hopes to have more players back for the team's next game on Oct. 19 at Gateway Christian.

Floyd/Elida coach Steve Foust: "The kids are still fighting hard. We've got a lot of injuries, but we're cutting back on mistakes."

— CMI staff


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