Sports Desk: NMSU football holds Media Day, ready to have a season

FOX New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico State football is ready for their first fall season in two years. Doug Martin’s squad will hold the first practice of fall camp Friday.

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COVID-19 wiped out the entire season for the Aggies last year. Coach Martin got his team some competitive in-game reps in the spring, playing a pair of games. While COVID has subsided long enough for some things to return, it remains a problem. That means football for all schools this year will be more than just x’s and o’s. “You know, how you sit players in meetings is important because you want to make sure you’re not getting contact traced if somebody has a positive test,” said NMSU head coach Doug Martin. “How you travel is going to become important, where they sit on the plane, who they’re rooming with, you know, all those types of things are still going to have to be dealt with.”

Aggies running back O’Maury Samuels is looking forward to just competing again. The former Los Lunas high football star hasn’t played in a regular-season game since transferring from the University of Michigan. “I’m very excited. It’s been a very long time. It’s been about three years since I played,” said Samuels. “So, I’m just excited to get back on the field with the guys and get this thing rolling.”

The Aggies believe they will get a strong season from offensive lineman Sage Doxtater. Doxtater found out Thursday that he is on the Wuerffel Trophy watch list. Last year University of New Mexico offensive lineman Teton Saltes won the honor which recognizes an athlete’s impact in community service as well as play on the field. “It’s kind of cool getting the recognition, but at the same time I don’t really buy into that stuff,” said Doxtater. “I just got to put in the work every day because like I’m trying to go to the NFL. Me, like buying into the hype, that’s not going to help me. It’s going to make me complacent. I’m not about that at all.”

The Aggies will open the season against rival UTEP on Aug. 28.

In other sports news, Lobos softball slugger Andrea Howard has been named CoSIDA Academic All America first team. Howard was a second-team selection in 2019. Howard maintained a 4.0-grade point average this year. She led the Lobos in batting average and the Mountain West in home runs with 12 this past season. Howard recently played for the Italian National Team in the Tokyo Olympics.

Jackson and Wink-trained fighter Chris Brown will share the octagon with Glaucio Elaziario at LFA 113 in Belton, Texas Friday. At 6-3, Brown is looking for a second consecutive victory.

Valencia High School boys basketball and golf coach Josh Mattox has resigned. Mattox is leaving to be the associate head coach of men’s basketball at the University of the Southwest in Hobbs.

Lobos women’s basketball wrapped up summer workouts Thursday. Forward Shaiquel McGruder made the most of her time as she continues to impress with her level of improvement. “It’s not just one area,” said Lobos head coach Mike Bradbury. “I think she’s just getting better. She finishes better. She rebounds it better. She understands what we’re doing better. You know, that kind of stuff. So, everything collectively she’s just doing it better.”

The Albuquerque Isotopes are back home for a dozen of games. It starts with a six-game series against Salt Lake.

The San Francisco Giants got a strong performance from pitcher Johnny Cueto to defeat the L.A. Dodgers Thursday 5-0.

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