Prieto named lineman of the year
The postseason awards keep rolling in for the Hobbs football team.
The most recent award went to Hobbs senior Cannin Prieto. Wednesday morning, Prieto was named lineman of the year by NMPreps.com. The Eagle senior was also named to the USA Today All-USA New Mexico Football team.
Prieto didn’t set out to win the top lineman award at the beginning of the season, but he is honored to have been selected as it.
“At the beginning of the season, I was just going in and wanting to flip (last season’s) record,” Prieto said. “I just played my hardest and practiced hard every day. It is pretty cool to be named offensive lineman of the year. My goal was just to make it to state and win a state championship. But the award, it is pretty cool, I just didn’t expect it.”
Hobbs coach Charles Gleghorn was excited to see one of his linemen honored, especially because Prieto was moved from center last season to left tackle this season.
“That is really a good deal for Cannin to get that award,” the Eagles coach said. “When you throw the ball so many times, you rely on those guys to provide the pass protection. Sometimes a lot of those (awards) goes to what the running game produces and we just don’t invest as must (in the run game) as we do in the pass game, but it doesn’t make it less important.”
As a member of the Hobbs football team and the offensive line, Prieto was tasked with protecting quarterback Gavin Hardison as well as clearing the way for running back Tristan Kemp.
“Gavin and Tristan, they are really good players,” Prieto said. “We have been playing together since the sixth grade. We had a really good brotherhood going. Tristan was really good with following us and getting in the holes. Gavin was really good in the backfield. They trusted us. It was that trust and a brotherhood that we had going on.”
Prieto and the rest of the Eagles’ line did a good job in their role as Hardison had enough time to pass for a New Mexico state record 5,347 yards while also throwing for the third most touchdowns (59) in state history. Kemp carried the ball 117 times for 799 yards and 16 touchdowns. The Eagles’ running back averaged 6.8 yards a carry.
“We don’t get a lot of credit,” Prieto said of playing on the line. “It is crazy because when we don’t do good, that is when we get noticed. Say we miss a block and Gavin (Hardison) gets hit, or when Tristan (Kemp) doesn’t get a five-yard run, that is when we get blamed for everything.”
Prieto and the Eagles did not meet their goal of winning a state championship in football, but believes what the Eagles did accomplish on the gridiron this year has really helped the program.
“I think this season has really changed the culture around Hobbs,” Prieto said. “It shows everyone when you work hard and put in all that work, and sacrifice your time and body, it just proves you can accomplish a lot.”
While Prieto has not signed with a college yet, the senior has verbally committed to play at Eastern New Mexico University next year. Prieto said he made his verbal commitment about a week and a half ago. His signing ceremony is scheduled for February 7th.
Prieto is not the only Eagles player to earn postseason awards this year. Kicker Enrique Ramirez was named the top kicker by NMPreps.com last week and several other Eagles are still up for awards.
“This is more of a media and fans across New Mexico (award),” Gleghorn said. “I think they realize when we have good records, and that we are a part of that Las Cruces district, so we play in tough games and play a tough schedule, so to have a record like we did, we must be playing pretty good and the kids must be playing good. So, for the kids to get awards, they surely deserve it.”