Socorro outside linebacker Caden Moreland is headed to Eastern New Mexico University to play football.
Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain

After a season where he earned first-team All-State honors on both sides of the football, Socorro’s Caden Moreland will continue his football career at Eastern New Mexico.

Moreland made his college choice official as he signed his National Letter of Intent to play football for the Greyhounds. ENMU went 3-8 last season and can use the help of a player like Moreland, who played outside linebacker and wide receiver for the 11-1 Warriors this season.

Moreland led the Warriors in tackles this past season with 72, including 45 solo stops and 13 tackles for losses. On offense, Moreland snagged 18 receptions for 343 yards and a 19.1-yard per-catch average that translated to five touchdowns.

“The coaches at ENMU want to win, and the head coach Kelley Lee is a really good coach. He’s pushing his team to win, and I really like the facilities,” Moreland said. “I think this is an excellent situation for me.”

Moreland plans to do general studies as he decides his career path, because he would one day like to be his own shot-caller.

“I don’t know what I will major in yet. I will see if there is anything that interests me, but if there’s not, I probably get a business degree in business management,” Moreland said. “I want to get into the workforce, work my way up, and become my own boss one day.”

Coaching sports has also been on his mind, and he’s thinking about being an assistant if that happens.

As the only current college football signee in the 2023 class, Moreland has had some time to reflect on things he might have done differently, and he admits he wishes he had worked harder in high school.

“If I were advising a freshman player, I would tell them they have that fire when you go into the weight room and get hyped up for everything you do. Don’t lose your fire,” Moreland said.

Moreland admits he kind of lost his fire for a while and started thinking he didn’t have to work as hard as he needed.

“I got to a point where I thought I was the best player on the team, and I didn’t have to work as hard, and I was wrong,” Moreland said.

It was a loss to Robertson that reignited Moreland’s flame, and his senior season was all out — all the time.

“I’m not saying I didn’t work hard, but I started working harder and expecting more out of myself,” Moreland said.

Moreland has always been competitive, and he’ll have his mom, Erin Bales, to compete against for the best grades in the family next fall. Bales, a long-time teacher in Socorro, is leaving her position to also attend school at ENMU to continue her education.