Updated: Monday, 24 Aug 2009, 10:24 AM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 19 Aug 2009, 12:04 AM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The La Cueva Bears won state high school football championships in 2004 and 2005, and the Albuquerque team could very well win another in 2009.
"I don't know how they keep picking us up on the top, but we'll certainly try to finish there," La Cueva coach Fred Romero, who guided the Bears to those two state titles, said.
The Bears return 11 starters off last year's 8-4 team that made the Class 5A state quarterfinals.
Eight starters return on offense, led by gifted junior running back Ronnie Daniels, who rushed for nine touchdowns, caught another touchdown and threw for yet one more. Daniels has some very lofty goals for this season.
"My goal is to rush for over 2,000 yards," Daniels said. "Yeah, I think I can get 2000. It's something I expect, and it's something the coaches expect."
Romero didn't disagree.
"The young man's got strength, talent and ability," Romero said. "He can probably play any sport and probably be great at it. He should really excel his junior and senior year."
At quarterback the Bears have a pleasant problem: two potential starters. One is returning starter Jordan Wade while the other is highly touted newcomer Meiko Locksley, who is the son of new University of New Mexico football Head Coach Mike Locksley.
The senior has drawn the eye of many college coaches including his dad. The Bears have not settled on a starter under center.
"And I don't think we ever will," Romero said. "Both of them are very good athletes and deserve a chance to play."
The Bears open their season Aug. 27 against Rio Grande at Milne Stadium.