Sports Desk: Highland Hornets to play Thursday

Local Sports

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The Highland High Hornets, who decided to opt-out of their game against the Eldorado Eagles due to safety concerns for their young players and small numbers in the program, will play on Thursday against a different opponent.

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“Remember what we talked about this morning. We were going to be prepared no matter what because anything can happen, right? Well, anything happened. We’re going to play Thursday night versus West Las Vegas. Yes sir,” said Hornets’ Head Coach Phil Lovato.

“Amazing. You know, excited. We get to show what we got the first week as everybody else does, show what we have. Show what we’ve been working on the whole summer,” said Hornets Lineman Diego Torres.

The Hornets will play at West Las Vegas. It’s a smaller school than Eldorado. After meeting with parents, Coach Lovato had decided to opt out of the game against Eldorado because he only has 20 players and about half are freshmen who have never even played football.

Lovato says it all comes down to scheduling from APS. “When you see the schedule we have, we’re 50% higher classification. You know, how is that safe? When you have parents asking you how can my kid, whose never played football before step on a varsity football field. You know, I had to address that and that’s what we did,” Coach Lovato said. “I mean, it was frustrating to see what they put us against compared to our numbers and things like that, you know.”

Albuquerque High is next on the schedule and Coach Lovato isn’t sure at the moment if his team will play that game. He says each game will be looked at closely before the Hornets decide it’s a go. “If we have no injuries and we’re healthy, you know, we’ll look at the next game to see if we match against them. You know, if we have 20 and they have a roster of 90. You know, it’s not about our 11 versus their 11. It’s when you get to the third and the fourth quarter, the fatigue sets in. That’s when injuries happen,” said Coach Lovato.

Highland’s original opponent, Eldorado, will play West Mesa Saturday.

Turning to Lobo football, Donte Martin is feeling more like himself these days. The Lobos redshirt junior cornerback had a knack for pass breakups last season with quarterbacks completing just 35% of their attempts against him. His biggest opponent was during the offseason when he came down with COVID-19.

“For the most part, I don’t feel any after-effects. When I first came back, yeah, I was very tired. But I’m good to go now, in the best condition I’ve ever been in. I’ve been working on my speed, on my hips because I felt like last season my hips were a little bit stiff, coming off COVID. I started working on my footwork when I was at home during the spring and when I came back during the summer,” said Martin.

Meanwhile, the Lobo women’s soccer is back on the pitch to compete for the first time since losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The team is playing an exhibition match against Ft. Lewis Monday night at 7:30 p.m.

Admission for that game is free and the Lobos are hosting a school supply drive for APS and are asking fans to donate.

Lastly, the Albuquerque Isotopes are playing a pair of seven-inning games Monday against the Sugarland Skeeters.

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