Dora starting up football program

By Mickey Winfield: Freedom Newspapers

PORTALES — The Dora Coyotes are joining Floyd, Melrose and Clovis Christian in area 8-man Friday night football frenzy.

Dora may be fielding its first football team, but the Coyotes expect to win.

“We set high expectations,” coach Pablo Pena said. “We plan on going out there and not just being competitive, but we plan on winning some games without a doubt.”

Dora athletic director Ty Thatcher said the idea of a football team has been bubbling over in Dora for quite some time.

“We made several futile attempts at adding the program and it just always came down to the almighty dollar, and change is a difficult thing for small communities like this,” Thatcher said.

Thatcher said between 18 and 22 boys have been participating in offseason workouts in advance of the debut.

Pena played center for Portales High School, graduating in 1992 and has been active in area youth football coaching.

“I started out with the little kids in the city league, and then last year I did an all-star deal for the first time with our city league kids,” Pena said.

Thatcher said he thinks Pena will do a good job.

“He’s a die-hard football guy, for sure,” he said. “He’s very, very knowledgeable — a very motivational-type coach.

“I’m real excited for the community, especially the kids, because they’ve been waiting for football for as long as I can remember — since I was a kid. And to get to be the coach to help get things started and stuff, (there’s) tons of excitement, a lot of energy. The kids are fired up. They’re ready to go.”

The Coyotes won’t be eligible for postseason play this year. Six of their seven games will be on the road, with the lone home game to be played in Portales.

“I really believe that we’re going to shock some schools that aren’t going to be ready,” Pena said. “We’ve got some great talent out there and a lot of speed.”

The Coyotes will practice on the school’s baseball field.

“We’ve got an area set up to practice in the outfield,” Thatcher said. “We’re still kind of on standby as far as the actual field, and that will be the next stage.”