The Tucumcari Middle School football team, coached by Eddie Encinias and Brian Dunlap, finished the season 6-1 with victories over district rivals. Head Coach Encinias said the team excelled.
“If there were state rankings for middle school football, we would be near the top,” said Encinias. “I’m really proud that we beat district rivals Clayton and Santa Rosa.”
The middle school team provides many future high school players. Encinias said the eighth-grade crop of Rattlers will contribute to the high school team’s success in coming years. “They were hard workers in practice,” said Encinias. “They are also really good students. They are very respectful. I think in a couple of years they will have a big impact on the varsity program.”
The young Rattlers beat Clayton Middle School 40-0 this season and they beat Santa Rosa Middle School 45-8. The high school Rattlers lost to those two high schools this season, so the high school team may fare better in district play in coming years. Coach Encinias had praise for assistant coach Dunlap. “A lot of our success was due to the fact that Coach Dunlap does an outstanding job with our linemen,” said Encinias. “He takes players who know very little about line play and teaches them to stay low and block well. I remember coaching him when he was in the pee-wee leagues.”