ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Coming off of a 3-win season in 2021, UNM Football is focusing on improving in 2022. Fall Camp is set to start for Lobo Football on Friday, Aug. 5, and at the Mountain West Media Summit in Las Vegas, NV, players told KRQE Sports that off-season workouts have made this team bigger, faster, and stronger.
“Once you build that mindset in the weight room, come Saturday night when you want to go out there and play a game it’s easy,” said UNM Safety Jerrick Reed. Derrick Baker was named UNM Football’s Director of Athletic Performance this past off-season, and the players believe that the work he has put in with this team will help them make that next step in 2022.
“Coach Baker, he tells us that on a daily basis, you know you got to be tough, persevere, and thrive when things get hard. You are who you are as a person when things aren’t going your way”, said UNM WR, Luke Wysong.
This team is coming in feeling much stronger, and they also believe they will remain strong on defense. UNM ranked in the top 50 nationally when it came to defense in 2021, and getting back 7 starters from a year ago, including Jerrick Reed, Reed believes this defense will also take another step in 2022.
“Going off of last year and the year before that, we keep on building, and we have the same guys coming back, minus Joey Noble. If we just lock down our assignment, trust Coach Long, trust Coach G, and just perform and execute on the highest level we can, we are going to be a great defense. Hopefully, top 25 or top 15”, said Reed.
UNM’s season opener will be on September 3rd, in Albuquerque, against Maine.
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While at this years Mountain West Media Summit for football, KRQE Sports took the time to get an update on some local players in the conference. Former Volcano Vista multi-sport stand out, David Cormier is now headed into a his senior season at Air Force.
Cormier graduated from Volcano Vista in 2017, and since joining the Falcons he hasn’t seen much playing time. Cormier played with Air Forces Prep Team his freshman year, was held off the field for off the field reasons in his sophomore year, and played 9 games last year for the Falcons, while missing 4 due to injury.
Redshirt seasons are not provided to athletes at Air Force, so this will be his final season for the Falcons. Cormier’s Coaches and teammates are excited for his potential at wide receiver in 2022 though, because while Air force mainly runs the ball, Cormier could add another dimension to their offense.
“Yeah, he had a really good year for us last season, just in terms of his competitiveness, the way he embraces the run game and in addition to the passing game”, said Air Force Head Football Coach Troy Calhoun. “He’s probably one of the most athletic people on our team. He’s got great size, great speed, and I think he provides a dimension. I mean, if the run game is not working, he provides a big area for the passing game”, said Air Force Running back, Brad Roberts.
Former La Cueva and UNM Softball stand out, Andrea Howard is now on to the next stage for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award. on Monday, Howard was named as the sole representative for the Mountain West Conference. There are a total 151 nominees for this award, according to an announcement released by the NCAA, with 53 nominees coming from Division I conferences. The top 30 finalists will be announced in October.
Sticking with Softball, the Santa Fe Little League All-stars played in this years Southwest Regional Junior League Championship game on Monday morning. Team New Mexico took on Team Texas East at Roadrunner Little League.
It was a pitchers duel early, but Texas East would turn it on in the 4th inning, as they racked up 8 runs. Santa Fe wasn’t able to answer in the top of the 5th, and Texas would score two more runs to end the game at 10-0. It was a tough loss for this little league out of Santa Fe, but head coach Maria Cedillo says her team will be back next year.
“Oh, I am extremely proud. I mean, they showed tons of discipline through four innings. We lacked a little bit of endurance to keep going, but we will be back. I mean, we really want to get New Mexico that title”, said Maria Cedillo.
The Paradise Hills majors Softball All-Star Team was also in action on Monday. Paradise Hills looked to stay alive with a win at the Waco, TX, Southwest Little League Regional. Coming off of a win on Sunday, this team would bounce back in a big way, with a 17-4 victory over Colorado.
Paradise Hills will now look to get revenge on Tuesday, when they play Texas East at 9am, that game will be shown on ESPN+.