Senior Isaac Edwards leads the Wildcats on the field two weeks ago in Artesia.
Matthew Martinez wasn’t amused by what was written on the yellow notebook paper hanging on the locker room bulletin board.
Among other things, the anonymous hand-written letter addressed as being from Hobbs called out the Clovis Wildcats’ offensive and defensive lines for being weak.
“We might be small, but we’re not weak,” said Martinez, a 6-foot, 215-pound Clovis senior who has alternated between offensive guard and tackle his year due to injuries. “That really bothers me.”
The comments added fuel to an already intense rivalry between the gritty, blue-collar southeastern New Mexico towns.
“We’ve got good skill people and they’ve got good skill people, so it’s going to come down to who wins the battle between the lines,” Martinez said.
Clovis has won six in a row in the annual game between the longtime district rivals.
However, Hobbs is having its best season since Phillip Roybal took over the program six years ago. A win Friday in Hobbs will give the Eagles (7-2, 1-0 District 4-5A) their first outright district title since 1974.
The Wildcats (5-3) did not play last week and are playing their first district game.
Clovis defensive coordinator Darren Kelley figures the Eagles will be sky-high for the game.
“I told (our players) that we can’t win the district championship, but Hobbs can,” Kelley said.
“We need to have a good start against these guys, especially after having a week off.”
The Eagles are led by senior quarterback Albert Caballero, who is having a record-breaking year for the Eagles operating out a pass-oriented spread offense.
Caballero has thrown for 2,228 yards and 26 touchdowns, both single-season school records.
Senior wideouts Reese Franklin and Shon Mitchell are his favorite targets. The pair have combined for 65 catches and 22 touchdowns.
Kelley said Franklin and Mitchell are definite deep threats.
“If we can keep the big play from happening we should be fine,” Kelley said.
Clovis has been stingy against the pass most of the season, allowing a little more than 100 yards a game even after giving up 272 in a 35-31 win two weeks ago at Artesia.
Clovis senior defensive end/safety Diondre Hunter said the key against the spread offense is to be physical.
“When you play against the spread offense, they make you run all over the field,” Hunter said. “Why not hit their butt when you get there.”
Roybal could not be reached for comment.
Clovis at Hobbs
7 p.m. today
Watkins Memorial Stadium
* Records: Clovis 5-3, 0-0 district; Hobbs 7-2, 1-0.
* At stake: Likely the district title.
* Last week: Clovis was off. Hobbs beat Carlsbad 37-13.
* Last meeting: 2006, Clovis 40-9
* Hobbs players to watch: Albert Caballero, QB, Sr, 6-0, 195; Shon Mitchell, Sr., WR/CB, 5-10, 170; Nathan Lazoya, CB, Sr., 6-1, 165.