by Sebastian Noel
There is a saying in sports among players, that you can’t let one loss define you.
The opposite seems true for Isaiah Chavez, this weeks Dreamstyle Remodeling Enchantment Sports player of the week, and his Rio Rancho Rams.
Week One, at home against a very good Centennial Hawks (6-1)looked like it was gonna be a great start to Rio Rancho’s (4-2) season.
Then the lead started shrinking. And shrinking. And shrinking. The lead was 28 points and it was all gone as the game went into overtime.
Centennial prevailed 54-53 and Rio Rancho was thrown into the “other category” while the state wondered who would compete for a blue trophy this year.
Statistically speaking, that was the week Chavez should have been named player of the week. He rushed for 4 touchdowns and passed for 3 more, but his team lost.
But who knew it would be the beginning of a run of great individual and team play that would thrust the Rams right back into the blue trophy discussion.
“That loss shaped our team” Chavez said. After the disappointment of that Friday night followed by a Saturday morning yoga session Chavez connected with some team captains and decided it was time for a players only team meeting. One for the offense, One for the defense.
“We took everything way more seriously, we took practice more seriously, weight lifting and everything went to another level.”
Chavez and his Rams are riding a four game winning streak into Friday’s matchup with West Mesa (1-5) at 7:00pm at Nusenda Community Stadium.
The streak has included eight passing touchdowns and from my eyes the birth of a leader.
With the resurgence and team dynamics seemingly in place behind their senior leader, the Rams are out of the dreaded “best of the rest” group.
Max Preps has them ranked #1 in the state based on their strength of schedule, which they list as the most difficult in 6A.
Coaches may be coming around as well. The Rams have moved up to #3 in the Coaches poll, behind Volcano Vista (146 pts. 11 of 15 first place votes) and Cleveland (138 pts. 4 of 15 first place votes).
One coach in particular that is a fan of Chavez’s game is La Cueva’s Brandon Back. Before a recent matchup of the Bears (5-2) and Rams, Back was effusive in his compliments of Chavez.
Back was very concerned about his ability to make something out of nothing with his legs. “Isaiah’s ability to run makes him a difficult opponent to plan for. He’s as good of a runner as he is a passer.”
For more on that player only meeting, and how the Rams are progressing please tune into my nightly television show on ProView Networks Comcast 26. Local Focus with Sebastian Noel airs weeknights at 10:00pm.
Isaiah Chavez was in the ProView Networks studio filming an episode of Local Focus w/Sebastian Noel, where he was awarded the trophy live on air Chavez is pictured above holding the trophy during a commercial break. Local Focus w/Sebastian Noel airs weeknights at 10:00pm on ProView Networks Comcast 26 and can be found on YouTube.