Rattlers’ Apodaca loves leadership role

The Tucumcari Rattlers are preparing to play their first game of the postseason. Most of the Rattlers wins this year have been by way of shutout or by large margins. Behind the Rattler offense is a variety of weapons for senior quarterback Andrez Apodaca.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a quarterback?
A: In pee wee football I never wanted to be a quarterback. It was not until middle school that I wanted to take the snaps. I never got the chance to play as quarterback until my freshman year.

Q: Who has been the greatest inspiration for you?
A: Coach Eddie Encinias has been there ever since I started football. He can be hard on you at times but he is a great motivator.

Q: Do you have a favorite quarterback you try to emulate?
A: I’d have to say it is Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. I wear the same number as him and I like his playing style. He has great pocket presence.

Q: When you’re in the pocket, looking downfield on a passing play, what pops in your mind first?
A: I try to stay in the pocket and even if I’m rolling out I concentrate on getting the ball to the receiver first. Then I worry about the coming hit.

Q: During a running play are you ever compelled to deliver a hard block to help the running back gain some extra yards?
A: I really don’t have any running plays where I block, but I would take the hit to help the runner out.

Q: Do you remember the first time you got hit by a defensive lineman?
A: It’s not the first time but I do remember my first pass play on varsity. Last year I was lined up with the quarterback as a receiver he threw the pass to me and I passed it down the field and as I let go I got nailed, but the pass was complete.

Q: How do you motivate yourself and the team when things are not going your way?
A: I try not to be negative. Sometimes I will say something negative but will apologize to my teammates for my remark. Mostly I tell the guys to be positive and be serious but also have fun out there.

Q: What is your favorite part of being a quarterback?
A: I like to lead the offense out on the field. I love passing the football.

Q: What advice can you give to future quarterbacks?
A: To try your hardest even when things are not going your way. As long as you give it all that you got and leave it all out on the field you’ll do fine.