Socorro placekicker Kaden Dow and defensive lineman Andres Gonzales are headed to Artesia on Dec. 2 after being selected to play in the New Mexico High School Coaches Association All-Star football game.
Dow connected on 44 of 47 extra-point kicks and clicked on the only field goal he was assigned this season. Coaches in the All-Star game might look at Dow for additional duty after he led the Warriors in tackles with 52 stops.
“Kaden just showed us so much this year because he hasn’t been able to play fully the last couple of years. This year, he’s finally been able to get out there and help us on the field, and he has improved so much all year; he’s not just a good kicker — he’s a good football player. I wouldn’t be surprised if whichever coach he’s playing for uses him a little bit outside of kicking,” Warrior football coach Damien Ocampo said.
Gonzales’ selection came after he laid off from the game of football for a couple of years before electing to play his senior season.
“Every year, I told him we’d love to have him if he could come because I remember how good he was in middle school. He finally bought in this year. Andres is one of those kids that is just born to play football. He’s just such a good ballplayer,” Ocampo said.
While having a pair in the All-Star game is excellent, Ocampo admitted disappointment at senior Alex Amaro not being selected. Coaches vote on athletes making the game, and there are limited spots.
“I feel like we should add a couple of other guys on the team,” Ocampo said. “I know that many coaches thought the world of Alex, especially there at the end of the season. He was limping. He could hardly get through anything, and everybody could tell he was hurting, but he kept playing. He’s so tough. I get all these great comments from these other coaches about how tough he is and how good a player he is. I hate, and I love that we have an all-star game because some deserving players get left out.”
As the Warriors close out their 2023 season, Ocampo also expressed his appreciation for the support shown to his football team.
“I love this community. When I moved here long ago, I knew it was something special. That’s why we decided to call this place our home. My wife and I love the people here. I love the community. I love the camaraderie,” Ocampo said. “I’ve lived in so many places growing up. And by far, to me, this is home. I love that people expect a lot out of us. I love that this community expects us to be good every year. I want to thank everyone who helped support us.”