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Kickoff 2014

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Fall sports schedule ready to roll in the Meadow City

By The Staff

No longer in the shadows, the Robertson High football program has emerged as the team to beat on the Class 4A gridiron this fall.

This time last year, most pundits had the Cardinals pencilled in as an also-ran behind St. Michael’s, Silver and Lovington.

But Lovington had a bad year. St. Mike’s looked unstoppable right up until the Cards pulled off the upset of 2013 in snowy Santa Fe. And Silver was just good enough to join RHS in the title game but not good enough to stop the Redbirds from capturing the program’s third Class 3A state football championship.

Head coach Leroy Gonzalez lost a few seniors from that squad, but much of the core group is back. All-state candidate Dominic Lucero is a ground-chewing rusher on offense and a hard-hitting hunter on defense. He’s set up for more big numbers courtesy of an underrated line. Francisco “Coco” Arguello, Nate Archuleta and J.R. Gonzalez are among the other playmakers.

As with years past, the Redbirds will have a mostly rigorous early schedule. If they can stay healthy through it, they figure to be battle-toughened for district and beyond.

One advantage they won’t have this time: the relative anonymity they enjoyed in 2013. The preseason MaxPreps and NMOTSC.com polls have Robertson as the No. 1 team in the state.

The Cardinals also have to face 2014 without several assistant coaches who’ve been integral to their success. Chief among them is Adrian Gonzales, who accepted an offer to take over the program at crosstown West Las Vegas, his alma mater. Gonzales and fellow longtime RHS assistant Doug Cavanaugh, along with Shawn Tapia, are in construction mode at West.

The Dons have gotten off to an optimistic start under Gonzales, whose resume includes multiple championship runs with Robertson as an assistant. West will get a good test in the preseason, scrimmaging Portales, but the early portion of the schedule sets up nicely for the Dons to make incremental week-by-week improvements.

WLV volleyball, which made an inspired run into the 2013 state tournament after the team’s beloved coach Mary Bustos died on the eve of the tourney, finds itself in a similar situation to the RHS gridders. The Lady Dons are expected to do well, continuing under the direction of new head coach Karli Salazar, and ranked as high as second in preseason polls.

Other new coaches: Ray Parks (RHS boys’ soccer), Dominique Montoya (RHS volleyball), John Bonchi (WLV soccer).

Robertson girls’ soccer is mostly healthy again and will have both Caitlin and Morgan Diefendorf back to lead the charge for the first time since the squad reached the 2012 state semifinals. Coach Ian Williamson’s group also boasts a promising core of underclassmen.

New Mexico Highlands University’s men’s cross country team, one of the most consistent programs in terms of competitive quality, figures to be back in contention this fall under longtime coach Bob DeVries, although the Cowboys lost Henrique Chavez to graduation.

NMHU should also be solid in women’s soccer, returning most of its standouts from a season ago while bolstering the lineup with underclassmen. The Cowgirls and coach Justin Wagar look to make a return trip to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference postseason.

Fall 2014 composite sports schedule

Wednesday, Aug. 27
SOCCER
Robertson boys vs. Clovis, 3 p.m., RHS field
Friday, Aug. 29
FOOTBALL
Robertson vs. Portales, 7 p.m., Cardinal Stadium
West Las Vegas at Clayton, 7 p.m., Clayton
VOLLEYBALL
West Las Vegas at Belen tournament, Belen
Saturday, Aug. 30
CROSS COUNTRY
Robertson, West Las Vegas at Española Valley, 8 a.m., Española
VOLLEYBALL
Robertson (A,B) at Raton, 2 p.m., Raton
West Las Vegas at Belen tournament, Belen
Tuesday, Sept. 2
SOCCER
Robertson boys at Capital, 3 p.m., Santa Fe
Robertson girls at Capital, 5 p.m., Santa Fe
West Las Vegas girls at Valencia, 4 p.m., Los Lunas
VOLLEYBALL
Robertson (A,B,C) at St. Michael’s, 4 p.m., Santa Fe
West Las Vegas (A,B) at Raton, 4 p.m., Raton
Friday, Sept. 5
FOOTBALL
West Las Vegas at Española Valley, 7 p.m., Española
SOCCER
NMHU women at Texas-Permian Basin, 6 p.m., Odessa, Texas
Robertson girls at Navajo Prep, TBA, Rehoboth tourney
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU at Texas A&M-Commerce and Texas Women’s, 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., Canyon, Texas
Saturday, Sept. 6
CROSS COUNTRY
NMHU at George Kyte Invite, Northern Arizona, 9 a.m., Flagstaff, Ariz.
Robertson at Del Norte, 8 a.m., Albuquerque
FOOTBALL
NMHU vs. Eastern New Mexico, 6 p.m., Perkins Stadium
Robertson at Cobre, 1 p.m., Bayard
SOCCER
Robertson boys vs. Socorro, noon, RHS field
Robertson girls at Rehoboth, TBA, Rehoboth tourney
VOLLEYBALL
West Las Vegas (A,B,C) vs. Socorro, 1 p.m., Gillie Lopez Gym
NMHU at Truman State and Eastern New Mexico, 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., Canyon, Texas
Sunday, Sept. 7
SOCCER
NMHU women at Angelo State, 11 a.m., San Angelo, Texas
Tuesday, Sept. 9
SOCCER
Robertson boys at Belen, 4 p.m., Belen
Robertson girls vs. Belen, 3 p.m., RHS field
VOLLEYBALL
Robertson (A,B) at Santa Rosa, 4 p.m.
West Las Vegas (A,B,C) vs. Valencia, 4 p.m., Gillie Lopez Gym
Wednesday, Sept. 10
SOCCER
Robertson girls vs. St. Michael’s, 4 p.m., RHS field
Thursday, Sept. 11
SOCCER
NMHU women vs. West Texas A&M, 7 p.m., Perkins Stadium
VOLLEYBALL
Robertson (A,B,C) vs. Socorro, 4 p.m., Mike Marr Gym
West Las Vegas (A,B,C) vs. Raton, 4 p.m., Gillie Lopez Gym
Friday, Sept. 12
CROSS COUNTRY
NMHU at Texas Tech, 6 p.m., Lubbock, Texas
FOOTBALL
Robertson at Santa Rosa, 7 p.m., Santa Rosa
West Las Vegas vs. Laguna Acoma, 7 p.m., Herrera Complex
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU at Southeastern Oklahoma State and Southern Nazarene, 1 and 4 p.m., Ada, Okla.
Saturday, Sept. 13
CROSS COUNTRY
Robertson at Academy for Technology and the Classics, 8 a.m., Santa Fe
West Las Vegas at Jemez Valley, 8 a.m., Jemez
FOOTBALL
NMHU at Northern Arizona, TBA, Flagstaff, Ariz.
SOCCER
NMHU women vs. Eastern New Mexico, 7 p.m., Perkins Stadium
Robertson girls vs. Santa Fe Indian, 11 a.m., RHS field
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU at Washburn and East Central, 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., Ada, Okla.
Robertson (B,C) and West Las Vegas (C) at Española tournament, 9 a.m., Española
Tuesday, Sept. 16
SOCCER
Robertson boys at St. Michael’s, 3:30 p.m., Santa Fe
VOLLEYBALL
West Las Vegas (A,B,C) at Santa Fe Prep, 4 p.m., Santa Fe
Wednesday, Sept. 17
SOCCER
NMHU women at Colorado State-Pueblo, 7 p.m., Pueblo, Colo.
Robertson boys vs. East Mountain, TBA, RHS field
Robertson girls vs. East Mountain, TBA, RHS field
VOLLEYBALL
Robertson (A,B,C) at Capital, 4 p.m., Santa Fe
Thursday, Sept. 18
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU vs. Metro State, 7 p.m., Wilson Complex
Friday, Sept. 19
FOOTBALL
Robertson vs. St. Michael’s, 7 p.m., Cardinal Stadium
West Las Vegas vs. Capital (homecoming), 7 p.m., Herrera Complex
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU vs. Colorado School of Mines, 5 p.m., Wilson
Robertson, West Las Vegas at Tournament of Champions, Santa Fe
Saturday, Sept. 20
CROSS COUNTRY
Robertson at Bosque, 8 a.m., Albuquerque
West Las Vegas at Manzano, 8 a.m., Albuquerque
FOOTBALL
NMHU vs. Western New Mexico (homecoming), 1 p.m., Perkins Stadium
SOCCER
Robertson boys vs. Goddard, 1 p.m., RHS field
Robertson girls at Socorro, 11 a.m., Socorro
West Las Vegas girls at Taos, 11 a.m., Taos
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU vs. Colorado Christian, 7 p.m., Wilson
Robertson, West Las Vegas at Tournament of Champions, Santa Fe
Sunday, Sept. 21
SOCCER
NMHU women vs. Fort Lewis, noon, Perkins Stadium
Monday, Sept. 22
SOCCER
Robertson boys vs. Desert Academy, 4:30 p.m., RHS
Tuesday, Sept. 23
VOLLEYBALL
Robertson (A,B) vs. Mora, 5:30, Mike Marr Gym
West Las Vegas (A,B,C) vs. Bernalillo, 4 p.m., Gillie Lopez Gym
Wednesday, Sept. 24
SOCCER
Robertson boys vs. Monte del Sol, 4 p.m., RHS field
Thursday, Sept. 25
SOCCER
Robertson girls at Monte del Sol, 4:30 p.m.
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU at Black Hills State, 7 p.m., Spearfish, S.D.
Friday, Sept. 26
FOOTBALL
Robertson at Capital, 7 p.m., Santa Fe
West Las Vegas vs. Hatch Valley, 7 p.m., Herrera Complex
SOCCER
NMHU women at Colorado Christian, 11 a.m., Lakewood, Colo.
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU at Chadron State, 6 p.m., Chadron, Neb.
Robertson at Sandia Prep tourney, Albuquerque
Saturday, Sept. 27
CROSS COUNTRY
NMHU hosts NMHU XC Jam, 9 a.m., Gene Torres Golf Course
Robertson in Meadow City Invitational, 8 a.m., Gene Torres Golf Course
West Las Vegas at East Mountain, 8 a.m., Albuquerque
FOOTBALL
NMHU at Fort Lewis, noon, Durango, Colo.
SOCCER
West Las Vegas girls vs. Academy of Technology and the Classics, 11 a.m., WLV field
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU at Colorado-Colorado Springs, 5 p.m., Colorado Springs, Colo.
Robertson at Sandia Prep tourney, Albuquerque
Sunday, Sept. 28
SOCCER
NMHU women at Metro State, noon, Denver
Monday, Sept. 29
SOCCER
Robertson boys vs. Questa, 3 p.m., RHS field
Tuesday, Sept. 30
SOCCER
Robertson girls vs. Los Alamos, 4 p.m., RHS field
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU at Western New Mexico, 5 p.m., Silver City
West Las Vegas (A,B,C) at Espanola Valley, 4 p.m., Espanola
Wednesday, Oct. 1
SOCCER
West Las Vegas girls at St. Michael’s, 4 p.m., Santa Fe
Thursday, Oct. 2
SOCCER
Robertson boys vs. Moreno Valley, 3 p.m., RHS field
Robertson girls vs. Moreno Valley, 5 p.m., RHS field
VOLLEYBALL
Robertson (A,B,C) vs. Bosque, 4 p.m., Mike Marr
West Las Vegas (A,B) at Santa Rosa, 4 p.m., Santa Rosa
Friday, Oct. 3
FOOTBALL
Robertson vs. Ruidoso, 7 p.m., Cardinal Stadium
West Las Vegas at Raton, 7 p.m., Raton
SOCCER
NMHU women vs. Colorado School of Mines, 7 p.m., Perkins Stadium
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU vs. Adams State, 4 p.m., Wilson Complex
Saturday, Oct. 4
CROSS COUNTRY
NMHU at Chile Pepper Festival, 10 a.m., Fayetteville, Ark.
Robertson at Highland, 8 a.m., Albuquerque
West Las Vegas at La Cueva, 9 a.m., Albuquerque
FOOTBALL
NMHU vs. Colorado School of Mines, 1 p.m., Perkins Stadium
SOCCER
Robertson boys vs. Pojoaque Valley, 3 p.m., RHS field
Robertson girls vs. Pojoaque Valley, 5 p.m., RHS field
West Las Vegas girls vs. Taos, 11 a.m., WLV field
Sunday, Oct. 5
SOCCER
NMHU women at Western State, 1 p.m., Gunnison, Colo.
Tuesday, Oct. 7
SOCCER
Robertson boys at Santa Fe Prep, 4:30 p.m., Santa Fe
Robertson girls vs. Capital, 4 p.m., RHS field
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU at Eastern New Mexico, 6 p.m., Portales
Thursday, Oct. 9
SOCCER
Robertson boys at Taos, 3 p.m., Taos
Robertson girls at Moreno Valley, 4 p.m., Angel Fire
VOLLEYBALL
West Las Vegas (A,B,C) at Grants, 4 p.m., Grants
Friday, Oct. 10
FOOTBALL
Robertson vs. Raton (homecoming), 7 p.m., Cardinal Stadium
West Las Vegas at Tucumcari, 7 p.m., Tucumcari
SOCCER
NMHU women at Adams State, 4 p.m., Alamosa, Colo.
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU at Fort Lewis, 7 p.m., Durango, Colo.
Saturday, Oct. 11
CROSS COUNTRY
West Las Vegas at Los Lunas, 8 a.m., Los Lunas
FOOTBALL
NMHU at Colorado Mesa, 1 p.m., Grand Junction, Colo.
SOCCER
Robertson boys at Questa, 11 a.m., Questa
West Las Vegas girls vs. St. Michael’s, 11 a.m., WLV field
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU at Colorado Mesa, 7 p.m., Grand Junction, Colo.
Robertson (A,B) vs. Raton, 2 p.m., Mike Marr Gym
Sunday, Oct. 12
SOCCER
NMHU women at Fort Lewis, 12:30 p.m., Durango, Colo.
Monday, Oct. 13
SOCCER
Robertson boys vs. Moreno Valley, 4 p.m., RHS field
Robertson girls at Taos, 4 p.m., Taos
Tuesday, Oct. 14
VOLLEYBALL
Robertson (A,B,C) vs. Pojoaque Valley, 4 p.m., Mike Marr Gym
West Las Vegas (A,B,C) at Taos, 4 p.m., Taos
Thursday, Oct. 16
SOCCER
Robertson boys at Pojoaque Valley, 3 p.m., Jacona
Robertson girls at Pojoaque Valley, 4:30 p.m., Jacona
VOLLEYBALL
West Las Vegas (A,B,C) vs. Robertson, 4 p.m., Gillie Lopez Gym
Friday, Oct. 17
FOOTBALL
Robertson vs. Pojoaque Valley, 7 p.m., Cardinal Stadium
West Las Vegas vs. Taos, 7 p.m., Herrera Complex
SOCCER
NMHU women vs. Colorado State-Pueblo, 4 p.m., Perkins Stadium
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU vs. Western State, 7 p.m., Wilson Complex
Saturday, Oct. 18
CROSS COUNTRY
NMHU at Fort Hays State, 9 a.m., Hays, Kans.
Robertson, West Las Vegas at Rio Rancho, 8 a.m., Rio Rancho
FOOTBALL
NMHU vs. Western State, 1 p.m., Perkins Stadium
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU vs. Colorado State-Pueblo, 7 p.m., Wilson
Sunday, Oct. 19
SOCCER
NMHU women vs. Adams State, 1 p.m., Perkins Stadium
Tuesday, Oct. 21
SOCCER
Robertson boys vs. Portales, 5 p.m., RHS field
Robertson girls at Portales, 3 p.m., Portales
VOLLEYBALL
Robertson (A,B,C) at Taos, 4 p.m., Taos
West Las Vegas (A,B,C) at Pojoaque Valley, 4 p.m., Jacona
Thursday, Oct. 23
CROSS COUNTRY
Robertson at Santa Rosa, 3 p.m., Santa Rosa
SOCCER
Robertson boys vs. Taos, 4 p.m., RHS field
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU vs. Western New Mexico, 7 p.m., Wilson Complex
Robertson (A,B,C) at Pojoaque Valley, 4 p.m., Jacona
West Las Vegas (A,B,C) vs. Taos, 4 p.m., Gillie Lopez Gym
Friday, Oct. 24
FOOTBALL
West Las Vegas at Pojoaque Valley, 7 p.m., Jacona
SOCCER
NMHU women at Colorado Mesa, 4 p.m., Grand Junction, Colo.
Saturday, Oct. 25
CROSS COUNTRY
West Las Vegas at Eldorado, 8 a.m., Albuquerque
FOOTBALL
NMHU at Adams State, 1 p.m., Alamosa, Colo.
SOCCER
Robertson girls vs. Santa Fe Prep, 4 p.m., RHS field
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU at Adams State, 7 p.m., Alamosa, Colo.
Sunday, Oct. 26
SOCCER
NMHU vs. Metro State, 1 p.m., Perkins Stadium
Tuesday, Oct. 28
VOLLEYBALL
Robertson (A,B,C) vs. West Las Vegas, 4 p.m., Mike Marr Gym
Thursday, Oct. 30
VOLLEYBALL
Robertson (A,B,C) vs. Taos, 4 p.m., Mike Marr Gym
West Las Vegas (A,B,C) vs. Pojoaque Valley, 4 p.m., Gillie Lopez Gym
Friday, Oct. 31
FOOTBALL
Robertson at Taos, 7 p.m., Taos
SOCCER
NMHU women vs. Colorado-Colorado Springs, 4:30 p.m., Perkins Stadium
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU vs. Colorado Mesa, 7 p.m., Wilson Complex
Saturday, Nov. 1
CROSS COUNTRY
District 2-4A championships, 9 a.m., Taos
FOOTBALL
NMHU vs. Chadron State, 1 p.m., Perkins Stadium
SOCCER
First round of state tournament, TBA
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU vs. Fort Lewis, 7 p.m., Wilson Complex
Sunday, Nov. 2
SOCCER
NMHU women vs. Regis, 1 p.m., Perkins Stadium
First round of state tournament, TBA
Tuesday, Nov. 4
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU vs. Eastern New Mexico, 6 p.m., Wilson Complex
District 2-4A tournament begins, TBA
Thursday, Nov. 6
SOCCER
State tournaments, TBA
Friday, Nov. 7
SOCCER
State tournaments, TBA
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU at Colorado State-Pueblo, 7 p.m., Pueblo, Colo.
Saturday, Nov. 8
CROSS COUNTRY
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championships, 11 a.m., Gunnison, Colo.
State championships, 8 a.m., Rio Rancho
FOOTBALL
NMHU at Black Hills State, Spearfish, S.D.
Vegas Bowl: West Las Vegas vs. Robertson, noon, Herrera Complex
SOCCER
State tournaments, TBA
VOLLEYBALL
NMHU at Western State, 7 p.m., Gunnison, Colo.
Thursday, Nov. 13
VOLLEYBALL
Class 4A state tournament begins, TBA
Saturday, Nov. 15
FOOTBALL
NMHU at Colorado State-Pueblo, 2 p.m., Pueblo, Colo.
Saturday, Nov. 22
CROSS COUNTRY
NCAA South Central Regional, 11 a.m., Denver

Note: All events are subject to change.  Information is provided by individual school districts. Check with local venue and the Optic’s regular sports section for updated information on events.