Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Attitude is Everything

You gotta hand it to the Minatare football coaching staff. Their attitude is certainly an admirable one. The Indians are 0-3, but according to the coaches... it's a great 0-3! Despite the scoreboard, that winning attitude seems prevalent around Minatare these days. The parents, alumni and fans were positive and supportive. The coaches showed amazing patience with the mistakes of their young team. I even heard the P.A. Announcer encouraging the kids. If ever a team could say they are in a rebuilding year, the 2011 Indians can lay claim to that one for sure. Seniors Nate Garcia and Richard Mitchell and lone Junior Jorge Montelongo are the only upper classmen on the team. With four sophomores and seven freshmen, 6-man football fans should keep an eye on these guys in the future. Minatare hosted the Hyannis Longhorns in Friday's Homecoming contest. The night was full of spirit and festivities as the fans filed in, which included dozens of MHS Alumni returning to show their support. The team is young and the town is small, but they filled the stands and lined the sidelines for what proved to be a close contest all the way. The game started off slowly as both teams exchanged possession regularly. It was Minatare that caught the first break with 3:55 to go in the 1st quarter when Junior Jorge Montelongo recovered a fumble at the line of scrimmage. However, as was the case most of the night, penalties halted their efforts and the quarter expired with no points scored. 0-0 The second quarter was a little more exciting, but only if you were wearing blue and white (or sitting across the field). Hyannis Sophomore Travis Hoover returned a Nate Garcia interception for 6 points with 8:34 to go in the 2nd quarter. Minatare's Javier Guerrero blocked the extra point kick attempt to keep it at 6-0 Hyannis. The determined Indians didn't just set back and relax, however. They came out strong with a drive of their own behind the running of Senior Nate Garcia. (This is the point in the game where the coaches were given the opportunity to display great patience with their young team.) The Indians had driven down fairly deep into Longhorn territory when a multitude of penalties began. First it was an offensive facemask, then a procedure call. Then, despite being backed up into his own territory now, Garcia wheeled around the left end for long TD... only to be negated by another holding penalty. "That's ok guys, do it again" yelled the assistant coach from the sideline. So, Garcia did just that and took the ball into the end zone again for 6. Had it not been for that yellow marker on the field, we would have been tied. All for not though as his second TD of the drive was also negated. Minatare struggled on offense after that and turned it over on downs with 5:25 to go in the half still down 6-0. A good defensive showing by the Indians gave them the ball back with another chance to get some points on the board before halftime. The enthusiasm was squelched when Minatare coughed up the ball on their own 17 yard line with 2:58 left. The Indian defense held tough, but Longhorn Sophomore Travis Hoover was able to punch it in with :10 seconds remaining for his second TD of the night. Minatare's Javier Guerrero blocked his second PAT of the night keeping it 12-0 Hyannis. Halftime festivities included a performance from the award winning Minatare Cheerleaders, information about the alternative homecoming party scheduled after the game and a reading of the list of alumni in attendance; Jane Bauer (Shadle), 1952; Anita Duncan (Burry), 1958; Con Sanchez, 1963; Nestor Sanchez, 1965; John Chavez, 1966; Caryle Covalt, 1969; Mike Nuss, 1970; Maria Longoria (Molina), 1971; Jan Nuss (Covalt), 1972; Tom Case, 1981; Karen Koke (Lofing), 1981; Benny Garcia, 1984; Brian Hale, 1984; Chad Conklin, 1985; Ed Russell, 1985; Diana Kenagy, 1990; Eric Longoria, 1991; Brandon Sandoz, 1991; Yvette Chavez, 1992; Deb Valdez (Ramirez), 1992; Diane Fair (Helser), 1993; LeAnn Nuss, 1994; Darla Novotny, 1998; Lisa Quintanar (Nuss), 1998; Denasha Rickets (Wecker), 1998; Samantha Clause (Greene), 1999; Josh Lovato, 1999; Tonya DeWitt, 2000; Adam Koke, 2004; AJ Conklin, 2006; Justin Koke, 2007; Tyler McAllister, 2007; Nichole Martinez (Salazar), 2007; Tiffany Schleuning (Mitchell), 2008; Alicia Main (Dickey), 2010; Alicia Fibelstad, 2010; Armando Garcia, 2010; Abi Longoria, 2010; Anthony Longoria, 2010; Ryan Manka, 2010; Amber Shimek, 2010; Brittney Johnson, 2011; Xavier Longoria, 2011; Marissa Lucius, 2011; Elizabeth Mitchell, 2011. Guerrero continued to shine in the 2nd half when he scored Minatare's first official TD of the night with 7:25 to go in the 3rd quarter. The PAT kick attempt was blocked by Hyannis making it 12-6. Minatare looked to be gaining some momentum when Sophomore Steven Juarez intercepted the ball with 5:32 remaining in the 3rd. Both teams then struggled with multiple penalties with all drives stalling and our score after 3 still 12-6 Hyannis. Hyannis drove down the field to start the 4th quarter but a goal line stand led by Senior Richard Mitchell and another interception by Juarez and the Indians were back in it. Nate Garcia took the Indians to paydirt again scoring on the run and knotting our game up at 12-12. The ensuing PAT was blocked and we remained locked up with 4 minutes to go in the contest. The Indians had the momentum and were poised to pull this one off when the Minatare 'D' had Hoover scrambling for his life. Unfortunately, in 6-man football, scrambling is a big part of the game. Hoover rambled back and forth and eventually down the field for his third touchdown of the evening with 1:57 remaining. Their PAT pass was good making our final score 19-12 as the Indians were not able to muster another drive of their own. In line with recent tradition at Minatare, the Homecoming Royalty was presented after the game with Richard Mitchell and Sabrina Longoria named your 2011 MHS Homecoming King and Queen. Jr Prince and Princess went to Jorge Montelongo and Chyann Ross. Despite the breezy and cool conditions, more dirty laundry on the field than a Don Henley song from the 80's and a game that ended up being one of the lowest scoring 6-man contests in history, it was an enjoyable evening watching the two young teams battle it out. Minatare's next contest is scheduled for this friday when they host a team from Central Nebraska, the 3-1 Arcadia Huskies.

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