LOVINGTON – Football, soccer, football, soccer. Football practice, soccer games, soccer practice, football games.
That pretty much describes the hectic lives, the busy senior years, of Lovington’s Adam Aguilera and Isaac Hinson. Aguilera plays wide receiver and cornerback for the Lovington football team. Hinson plays wide receiver and strong safety for the Wildcats’ football team.
Aguilera also plays forward and midfielder for the Lovington boys soccer team. Hinson plays goalie for the Wildcats’ boys soccer team.
Busy days, busy nights, busy lives, for the Lovington duo.
“It feels good. I like both sports so I play both,” Hinson said after a recent soccer win over Artesia in which he posted the second of three consecutive clean sheets in goal.
“I feel good,” Aguilera said after the 5-0 win over Artesia. “There are some weeks where I’ll be tired, but this is my senior year – I’ll do whatever I’ve gotta do.”
Aguilera and Hinson have been playing both sports most of their lives. But as far as coming out for the high school teams, each stuck to football only through their junior years.
Last season’s Lovington boys soccer team reached the state 4A championship game without them, but they were welcome additions to this year’s team. And the two were happy to join up.
“I wanted to come play with my brothers, play soccer with them,” Aguilera said.
“It’s nice having this, soccer, and football, too,” Hinson said. “I played soccer when I was little, so I was around all these guys. They wanted me to go out (for soccer) my senior year, so I was like, ‘Hey, I will.’”
Each player, though, has a football-centric mentality.
“I told Coach (Reyes Marquez of Lovington soccer) it was football first. And he was cool with it,” Aguilera said. “I do football first, and if I have time for soccer, I go to soccer.”
“I’m just more of a football person,” Hinson said. “I just like being physical.”
Hinson and Aguilera are both integral members of Coach Anthony Gonzales’ Lovington football team, which is 4-3, coming off a bye week and gearing up for a road game at Silver (5-2), scheduled for this Friday at 5 p.m.
Aguilera and Hinson usually come up big for their football team. A good example would be Aug. 27 against 5A Roswell at Lovington High School’s Brian Urlacher Field, when the Wildcats rallied from a 10-0 third-quarter deficit to beat the Coyotes 31-25. Aguilera notched Lovington’s first touchdown – turning a short pass from sophomore quarterback Wyatt Gomez into big after-the-catch yards and a 78-yard touchdown play, flashing the speed that helped him win a state 200-meter dash title in Albuquerque last June.
In the same game, Hinson leapt for a six-yard touchdown catch and reeled in a 24-yard fade for a touchdown later in the contest, and he came up with the game-ending interception.
Even in defeat, the two have produced for Loving-ton. On Sept. 10 at Watson Memorial Stadium, though the Wildcats were in the process of enduring a 46-0 road loss to Hobbs, Aguilera was making many of the receptions, and coming up with a tackle that likely saved a touchdown.
A week later at Denver City, Hinson prevented the ‘Cats from being shut out in consecutive weeks by showing concentration and diving to reel in a six-yard fade from quarterback Ashton Aranda.
It was the Wildcats’ only end-zone visit in a 35-7 loss.
A week after that at Artesia, the Wildcats lost a shootout 69-58, but Hinson caught 32- and 19-yard touchdown passes from Aranda, and also rushed for a pair of two-point conversions. Aguilera hauled in 14-and 26-yard scoring passes from Aranda.
And last week in a 52-0 rout of Gadsden, Aguilera and Hinson combined to score five of the Wildcats’ seven touchdowns, with Aguilera accounting for three of them.
They are busy in games, busy in between them. During the week, there are football practices in the afternoon, soccer games at night. Most weeks bring Friday-night football games, followed by Saturday-afternoon soccer tilts.
Hectic, even for teenagers. But they manage.
“Football I’ve been playing since freshman year,” Aguilera said. “I know all the plays, so it ain’t nothing new. But soccer I ; I hadn’t been playing for a long time.”
“I sleep really good at night,” Hinson said.
Both athletes will likely sleep better if they can help the football team make a dent in next month’s state 4A playoffs, and help the boys soccer team finish the job this year. Last season’s soccer team lost to Albuquerque Academy in overtime of the state 4A championship game. Perhaps with all the returning talon soccer team, Aguilera and Hinson might tip the scale this year.
“I feel like we’re real confident,” Aguilera said, “in bringing back that blue trophy.”