Pigskin preview: Young Rattlers need to step up

By Thomas Garcia

Clovis Media Inc.


Tucumcari second-year coach Wayne Ferguson said he will have a young team this fall.

Ferguson said the team graduated several starters from last year’s 8-4 team that finished third in the district and lost to Hatch Valley in the second round of of the Class 2A playoffs

The Rattlers have five offensive and seven defensive starters returning, with sophomores filling in many key spots.

“The team is going to have to grow up fast,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson said he is looking for big things from newcomers Javier Villanueva and Daniel Lopez.

A junior, Villanueva will play tight end.

“He is a strong player that shows great potential,” Ferguson said.

Lopez is projected to start at running back and cornerback.

“We are already starting to see some great things out of Lopez in practice,” Ferguson said.

Among the Rattlers’ top returning players are:

z Senior quarterback/linebacker Michael Olivas;

z Junior fullback/linebacker Saul Moriel;

z Senior wide receiver/defensive back Mark Preciado;

z Senior offensive tackle/defensive tackle Breysen Billings;

z Senior guard and nose guard Brad Lopez;

z Junior offensive tackle/defensive tackle Marcus Chavez.

Ferguson said Olivas and Moriel are expected to make quite an impact as linebackers. He said their physical stature and athleticism could make them two of the best linebackers in the state.

Ferguson said Olivas would also be making the switch from tight end to quarterback this year. He said Olivas did play as a quarterback at younger age and is an athletic and bright young man.

“Olivas will be playing with a learning curve as he adjusts to the position,” Ferguson said. “He already has a good grasp on the quarterback position and is working well during practices to learn our system.”

Ferguson said this summer they had several players who continued their workout during the off-season.

“This is key to developing a team (whuch) wants to reach the state championship level,” Ferguson said. “In our district, we need to have players who buy into the program on and off season and are committed to the work.”



No.    Name    Yr    Pos.

1    Javier Villanueva    Jr.     TE/SS

3    Tyler Ferguson    So.     QB/CB

4     Dominic Ortiz    Fr.     WR/DE

8    Jonathan Preciado    Jr.    WR/CB

10     Nathan Lopez    So.    RB/LB

12     Michael Olivas    Sr.    QB/LB

13     Zac Martinez    Fr.     RB/S

17     Dominic Blea    Fr.    WR/S

20     Saul Moriel    Jr.     FB/LB

21     Mark Preciado    Sr.     WR/CB

22     Kyle Lopez    Fr.    FB/LB

23     Michael Shelton    Fr.    WR/S

25     Timmy Skinner    Sr.    FB/DE

30     Noah Marquez    Fr.     RB/CB

32     Billy Sandoval     Fr.    RB/CB

33     Daniel Lopez     So.    RB/CB

34     Nathan Alexander    Jr.    r TE/DE

40    Brandon Aragon     Jr.    RB/CB

44     Nathan Vargas    Sr.     RB/DE

51     Carlos Marquez    Sr.     G/DT

52     Breysen Billings    Sr.    T/DT

54     A.J. Chavez    Sr.     G/LB

56     Santiago Alires    Fr.     G/LB

60     Manuel Blea    Sr.     C/DT

61    James Griego    Fr.    T/DT

63    Lawrence Chavez    Fr.    T/DT

68    Sergio Reyes    Fr.    G/DT

70    Antonio Norton Jr.    Fr.    T/DT

73    Ben Supple      Jr.    G/NG

75 Brad Lopez    Sr.    G/NG

76 HD McClure    So.    C/DT

77 Edmundo Durazo     So.    T/DT

78 Marcus Chavez    Jr.    T/DT

79 John Freeman    So.    G/DT

85 Austin Welch    Sr.     WR/CB


August: 30 — at Raton, 7 p.m.

September: 6 — NMMI, 7p.m.; 20 – Dexter, 7 p.m.; 27 — at Fort Sumner, 7 p.m.

October: 4 — at Eunice, 7 p.m.; 18 — Texico,7 p.m.-x; 25 — at Estancia, 7 p.m.-x

November: 1 — at Clayton, 7 p.m.-x.; 8 — Santa Rosa, 7 p.m.-x.

x-District 2-2A games



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