(Another in a continuing series of previews in the countdown to Opening Night.)
Coach: Dennis Minidis (1st year)
Last season: 0-10
Returning starters: Offense 8, defense 6.
Key players: Stephon Chavez, sr. (6-2, 190, LB); Andrew Medina sr. (6-1, 180, WR); Hans Malubay, jr. (5-9, 190, RB); Aaron Pavia, jr., (6-1, 210, QB); Alex Pardo, sr. (6-3, 235, DE); Angelo Chavez sr. (5-10, 170, C).
Outlook: Minidis, an assistant with the Ravens last year, is upbeat despite the team’s monumental struggles in recent seasons. The Ravens are on a 27-game losing streak; they scored in only three games last season and had but 27 players by season’s end — with no junior varsity. Could they be chasing the state’s all-time record of 43 straight losses by Albuquerque High? Not so fast, Minidis says. “The attitude is a winning one. This group of student-athletes has an excellent work ethic both on and off the field,” he said. “It will not be just myself resurrecting the program. My coaches, the parents, the community as well as our administration and faculty support has been outstanding.” The Ravens have 58 players and a junior varsity — and that’s not counting freshmen. “Our first goal is to field a competitive team which is disciplined and mentally tough (and) who can perform under adverse conditions. We encourage disciplined, nasty, hard-nosed, physical football with the ability to perform in pressure situations. Our second goal is to be much more competitive than the past few years. Our third goal is to win the games we should, (and) our fourth is to win one or two we shouldn’t.” The Ravens lost only four players from last year. Pavia, the cousin of ex-Albuquerque High QB Roel Pavia, should be fun to watch.
(x-District 4-6A games
Aug. 25, Sandia (C), 5 p.m.
Sept. 2, Miyamura (M), 1 p.m.
Sept. 8, OPEN
Sept. 14, Belen (M), 7 p.m.
Sept. 22, at Los Lunas, 7 p.m.
Sept. 28, at Del Norte (M), 7 p.m.
x-Oct. 5, Albuquerque High (M), 7 p.m.
x-Oct. 12, at Highland (M), 7 p.m.
x-Oct. 20, at Valley (M), 7 p.m.
x-Oct. 26, Atrisco Heritage (M), 7 p.m.
x-Nov. 2, West Mesa (M), 7 p.m.
Circle the date: The meeting with Del Norte could indicate how ready the Ravens might be to end this long losing streak.
— Mark Smith