Don’t get me wrong, I am not someone who tosses the word “blessed” lightly.
I actually use it rarely, but suffice to say, I think the city of Rio Rancho has been very fortunate to have two great soccer teams to rally around this fall – and for most of the last one. decade.
Let’s go back to the 2011 season, only the third on the field for the Cleveland High program.
It was then that the Storm, then coached by Kirk Potter, had a perfect 13-0 campaign, capped by a victory from behind over host Mayfield at Field of Dreams in Las Cruces.
Now back to 2014: State Championship games have become a tradition in the City of Vision, although I had to correct a local sports fan who suggested we change “City of Vision” to “City champions ”.
We have a long way to go to defeat Artesia and wrest this moniker from the Bulldogs!
Rio Rancho has hosted six of the last seven Class 6A football championship games, including yesterday’s competition featuring the city’s two schools at Thunderbolt Stadium in Cleveland.
Those big games took place at Rio Rancho Stadium in 2014, ’16 and ’19, and at Cleveland High in 2015, 2018 and this weekend.
If you count the score at home, those are seven of the last 10 league games where at least one team from Rio Rancho has played for all the balls.
This city is not known for fans who are passionate about preparation. Most adult fans disappear after their kids graduate and don’t show up to football games, unlike other cities in the state, including Artesia.
Still, those who were at that game on a freezing December Saturday two years ago saw a thriller, with the Cleveland defense stopping the Rams deep inside Storm territory late in the game.
It’s unclear how many of the estimated 6,300 fans who came to see the Storm-Rams game at Rio Rancho Stadium on October 29 (Storm 28-27 win) would show up on Saturday, but those expected to see a good match.
After the match, another episode of good sportsmanship was expected.
Although this game is a heated rivalry, most of the players know their opponents across Northern Boulevard and have played against or with them for many years. There would be hugs as well as tears.
In the other state championship games here, RRHS won in ’14 and ’16; the Storm won in ’15 and lost in ’18.
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding: the power of football in the state was once in the south, where Las Cruces and Mayfield seemed to own it, though La Cueva in Albuquerque and Clovis often had something to say about it. this subject.
Now, however, the power is right here in River City!
You can bet the Observer will be at Thunderbolt Stadium on Saturday, and you will not only be able to see a photo gallery on our website (rrobserver.com), but also a full report of the game, with photos, in the December 5 edition of the Observer.
We would have liked to have the story in today’s issue, but press hours, carrier availability, and significant spending would not allow us to move our usual Friday night deadline.