Texico senior Braden Vaughan was chosen Class 1A First Team All-State at both quarterback and defensive back. (CNJ file photo)
By Pete Herrera: The Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE — After back-to-back undefeated seasons and a pair of state championships, it would be reasonable to assume that Texico coach Mike Prokop might be inclined to recline a little.
Not this guy.
Last week, Prokop went to Canyon, Texas, to meet with coaches at West Texas. He also plans to visit Cooper Henderson at Artesia High, a program that owns 24 state football titles. Also on his offseason agenda is a trip to Albuquerque to confer with La Cueva coach Fred Romero, whose Bears also went undefeated the past two seasons and won consecutive 5A titles.
“We want to see what different programs are doing, trying to tweak what we have,” Prokop said Monday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
What Prokop and his Wolverines have had the past three years is plenty of success and a team that has dominated its opponents. The 11 seniors who graduate this year had a three-year run of 35-1, including 12-0 records the past two seasons.
Among those seniors are quarterback Braden Vaughan and halfback Johnny Serrano and linebacker Logan Brown, all named to The Associated Press Class 1A All-State team announced Monday.
The AP All-State players are selected in voting by the coaches in Class 1A.
Texico finished 11-1 and was the state runner-up in 2002 and will carry a 24-game winning streak into next season. Prokop, a former assistant at Clovis, said as good as the 2003 Texico team proved to be, this season’s squad was better.
“These kids took it more as a job. It was a closer team and everyone understood what they needed to do,” Prokop said.
Vaughan was effective throwing or running. He completed 42 of 63 passes for 742 yards and rushed for more than 600 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Serrano rushed for 1,621 yards and scored 114 points. The Wolverines scored more than 500 points in averaging more than 40 points a game.
“Their line play was tremendous and their running backs were very strong,” Loving coach Jaime Ramirez said of Texico’s offense.
Besides Vaughan, Serrano and Brown, the Wolverines also had tight end Tony Clements named to the first team offense. Brown also was selected the top place-kicker in 1A.
Vaughan and Serrano also made the first team defense — Vaughan in the secondary and Serrano joining Brown as a linebacker. Lineman Aaron Vaughan also was selected to the first team defense.
Fort Sumner junior running back Derek Dimitroff, a first team All-State selection in 2003, again made the team. Another Fox making the first team was junior Ryan Fikany at defensive back.
Fort Sumner’s Adrian Collaso was picked first team for both the offensive and defensive lines. Ross Cortese joined Collaso on the first team offensive line.
Cloudcroft, which put together a 10-2 season as the state runner-up, had senior linemen John Ryan Saulietis and David Dalton and halfback Logan Capps on the first team offense.
Capps rushed for 1,409 yards, averaged just over 10 yards a carry and scored 23 touchdowns. Capps also saw playing time at quarterback and threw 8 TD passes.
Capps also earned All-State first team honors on defense as a strong safety. He led the Bears in tackles with 55.
“He is one of the best athletes to come out of our school in a long time,” said Cloudcroft coach Terry Welch.
Loving, which featured a wide open offense, swept the first team wide receiver spots with senior Timothy Liddell and junior Josh Peppin.
The pair combined for more than 700 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns.
Saulietis, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound senior, also made the first team defensive line. He was Cloudcroft’s second leading tackler this season with 49.
Zachary Valeriano and Jonathan Brock of Jal were named to the first team defensive line.
Loving senior Nathan Vasquez completed the defensive secondary.
Jal’s Tyler Briones was named the top punter in 1A.