Don’t skip to the end. That’s cheating.
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Amen and pass the gravy. And the ball.
Three area high school football teams took to the practice field Thursday morning, forsaking the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for a little head-banging not long after sunrise.
Class AAA favorite St. Michael’s reported for duty at 8 a.m. in preparation for Saturday’s quarterfinal home game against district rival Hope Christian.
It’s the fourth meeting between the clubs since late last season, and the second in as many years in the playoffs.
Practicing on Thanksgiving is old hat for the Horsemen. Doing so is usually a sign of playoff consistency, and if there’s anything St. Michael’s has shown the last 14 years is exactly that in the postseason.
Another club still going is Escalante, which visits Capitan for the Class A championship on Saturday. The Lobos were out even earlier on Thursday as the team was on the field by 7:30 a.m.
“The whole meal thing, it’s a big family tradition,” said Dusty Giles, Escalante head coach. “I like all that, but I like football, too. If I’m still out here with my team it means we’re doing something right. Besides, we can always eat later.”
It’s Giles’ first chance to practice on Thanksgiving since he was an assistant coach at Artesia nearly a decade ago.
Also alive is Las Vegas Robertson. The Cardinals travel south to Ruidoso on Friday night for another AAA quarterfinal. The Cardinals did a simple walk-through practice on Thursday.
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One of the benefits of being a football player at Lovington High School is tradition. The school has more state titles (18) than any other current member in Class AAA.
One of the bad things about calling Lovington home is seen in this weekend’s playoff matchup against Bloomfield.
Tucked into the extreme southeast corner of the state, the town made famous by Brian Urlacher is a quaint 465 miles from Bloomfield way up in the Four Corners area.
In case you’re wondering, that’s roughly an eight-hour bus ride. Each way.
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Trivia answer: The longest football game in New Mexico’s history took place Nov. 23, 2002, when Ruidoso beat St. Michael’s 62-56 in four overtimes in the AAA playoffs.
The Warriors went on to win the state title as quarterback Josh Adams accounted for all nine Ruidoso touchdowns.
The Horsemen came back the following year to win the first of two state titles under coach Joey Fernandez.