Sports Desk: Highland football isn’t letting low number of players affect them

FOX New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (KRQE) – This edition of the Sports Desk begins with a look at Lobo Football. The team wrapped up their sixth practice of the season, and so far Head Coach Bob Davie has been impressed, as he rewarded his team with snow cones on Thursday.

“I’m going to get that clear and I want to get that out right now, that there were no taxpayer dollars on these snow cones. It’s a reward for our players going to campus yesterday and spending about an hour and a half of their time, and then coming out here today and going about 26 periods. You know, I appreciate our players so much, and you know we are kind of in the middle of it now. You know, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday here, heavy heavy contact days, and I was proud of the way our players responded today,” said UNM Head Football Coach Bob Davie.

Meanwhile, Highland High School Football has felt the decline of players participating. This decrease in the number of players playing football has been felt across the country, and here in New Mexico the NMAA has said that over the past five years they have seen a decline of 29%.

“We have a very acute awareness that there might not be a next man up. Right, they are the only guy, and so they are aware of that. They battle through it, and as coaches it makes us have to focus on them more because we have some kids that are not going to quit. They are there for each other, so their toughness is impressive,” said Highland Football Coach Philip Lovato.

Highland will have about 15 fewer players than any other team in Class 5A. Concussions, CTE, and smaller student size all play a part in this at Highland, but Coach Lovato is trying to show kids that football can be safe.

“I am always reaching out to a variety of different people from all over the sports world that I can get ahold of, from orthopedic surgeons to you name it, to just get advice. You know, especially with concussions, we take it very serious,” said Lovato.

Highland will open their season on Aug. 23 against Rio Grande.

Switching gears, UNM men’s basketball is now set to host its first “Women’s Walkthrough” on Oct. 3. This event will give women an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at Lobo basketball.

“You know, just a different idea where we can bring women around Lobo basketball and kind of have some fun with that. We are trying to team up and do with whoever we can, however we can, things to just help UNM and help the Lobos,” said UNM Men’s Basketball Coach Paul Weir.

To find out more on this Oct. 3 event, click here.

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