By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun
You could hear the hit from the sidelines as the helmet and pads collided.
There was silence from the sidelines for only a moment. Then came the loud cheers from the players and the coaches as Casey Romero made a defensive stop late in the Rattlers first scrimmage.
The Rattlers scrimmage attended by about 100 people was Friday evening.
It marked the end of the first week of practice
Earlier in the game fullback Brian Lopez broke through the line for a touchdown. His run brought applause from the crowd.
“It was a real great scrimmage. A lot of players really stepped it up,” said assistant coach Eddie Encinas.
The Purple and Gold scrimmage is a long-time Rattler tradition of splitting up the players into two teams, one wearing purple the other in white.
Senior Ken Mercer is a scrimmage veteran.
“This is my third year playing in the scrimmage,” Mercer said. “It’s also my last year. I’m going to miss it.”
“It’s my first Purple and Gold scrimmage,” freshman Andrew Joseph Garcia Jr. said. “ I can hardly wait for our scrimmage against Taos. Garcia played for the Gold team.
Head Coach Dub Smith was happy with his team’s effort.
“I saw a lot of good things out there tonight. The seniors did a great job of leading and the underclassmen did excellent.
“All this is helping us to prepare for the upcoming season.”
Smith said that he and the assistant coaches will be coming up with the team roster sometime next week.
The Rattlers will travel to Taos and play at 5 p.m. on Aug. 18 for a scrimmage. The Rattlers host St. Michael’s of Santa Fe at 7 p.m. Aug. 25 in their season opener.
“We have a tough schedule. The players are going to have to get after it. The players know it’s going to take teamwork and hard work to do well this season,” Smith said.
The Rattlers ended last season with a record of 11-2. They were second in district and state runner-up.