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Sixth Annual Four Corners Football Tournament

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The Sixth Annual Four Corners Youth Football Championships kicked off Oct. 29 with a Business After Hours for the Chamber of Commerce at the Sammy C. Chioda TDFL Field, featuring the season finale of Pee Wee Flag Football, Green Chile Cheeseburgers and giveaways.

The night of Oct. 30 is the Community Welcome for all the teams checking in and there will be food, games and entertainment for all at this Four Corner’s Fan Fest. The festivities start at 7 pm at the Mickey Mantle Park in Ford Canyon and everyone is invited to attend.

The tournament starts on Oct. 31 at 9 am with games and concessions at all six locations in town: the TDFL Field; Sports Complex; Mickey Mantle Park; Public School Stadium; Miyamura High School; and Gallup High School. Pick up a schedule at any of the fields for more information on which teams play where and at what time.

Gallup will have teams in each age division from eight-twelve and Window Rock will have a ten-year-old team in the tournament as well. Other teams will be coming in from Alamogordo, Albuquerque, Farmington, Cortez, Grants, Moab, UT, and Pueblo, Colo.

Gallup followers have a choice of times to watch some local boys play. Starting at 9 on Saturday, the 8-9 year-olds will take on the Grants Pirates on the TDFL Field and finish with Moab at 3 on the Mickey Mantle Field. The 8-year old Gallup Tigers will play the Farmington Panthers in a best-of-three series starting at 11 on Saturday at Mickey Mantle and continuing at 9 and 1 on Sunday, if needed, on the same field.

The Window Rock Cardinals 10-year-old team will play the Farmington Panthers at 9 Saturday on the Mickey Mantle Field and then take on the La Gente Bombers at 3 in the Sports Complex.

The Gallup Patriots 10-11-year-olds will play the Montezuma-Cortez Titans at 9 on Saturday in the Sports Complex and return on Sunday at the TDFL Field, starting at 1, to play the Grants Pirates.

In the 12-year-old division, the Gallup Renegades play the Alamogordo Tigers at 1 on Saturday at Mickey Mantle.Win or lose, the Renegades will play again at 9 Sunday, with the winners at TDFL and the losers at Public School Stadium.

No local teams are in the 12-13-year-old division, but the Grand County Thunderbirds, Farmington Wolfpack, and Volcano Vista East Hawks promise a lot of excitement.

For the first time in this tournament, the TDFL Flag Football teams will also have a bracket of their own. The Broncos play the Giants at 1 on Saturday in the Sports Complex and the Raiders take on the Cardinals at 3 on the TDFL Field. The winner of the latter game will be forced into another game at 5 against the Cowboys. The championship game is scheduled for 11 Sunday on the TDFL Field, pitting the two survivors against each other.

For safety, the Gallup Fire Department will supply EMT’s at each field and Dr. Lawrence Andrade is on call, too. The local league has participated in the Concussion Safety USA Heads Up Program and won a couple of grants in the process. The NFL affiliated program is also sending Roy Gerela as a representative for this event. Gerela played in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers and has the Super Bowl rings to prove it.

The field officials are all high school qualified and are led by Theodore Saucedo and Jobito Sabal.

“It is a community event,” said Sammy Chioda. “There is no admission charge for any of the games. We just want everyone to enjoy themselves.”


Undefeated Mid School Football Team

The undefeated Gallup Mid School Mustangs played their final game of the season against Tohatchi on Oct. 28 at Public School Stadium. It was not a close contest as the Mustangs romped 58-14, scoring early and often.

The first play of the game for the Mustangs was a pitch from QB Trey Keeler to RB Kory Padavich on a sweep to the right and a touchdown. According to former coach Curtis Fortney, the team has started each game this season with the same play and has scored every time.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Tohatchi receiver was making good time down the sideline when he was stripped of the ball, fumble recovery to Gallup. After a tremendous Tohatchi sack of Keeler on the next play, the Mustangs returned to the basics, handed off to Padavich and scored their second touchdown. By the end of the quarter the score was 28-0.

Players listed on the Gallup roster were: Yele Aycock; Isaac Bustinza; Zackary Byman; Blaze Cervantes; Kyle DeArmond; Tyler Denetdale; Bradley Dooley; Jack Dowling; Lance Evans; Dante Griego; Drake Guerro; Damien Housner; Joseph Jaramillo; Cole Jim; Trey Keeler; Mathew Marquez; Alex Martinez; Christopher Motenson; Trs McDonald; LaJon Nastacio; Noah Oliver; Kory Padavich; Clancy Polich; Rudy Romero; J.C. Sanchez; Jackson Stacey; Tristan Teller; Kyle Thompson; Michael Thompson; Tanoan Webster; and Jaythen Willie.

Of these 31 players, 19 can and do play on both sides of the ball, spreading their talent around the field as they prepare themselves to enter the high school ranks in another year or two, contributing to the Bengal or Patriot teams.