A breakthrough season for the Santa Fe High football program isn’t quite over.
The Demons gathered Friday at Toby Roybal Memorial Gymnasium to celebrate the signings of seniors Martell Mora and Ben White’s scholarships to two state universities. Mora, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior running back, signed his letter of intent to play at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. To Mora’s right was 6-foot-4, 270-pound senior lineman Ben White, who signed to play at Western New Mexico University.
Mora will play safety for the Greyhounds, while White expects to play somewhere on the offensive line for the Mustangs. Both schools participate in the Lone Star Conference, which means the two former teammates will become adversaries for at least one game in the season starting in the fall.
White said he received an offer from Western New Mexico University early in the recruiting process and considered them the clear favorite to sign him. He said discussions with former Demons teammate Trent Jones, who was a first-year defensive end for the Mustangs this season, convinced him this was the best place for him.
He added that the coaching staff insisted on gaining weight, especially since he lost weight to compete for the wrestling team.
“I like that it feels like a family,” White said. “It’s a really isolated town, and there aren’t a lot of distractions. Seems like a good place to focus on my education and football.
White played six games after temporarily moving to Florida early in the season, but was part of a rushing offense that totaled more than 180 yards per game and helped Mora gain 1,230 rushing yards. He recorded six pancake blocks and 12 tackles while splitting time on the defensive line.
White said having the chance to play with his senior teammates, who he’s played with a lot since he was a freshman, and helping the Demons to a winning record was rewarding. Santa Fe High head coach Andrew Martinez says fullback and linebacker Adan Chavez, lineman Santiago Quintana and tight end and defensive lineman Patrick Gardner are attracting interest from other football programs, and there might be one or two more that might end up playing collegiately by the end of it. recruiting season.
That would be quite the exclamation point for a season that has seen the program grow in stature through the Class 6A ranks.
“That says a lot about these guys,” Martinez said. “It also shows everyone in our program that if you work hard, do the right things, and do well in school, you can end up where you want to be.”
Martinez also deserves some credit for helping his players get attention from other programs, White said. He and the coaching staff have helped players create profiles on recruiting websites, primarily Hudl, and create videos of their performances for recruiters to use. White added Martinez and the staff also stressed to seniors the importance of being leaders and helping younger players follow in their footsteps.
“It’s great to see that not only is our class succeeding, but other classes are succeeding as well,” White said.