The great thing about high school athletics is that it allows players to participate in multiple sports. Only in rare instances do top tier high school athletes get to play multiple sports in college. Currently, some of next year's top prospects in football are working on their competitive edge in track and field, baseball and club basketball. Here is a look.
Dylan Barba of Belen High School has been hot of late, scorching the track in a recent meet with a 100 meter time of 10.99 and a 200 meter time of 22.99. Joined by fellow sprinters Malcolm and Michael Mayes, the Belen sprints look very impressive so far this season. Barba's work on the track so far this spring has Belen head football coach John Lerma very excited and future Eagle opponents nervous. Last season, playing at quarterback, Barba rushed for right at 900 yards for his 10-2 squad, spearheading one of the top running offenses in 4A. Barba averaged nine yards a carry, using his sprinter's speed to great effect.
If speed kills keep an eye out for Jake Espinoza of Aztec High School. The 5-10 170 pound junior has posted a 10.64 100 meters already this season making him tops in 4A track. This past season in football, Espinoza's speed was put to great use for his 12-1 squad. Espinoza hauled in 54 catches and averaged over seven yards a carry while combining for 17 total scores. Teaming again with hot shot QB Brycson King, who threw for over 4,000 yards, Aztec could, once again make a playoff run.
This past weekend Clovis' Richie Chavez threw the disc 156-8 at Hereford track meet to take first place at the event. Along with work with the disc, the powerful Chavez holds the top throw in 5A shot with a very good 55-5.5. The 6-1 230 pounder returns next season for the Clovis football team as one of the top tight ends in the state. Clovis lost a load of seniors from last year's 11-2 squad, so player such as Chavez will need to step up big time.
Sandia High School linebacker Seth McVey also is getting it done in the offseason. The 6-1 217 pound junior recently qualified for state in the shot put with a throw of over 49 feet. Much of his throws success comes from explosiveness built around 4.68 speed and a 335 pound bench and 405 pound squat. Next fall this explosion should go to work on opponent ball carriers.
Top footballers are not only getting after it in track and field, they are staying sharp playing high level basketball across the county for AAU and club teams. Often these players will play 50 plus games in the spring and summer. One top footballer who is honing is competitive edge is Ronnie Daniels of La Cueva. The junior to be will be playing in tournaments across the west this offseason. Daniels helped his La Cueva squad to the 5A basketball title last month and returns for his football team as one of the top backs in the state.
All-League lineman Jake McCasland of Piedra Vista continues to make a claim as one of the best on the diamond in New Mexico. This past weekend, the dual threat pitcher/homerun hitter led his team with a homerun and complete game victory over rival Farmington to move to 14-4.
These young athletes go year around. All have been working in the weight room, soon they will begin spring ball and summer means tournaments, 7 on 7, more workouts, combines and camps. Forget no rest for the weary, there is no rest for the good