Wildcats together one last time

Cornerback Jacob Jones, left, is one of four 2005 Clovis High graduates who will play in the 4-5A North-South All-Star Game today in Albuquerque. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)

By Dave Wagner: CNJ staff writer

John Props is getting an early jump on his college football career.

The Clovis High grad will head to Roswell early next month to play at New Mexico Military Institute. Before he does, though, he’ll be one of four CHS representatives playing for the South in today’s 62nd annual Class 4-5A North-South All-Star football game.

The contest, sponsored by the New Mexico High School Coaches Association, is set for 7 p.m. at UNM Stadium in Albuquerque.

Props noted that South head coach Kelly McGee of Onate has installed a triple-option offense, and it’s similar to the one used by NMMI.

“They’re a lot alike,” he said. “Hopefully, by Friday we’ll have things figured out.

“I think we’re doing pretty good. Our quarterbacks are picking up the offense pretty well.”

Joining Props on the South squad are running back Phillip Williams, defensive end Jason Burns and defensive back Jacob Jones. The South leads the overall series 39-18-4, including a 19-0 victory in 2004.

Jones said he’s optimistic about the South continuing the overall trend.

“I feel real good about our squad,” he said. “We’ve got quite a bit of speed and some size. I think we’ve really meshed together well.”

Props was a two-year starter at QB for the Cats, but wasn’t sure about his status this week.

He said it really doesn’t matter.

“If I don’t start, that’s fine with me,” he said. “As long as I go in there for a few plays, that’s all I can really ask.”

A three-sport athlete at CHS, Jones plans to attend Clovis Community College, which doesn’t offer intercollegiate sports, in the fall. He said he hopes to resume his athletic career in either football, basketball or track after he leaves CCC.

Williams, who rushed for more than 1,900 yards in the fall, noted that almost all of his teammates in this game were opponents at some time during his high school career.

“It’s great playing with them,” said Williams, who plans to run track at the University of New Mexico and may try to walk on in football for the Lobos. “We played against all of them except for Artesia.”

He agrees with Jones that the South is well-positioned to extend its advantage over the North in the series.
“ I think we have a pretty good chance,” he said. “I love it. I love being around these guys, showing them what I can do and seeing what they can do.”

The players are also looking forward to playing under the bright lights of UNM Stadium.

“That’s going to be the best part,” Jones said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’ll be a different experience.”