By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
Area high school sports teams begin their seasons this holiday weekend, some on the road and some hosting home openers.
The Grady-San Jon Coyotes will kick off the football season for Quay County high schools with a home game at 4 p.m., Thursday against the Vaughn Eagles.
“The Eagles are a team that we are familiar with who only have nine players listed on their roster but they have size with a running back listed at 250 pounds,” said Bobby Gomez, Coyotes head coach.
Gomez said the Coyotes are preparing for a team that will be run-heavy and the Coyote defense will concentrate on containing and stopping the Eagle’s run game.
On the offensive side, Gomez said the Coyotes have most of their starters returning this year that will aid in the strength of their running offense.
Game time 4 p.m. at San Jon
The Logan Longhorns will open their season at home starting at 7 p.m. Friday against a familiar foe, the Tatum Coyotes.
The Coyotes upset the Longhorns in the 2013 state quarterfinals 32-8, ending the Longhorns’ post season run.
“These two teams have developed a bit of a rivalry and I know we look forward to playing against them each year,” said Kene Terry, Longhorn’s head coach.
Terry said last year the Longhorns opened their season against Tatum, and it ended against the Coyotes, as well.
“It’s always great competition to play the Coyotes, we hope they enjoy playing us as much as we enjoy playing them,” Terry said.
Terry said he is confident the Longhorns will be ready when they step out onto the field Friday night against the Coyotes.
He said Coyotes’ coach Gary Durham can draw up game plans to beat just about everybody.
“While we want to slow down their run game we have to be mindful about his use of trick plays and running the option on offense,” he said.
Game time 7 p.m., Friday at Logan
The Tucumcari Rattlers football team will be on the road for their first game, traveling to Escalante, two hours north of Santa Fe.
“While everyone would like to have a home opener, being on the road for our first game is something we are not going to dwell on,” said Wayne Ferguson, Rattlers head coach.
Ferguson said while the Rattlers have never focused on the distance they have had to travel, it can be a distraction from the game itself. He said the Rattlers are focusing on the task at hand, which is to play a veteran team that is just a few years removed from a state championship.
Ferguson said the Lobos have a potent offense that will try to spread out Rattler defenders and set them up for one-on-one coverage in the passing game.
The Lobos’ quarterback, Ferguson said, can execute the read option well and easily drop into trips formation.
“This is going to be a good challenge for us right out of the gate,” Ferguson said.
Game time 7 p.m., at Escalante
VolleyballThe Logan Lady Longhorns will holding their annual tournament on Thursday and Saturday with several Eastern New Mexico teams in attendance. Game times TBA
The San Jon Lady Coyotes will travel Friday to Santa Fe Waldorf to begin their season. Game time TBA
The Tucumcari Rattlers and Lady Rattlers start their season competing at 3 p.m., Friday at the Clovis Invite.