Brent Satterwhite has been the head coach of the Tatum football team for over a year, but thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, his first year was a crazy one. Now, with New Mexico high school sports back on a traditional schedule, the Coyotes’ coach is looking forward to a full season with his team.
The one benefit to last year’s spring season is how it has aided the team going into this year’s fall season.
“These kids still know what we do,” Satterwhite said. “We are continuing to work the techniques that we want taught. As far as lining up and knowing what is going on, we are light years ahead of when we began last year. The kids have picked it up pretty quick because the season is starting so quick. … They have responded really well. It was obviously beneficial to go in the spring.”
When Coyotes take the field on Friday, they will be playing a schedule that is a little different from their recent past. Instead of playing a nine or ten game schedule against the same five or six teams, Satterwhite was able to secure a different team for his team every week of the season. Of course, some of those teams are on the other side of the state, so, because of that, the Coyotes are slated to play three games on neutral fields.
“We are hoping to avoid (playing teams twice in the regular season), but with the covid situation, it could happen,” Satterwhite said. “Some of those schools are coming from an awful long way off, even though we are meeting them. Hopefully everything will move forward and we will be able to play them, but you never know.”
The Coyotes open their season Friday when they play Navajo Pine at Menaul. Tatum also has games
, Capitan, as well as Dulce at Fort Sumner.
Tatum’s home opener will be week No. 3 when the Coyotes host Magdalena on Friday, Sept. 3. The Coyotes will also host Cloudcroft (homecoming), Fort Sumner (senior night), and Melrose while traveling to Mesilla Valley and Logan.
“There are some quality opponents in there,” Satterwhite said. “We will have our hands full with some of them we know right now, and some of them we don’t (know) and we may.”
One thing the Coyotes have going for them this year is depth. The majority of the team’s projected starters are all returning. In fact, the Coyotes will only have new players starting at three positions, total, on both sides of the ball. Satterwhite said Tatum will have a new starter on defense at one of the linebacker positions and on offense the Coyotes will have someone new at center and at guard.
With all the returning players, leadership shouldn’t be a problem for the Coyotes. Among those that Satterwhite is looking at to step into leadership roles are senior Ranley Krueger (TE/DE), junior Taylor Garner (QB), senior Abraham Duran (WR/CB), and senior Hayden Dean (LB/RB). One other player who hasn’t played a lot, but Satterwhite singled out was senior Tanyon Lambert (OG/DE).
“He has played a lot of football, but the kids love (him),” the Coyotes’ coach said. “They tend to follow him. That guy worked his tail off all spring and all summer. I am really proud of him. He will be a potential starter at guard and will help us out on defense. He is one of those guys that everyone looks up to and respects.”