By Mark Smith
Editor in Chief
Judge Chavez knows a thing or two about quarterbacks.
Especially Valley High School quarterbacks.
So when Chavez says the Vikings’ Manny Sanchez-Vargas is “very talented kid, a smart kid, a leader” it certainly carries some weight.
Chavez, after all, played quarterback at Valley for three years (graduating in 1977), is a former assistant coach at the school and is in his third season as the school’s head coach. He also spent a combined 18 seasons as head coach at Highland and Cibola.
And Enchantment Sports couldn’t agree more with the Valley head football coach when it comes to Sanchez-Vargas – especially after the game he had last week.
The senior quarterback is the Galles Chevrolet Metro Player of the Week after throwing four touchdowns in the Vikings’ 28-12 win against Santa Teresa in the first round of the 5A state football players.
“All of the seniors are thinking, ‘this is our last run. Every game could be our last,’ This is probably the last year I will ever play football,” Sanchez-Vargas said. “We want to keep it going as long as possible. We’re trying to make a state run.”
It was the second straight week that Sanchez-Vargas and the Vikings put on a show. The week before, the QB tossed five touchdowns in a 48-0 blowout of Valencia. On Friday (Nov. 16), the eighth-seeded Vikings (7-4) play at No. 1 Roswell (8-2).
“We feel we can win,” Sanchez-Vargas said. “We all have to go in there, do our jobs and play with Viking pride. I think we can go in there and get that one.
“We are playing really well. (Last week) offense opened up the running game, line made great blocks and did a great job in protection, the receivers made great reads. I put the ball where it needed to be, and the playmakers made the play.”
Sanchez-Vargas has been putting more than footballs in the right place during his four years at Valley. His head has been right where it should be, as well, in the classroom.
“My goal is to be valedictorian,” said Sanchez-Vargas, who has a 4.2 grade-point average. “I don’t know if that will happen, right now I’m ranked ninth in the class, but I’m doing all I can.”
This year’s previous Galles winners : Week 11 — Isaiah Ortiz, Del Norte; Week 10 — Derek Rivera, St. Pius; Week 9 — Marcus Steele, Cibola; Week 8 — Jeff Davison, Cleveland; Week 7 — Isaiah Chavez, Rio Rancho; Week 6 — Garrett Moseley, Valley; Week 5 — Xavier Ivey-Saud, Manzano; Week 4 — Vince Quezada, Hope Christian; Week 3 — Dorian Lewis, Cleveland; Week 2 — Gabe Smith, Eldorado; Week 1 — Diego Casillas, Belen. All will receive trophies, made by Santa Fe’s Totally Dazzling, with their names, school and position.
Mark Smith has worked in New Mexico sports media for four decades, and is one of the New Mexico’s most decorated sports journalists in history. Smith has won more than 30 combined awards in print, television and radio. He is the editor in chief of Enchantment Sports. Contact him at mark.enchantmentsportsNM@gmail.com.
The Metro Player of the Week feature is chosen by Enchantment Sports with the assistance of ProView Networks, and sponsored by Galles Chevrolet and J.C. Lopez’s Totally Dazzling. Each week, we will feature a top-notch athlete from the Albuquerque area.
To learn more about the Galles Metro Player of the Week, click here.