ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The 2022 high school football season is now just weeks away, and the Cibola Cougars are feeling confident after their first week of practices. “Great effort, great attitude, and again our numbers are as high as they have been. We have about 148 kids out here and everyone is working really hard to be great,” said Cibola Football Coach Chris Howe.

Howe is entering his first season as head coach of the Cougars but overall, comes in with 24 years of coaching experience. Numbers may be high at Cibola, but this team will be down their star quarterback from the past three years. Aden Chavez left the state over the summer, so Howe needed to fill that position, and he feels like he has found the right guy.

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Daniel Benham has been named the starter under center and he fits Howe’s new system perfectly, as he hopes to balance out the run and the pass game in 2022. “He’s a great athlete, he’s a basketball player as well. Throws the ball well, he also runs the ball real well. At the UNM clinic, he was clocked at 4.6 multiple times. So, he’s going to be a fast kid that can pull the ball, as well as throw the ball downfield,” said Howe.

Benham was a safety last year, but playing QB growing up, he feels confident taking over under center. “I am pretty excited, it was definitely an unexpected position, but I am ready to do what we need to do to win,” said Daniel Benham. “It’s definitely a different-paced offense that we have done in the past. We are going to do a lot more running than we have, but it’s where I am most comfortable and I’m just happy to be here,” said Benham.

Cibola will open their season on August 19 against Eldorado at Wilson Stadium.