ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As the high school basketball season rolls into 2023, Atrisco Heritage Academy has established itself as a true contender for the boys’ 5A title. The Jaguars are going into the Albuquerque Metro Tournament with a 10-1 record and ranked as the second-top team in the state.

Steve Heredia took over as head coach of the program during game six of last season and took the squad all the way to the semi-finals of the state tournament. Now in his first season as the lead man, he attributes his success to maintaining the winning tradition that has been established at the school.

“The leadership is exactly the strength of our culture, and it trickles down from seniors to juniors, juniors to sophomores, and sophomores to freshmen,” said Heredia. “The expectation is always playing the last Saturday in March.”

“I feel like us kids being from the south valley, it’s in us, it’s in our blood,” senior captain Tony Pacheco said. “We’re fighting to get what’s ours. We don’t take anything that’s handed; we go earn it.”


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The team has remained humble through the successful start to the season, knowing that wins in November and December won’t mean much in March.

“We got to be good now, but we got to be great later in March when the tournament comes around,” said sophomore guard Tay Morris. “We work together, our chemistry is there, but we can always get better. We always can get more shots, run, play better defense, and building all those things up.”