CLOVIS AND LAS CRUCES EXCITED FOR A NEW SEASON
The high school football season starts this week and many teams have plenty of questions following last season’s COVID-shortened year. “We have a young squad and an excited squad,” said Clovis head coach Cal Fullerton. “The very first day of practice when we were in shorts and t-shirts, we talked about where we were at in this point last year and it’s hard to beat putting the purple hat back on.”
Clovis suited up for a preseason scrimmage with Las Cruces. The Bulldawgs strength is up front. “Our whole offensive line returns,” said Las Cruces head coach Mark Lopez. “From an offensive perspective, that’s huge for us. You don’t get that often where you get a whole line coming back. Big Royce Paulk is the one everybody’s looking at and talking about. It’s hard not to. He’s 6’6”, 350 pounds and we don’t get a lot of kids like that very often. I don’t think anybody does in New Mexico.”
With a lack of preseason scouting, everyone is trying to get a feel for one another in a short amount of time. “You had eight months of an off-season squeezed into three months,” explained Lopez. “You have to take into account you had a spring season, so you hope some of that football stuff carries over.”
The Clovis Wildcats lost a bunch of seniors after last season and will plug in plenty of new players. “We talk a lot about being coachable,” explained Fullerton. “Nick Saban said, ‘Being coachable is not saying Yes Sir every time you’re told to do something, it’s doing what you’re told.’ If we can get to that point at some time, the beginning of district or middle of district, then let the chips fall where they go and see where we’re at.”
Clovis dubs themselves the Best from the East and their motto this season is T-T-W. Tough Teams Win. “They don’t like to quit, none of them quit,” said Clovis senior Payton Reames. “They are some of the hardest working kids we’ve had in the program, I think.”
“Sometimes we don’t have the numbers that 6A schools have, sometimes we don’t have the skill that 6A teams have, but if we believe we’re tough and play tough and approach everything everything we do, whether it’s practice, a rep in practice, the weightroom, school, if we’re tough, we will always have a chance,” said Fullerton.
Clovis will open the year hosting Hobbs and Las Cruces gets Volcano Vista in week one.