By Eric Butler: PNT Correspondent
Portales High’s football players could be at a major disadvantage when it comes to one area of the Class 3A North/South All-Star game: Not enough decals with which to barter.
When the best seniors of last season trade blows on the gridiron this Saturday, teammates on both squads generally pass some of the time by decorating their helmets with the logos of other teams around the state.
At the end of the game, which will take place at Highlands University, most of the helmets are covered with a variety of symbols associated with one-time rivals.
Portales’ head-gear, these days, doesn’t have a logo. The solid red helmet isn’t embellished with any kind of insignia representing the school.
Rams’ coach Andy Correll, knowing this, has sent his four players to the South squad with whatever he can spare.
“I told them they need to bring ‘em back just like they took ‘em. They were practically brand new,” Correll said. “No, really, that’s a pretty neat deal for them to do — go up there and exchange decals.
“Of course, we don’t have any, but I gave them a couple of things they could take up there,” he added. “We had some old letter ‘P’s that we used to have on our helmets a long time ago and they took those up there.”
Representing Portales at the North/South football game on Saturday will by Jacob Brady, Toby Garcia, Sammy Martinez and Chris Mosier
Brady was a center for the Rams in 2007 while Garcia was also on the offensive line at guard. Martinez was a standout in the defensive secondary at cornerback while Mosier was Portales’ quick and evasive quarterback.
Correll said he anticipates that his players will see action at their accustomed spots on the field.
“I think they can move them around a little bit, have the offensive guys play defense some,” Correll said. “But pretty much where they played is where they’ll be.”
The football game begins at 7 p.m. Saturday night. The all-star weekend for Class 3A begins tonight, however, with a pair of basketball games.
At 6 p.m., the girls 3A North/South game will begin the evening with the boys all-star tilt to follow.
Portales has two selections on the girls Class 3A South squad in recent graduates Bethany Self and Vicki Huber. Self, who has begun volleyball workouts with New Mexico State, won’t be able to attend.
In five years of the event, the North has won four times over the South in the 3A girls all-star game. The South, however, has a 4-3 edge in the boys basketball game as it heads into its eighth year.
The South has fairly dominated in the football game, taking five of the seven contests thus far.
Connie Trujillo, organizer of the event in Las Vegas, said that the 3A games help give smaller school athletes a chance to shine.
“When we only had the big schools (games), it was hard to get them in there. We have some excellent athletes in 3A, but we couldn’t get them any playing time,” Trujillo said.