While their season ended with a disappointing loss to Gateway Christian in their divisional championship, Mountainair’s high school football team had a successful record: 11 wins and one loss (8–0 home, 2–1 away). By the middle of December, Coach Robert Zamora had time to consider the 2022 season and prepare for the 2023 season.
Looking Back at 2022
“I’ve been around football my whole life,” Zamora said, “The main thing… Why [the 2022 season] went so well was that the kids really [bought] in this year. I’ve always told the kids that if you buy in and give it 100%, maintain focus in school and in practice, then we’ll have a shot.” Zamora described the team as being intensely focused during the season, in part because they dedicated it to Coach Stephan Bernal, who passed away on September 29, 2022. “You know,” Zamora explained, “he was their junior high [football] coach. He meant so much to them. That’s why they were so focused.”
At the start of the 2022 season, Zamora lost two seniors to ACL tears, Devan Lopez and Santi Roybal. Zamora said that losing these seniors changed everything. Losing seniors led to underclass athletes stepping up and playing more. Said Zamora, “The underclass guys saw what it takes to win, and they didn’t see nothing bad this year.”
Zamora described the remaining seniors as providing an excellent example of hard work and dedication to the underclass players. When asked who provided the best example, Coach Zamora declined to single players out at first, stating they all worked hard to provide a great example. “Anthony Cisneros, Jacob Everett, and my son Jake Zamora did every well. The main example I can say is that these guys were there from day one and they never missed a practice. When you have issues [where people call in sick and miss practice], it just causes problems for the system you’re trying to build. You have issues from day one.”