ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – If last season’s COVID-19 shortened season is any indication of what could be, the Valley Vikings might be in for a decent year. They only played three games last season and finished 2-1 and that was coming off a winless 0-10 season the prior year.
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“We started nine freshmen,” said Vikings Head Coach Judge Chavez. “So, our young kids have experience at the varsity level. So, that’s been good.” What’s not good is the total number of players in the program this season, which sits at right around 30. Low numbers seem to be an issue throughout the state.
“Well I’ve talked to other coaches around town, numbers are bad everywhere,” said Chavez. “I think there are five or six teams that aren’t going to have a JV team. I heard one school only had 17 kids out, one only had 14 kids out. So, I don’t know if people just don’t want to play football anymore or, you know, this pandemic still causing issues with kids wanting to play, parents not letting kids play.”
Chavez is in his 43rd year coaching high school football. It is his sixth season with the Valley Vikings who will start 2021 with a game against the Sandia Matadors on Aug. 19.