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Fourteen locals named All-2-3A in football

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By Dave Kavanaugh

After a season in which he piled up roughly 1,100 rushing yards and an additional 600 through the air, Robertson High School junior quarterback Daniel Martinez has been named one of District 2-3A’s most valuable players in football for 2009.

Martinez leads a list of 14 Meadow City football players to be recognized by the district. Honors were announced Monday by district chairman Matt Martinez of Pojoaque Valley.

Sharing the District 2-3A Co-MVP acclaim is Raton QB Dustin Walton. Walton and the Tigers won the district title and reached the Class 3A semifinals, losing to Socorro, the same team that ousted Robertson in the quarterfinals as week earlier. Socorro plays host to top-seeded Lovington in the state championship game this weekend.

The two MVP quarterbacks brought different styles to the field this season. Walton liked to throw the ball to Raton’s talented corps of receivers. Martinez was more of an option threat, most often working the ground game — either running the ball himself or handing it off to one of his Cardinal backfield mates.

Robertson senior Brandon Baca was named Co-Defensive MVP along with Michael Lamb of St. Michael’s. Baca excelled at defensive end, helping a resurgent Redbird defense to shut out four opponents — notably, the nemesis Horsemen 26-0 at Brother Abdon Field — and hold two others to seven points apiece.

Raton receiver Janti Abaza was tabbed Offensive MVP.

Robertson (8-4 in Richard Martinez’s second season as head coach) had a total of 10 players on the all-district squad.

They included Martinez, Baca, Estevan Baca, Aaron  Archuleta, Luis Lopez, John Pino, Nick Archuleta, Dalan Abreu, Fabian Montoya and Isaac Santa Cruz.

West Las Vegas (2-8 in Mike Ulibarri’s debut season at the helm) had four players honored on the all-district team. They are Caleb Marquez, Spencer Parson, Johnny Roybal and Adrian Lucero.

In addition to Walton and Abaza, nine Tigers made the team: Derrick Valdez, Julio Sanchez, Malachi Morphew, Justin Mattorano, Jacob Butt, Damien Casias, Matt Trujillo, Emilio Mondragon and Thomas Hattaway.

St. Mike’s had six all-district players, including Lamb, Michael Aranda, Russell Disch, Tommy Vigil, Giovanni Coppola and Brian Baca.

Pojoaque Valley, a playoff team after the Elks’ strongest start in program history, placed five on the all-district lineup: Robert Vigil, Michael Garcia, Josh Ortiz, Luke Salazar and Ernesto Herrera.

Both Las Vegas teams relied heavily on younger players this campaign.

Of Robertson’s 10 all-district honorees, four — Brandon Baca, Estevan Baca, Archuleta and Lopez — are seniors; the others, four juniors and two sophomores, are expected back.

West’s Marquez, Parson and Lucero are seniors, but Roybal is a sophomore.