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See how some of the district’s coaches are feeling as they

go into their seasons

Gallup-McKinley County School’s new school year starts Aug. 11, and with that comes new seasons of school sports. The Sun got the chance to talk to some of the district’s coaches about what they’re looking forward to this year.

MIYAMURA’S NEW FOOTBALL COACH

This will be David Foley’s first year as Miyamura’s head football coach. Miyamura’s first official game of the season is on Aug. 19 at home against Aztec, and Foley said he’s really looking forward to it.

“[I’m looking forward to] game one. We’ve been working real hard in the offseason,” Foley said. “I just really love football; I enjoy being out there with the kids and teaching it, but I’m really looking forward to kickoff of that first game, and then we’ll really figure out what we’re good at and what we need to keep working on this season.”

One of the things Foley said he wanted to work on this year was the team’s offensive line.

“I know we need to get a little bit better at the offensive line, so we’re trying to create consistent offensive line blocking rules,” Foley explained. “As I’ve watched film from last year, there were times when there was a little bit of confusion about who they were supposed to block. So that’s one thing I’m hoping we can improve on.”

Foley said he’s also trying to strengthen the JV team, and not focus solely on the varsity team.

“I’m hoping we can do a bit more with the development of our ninth and tenth graders, especially as the school year starts,” he said.

Overall though, Foley said one of his main goals is just to make sure everyone feels included.

“I wanted to give these kids a real competitive fire. We’re trying to do our best to build team unity, get everyone involved.”

Miyamura’s first official game of the season is on Aug. 19 at home against Aztec.

GALLUP HIGH GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Last year, the Lady Bengals went 25-5. This year, after seven seniors graduated, coach Todd McBroom is looking at a pretty different team.

“We’ve kind of got a new group,” McBroom explained. “The group that just graduated, we had seven seniors and I’ve had a lot of those seniors since they were freshmen and sophomores, so we’ve kind of had the same core kids, so we’re going to have some new faces step into some new roles, and it will be exciting to see. I’m excited to get going on it.”

He said that the new team dynamic will allow different players to step up into leadership roles.

“We’ll probably have six or seven seniors again, so we’ll have a nice older group, but we’ll have some young kids stepping in also. We’ll have some young kids to mix in with these seniors, and it’ll be a fun year,” McBroom said.

He said that building chemistry within the new team is one of his major goals.

“When you lose half your roster to graduation, chemistry is always a big thing,” he said. “This is probably the biggest turnover we’ve had, so just messing [the players] together and getting the kids playing together and building the chemistry as the year goes on will be really important.”

The Lady Bengals’s first official practice won’t be until mid-November. McBroom said their first game would be around Thanksgiving.

MIYAMURA WRESTLING

Wrestling season doesn’t start until the winter, but Miyamura wrestling coach Nate Sellers is still getting his team ready to go and also trying to recruit more wrestlers.

Sellers coaches Miyamura’s boys and girls wrestling teams. Last year, the girls won their state championship, and the boys got fifth place at state.

“We’re looking to improve on the boys’ side,” Sellers explained. “It’s a little bit more difficult to retain boys than it is girls for some reason. Wrestling’s a pretty hard sport.”

Sellers said he’s looking forward to guiding the kids and teaching them all about wrestling.

“[I’m looking forward to] developing the kids and giving them opportunities to compete on the highest level in the state,” Sellers said. “It’s all about development and teaching the kids dedication. There’s so much to learn in wrestling, so it’s definitely a life-learning sport when the kids walk into the room.”

Sellers is still trying to recruit more wrestlers for both of his teams. He said part of the reason he doesn’t have as many wrestlers as he would like is because the sport isn’t as well-known as other sports such as football and baseball.

“The biggest thing is just recruitment. I think kids are a little leery to try wrestling out because of the physical contact that’s involved in the sport,” Sellers said. “But just trying to open kids’ minds up to the sport, I think that’s the biggest thing, just trying to get more people to try the sport of wrestling out. It’s not your big sport like baseball, football, or basketball where it’s pushed on kids at a young, young age. We don’t even have middle school wrestling in McKinley County, so a majority of kids don’t even know what wrestling is until their freshman year.”

Although wrestling is a winter sport, Sellers said he works with the kids year-round. When state wrestling finishes up in February, a lot of the kids are right back in the wrestling room training. Sellers said both teams are currently working out three times a week.

Matches won’t begin until December, but Sellers said he’s always recruiting more wrestlers for the two teams.

“The door’s always open,” he said.

THOREAU HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL

Last year Thoreau’s volleyball team had a 11-12 record, and they were runner ups at district. They didn’t make the state tournament, but Coach Kyron White is hoping that will change this year.

“The goal is to try to and get back to the state tournament, but to also do very well in our district,” White said. “I also think as a coach, my goal is to really teach the girls the expectations of what Thoreau volleyball is, just because we are a young team. I think one of my biggest goals is just to have fun and teach them the game.”

Six seniors on the team graduated last year, so White will be coaching a team full of younger players.

“Right now we have a lot of youth on our team,” White said. “Last year we graduated six seniors, so this year I’m thinking we might have 2 or 3 seniors, so we have a lot of girls who are going to be inexperienced in certain situations, but I also think that we have a lot of girls who can play multiple positions […].”

White said tryouts for the team will take place on the first day of school, Aug. 11.

By Molly Ann Howell
Sun Correspondent