ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Gateway Christian comes into the 2022 6-man football season as the defending state champion and with something to play for. The Warriors took last year’s title over Ramah in a 70-28 victory, however at halftime of that game, the Gateway Christian community suffered a major loss when head coach Mickey Reeves collapsed and later died in a hospital at the age of 51.

“I think the true legacy of anybody is not what you do when you are here, its what happens when you are gone,” coach Shaun Wigley said. “If that carries on, and I see it in those seniors. I see it in those seniors and I see it in that group of kids. We are not playing season for him, we are playing the season the way he would have wanted us to play it, and if we do that I feel like he will be proud of us.”

While the players have had success on the gridiron, they hope they can grow into the men that Reeves wanted them to be off the field. They formed a strong bond with their coach and want to make him proud.

“Him calling plays, just messing around and hanging out while doing the same thing, him coaching buy at the same time, I mean we miss him for that,” said QB/DE Hayden Wigley. “We are always going to try our best. he would have always wanted us to try our best. We did it while he was here and we will do it while he is not. We are going to play as hard as we can.”

Gateway Christian opens their season on Friday, August 26 against Carrizozo.