The 2023 football season offers unique challenges for all three of Socorro’s high school football teams, from youth to the inability to hold practices for several reasons.

The weather has been a factor, with Socorro, Magdalena, and Alamo Navajo having to dodge a week’s worth of thunderstorms. Following the weather, the loss of an electrical substation caused classes to be dismissed in Magdalena and Alamo.

Then Alamo picked up a complete hattrick in the problems department when a water well that supplied most of the community and the school went down, leaving the vast majority of people there without water.

The 2023 Warrior football team is well supported by the varsity cheerleaders and Charisma Blues dance team.
Deanne Chavez | Contributed


For the Warriors, it’s about reloading and pursuing a six consecutive district 3–3A title. Before that can happen, Socorro has a lot of growing up to do, but certainly has the athleticism to get the job done.

The Warriors defeated Class 4A Espanola 4–3 in scrimmage action before taking it on the chin in week one against Robertson, New Mexico’s top 3A preseason team.

Socorro had four turnovers, including a pass picked off inside the Espanola 5-yard line, and was still threatening to turn the game around before falling 28-13.

Mistakes and being a bit behind in their conditioning hurt the Warriors, as several players went down with cramps.

“If you told me we were going to make as many mistakes as we did, and it was a two-touchdown game and very well could have been a one-touchdown game – I would have said no way,” Socorro coach Damien Ocampo said. “The mistakes that we made are fixable. I’d say most of the mistakes start with me, whether it was play calls or we didn’t prepare enough.”

With four returning starters on offense and three on defense, the theme for the Warriors isn’t about rebuilding but more about reloading its offensive weapons. Senior wideout Alex Amaro is a go-to target for quarterback Isaiah Ocampo. Still, sophomore wideout Jay Lee had a breakout night against Espanola, and sophomore Jake Angel also shows promise.

Freshman Chase Boykin put himself on the radar with a solid performance at running back and even more so from the middle linebacker spot, where he made solid reads that made him a force inside Espanola’s backfield.


Magdalena is down in numbers but the Steers have plenty of talent to compete for a district title.
Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain

In Magdalena, it’s a numbers game where the Steers had 14 players suited up last week, and that is eight less than the team fielded last season. A couple of key players who were expected to come out are focused on other activities.

It doesn’t matter if he has 26 or 14 players coach Danny Daniels’ philosophy is simple.

“I’m going to coach the kids who are here and make their season the best one possible. We might be short on numbers, but we have some good athletes and should be competitive.”

Sophomore Shane Montoya is lining up to be the Steers’ quarterback, and Daniels likes what he sees.

“He’s doing good. He’s where we need him to be,” Daniels said. “We want to give him as many touches as possible in practice so that he sees all those different little throws.”

The electrical issues causing the closing of school meant no practices, and Magdalena elected to forfeit the Steers’ opener against Tatum. Magdalena will get its first taste of the season in Pine Hill on Saturday at 1 p.m.


With more players coming out for football, the Cougars are concentrating on getting a win or two in 2023.
Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain

Things could be much better logistically for Alamo Navajo with a trifecta of hindrances for coach Wyatt Billy and Cougars, who are relearning the game of football.

Billy took over a program that was a ground-floor rebuild following COVID, and the coach was left with players who lacked the most basic of fundamentals. His athletes had been ingrained with no touching for safety, and early on, the Cougars’ body language indicated a reluctance to make true contact.

Things look brighter this year with 18 players on the roster and an experienced quarterback in sophomore Scotty Guerro looking to hook up with wide receivers Jurale Tsosie and Mathis Ruben.

The most exciting player to watch is likely man-child sophomore Andy Pino. The Cougars didn’t provide a height and weight chart, but Pino appears to be the biggest football player in Socorro County. He may lack experience, but he’s quick, has good feet, and more weight room work could uncork a formidable defensive tackle and offensive guard.

Alamo hasn’t picked up a win in the last three seasons, and that’s what Billy has his team focused on.

“We’ve got two seniors this year, and last year, we had one. We’ve got five juniors this season. We’re just looking for our first win. That’s what we’re looking for right now. That’s the main goal this year. We all learned the ropes, and we know the plays. Everybody’s grown up with each other a bit, so now’s a real bond to get this first one.”

The Cougars 2023 roster includes Mathias Ruben, Jurale Tsosie, Kei Apachito, Wyatt Hunter, Andy Pino, Erby Apachito, Pherrell Herrera, Alexandria Jake, Scotty Guerro, Johnshay Padilla, Zephaniah  Guerro, Cojay Piasso, Mclane Guerro, Terrell Monte.