The Hayden football team reached the state playoffs last season for the first time in nearly a decade, when current Lobos’ head coach John Estrada led the 2007 team to a 10 – 2 record.
Estrada expected last season’s results to increase the number of players on the team in 2017 but it’s simply not the case, as only 16 players were on the roster for the season opener.
“It has been somewhat disappointing in regards to our numbers,” Estrada recently told the Copper Basin News. “There are a lot of good athletes out there that can help the program that choose not to play.”
“I was optimistic with our success last year we would have more players,” he continued. “Nonetheless, the kids we have will represent on Friday nights. They had a good summer and continue to work hard.”
Perhaps it’s better to look at this season in terms of quality above quantity and the Lobos have plenty of the former.
Five defensive starters figure to be the strength of this year’s team, including Noah Monroy and Omar Lopez.
On offense, the Lobos return several skill position players as well as starting quarterback Mario Mariscal. Joel Rodriguez, Robert Bohrn and Frankie Valencia will make significant contributors in 2017.
“We’re working hard to be game ready by (the season opener),” Estrada answered when asked for his overall impressions of the Lobos. “As long as we do our jobs, execute, hit, and stay healthy, we’ll be ok.”