Robin Cole, NFL

by Mike Magers


(image credit:

Robin Cole was born in Los Angeles, California in 1955 and played football at University of New Mexico from 1973 to 1976.  At UNM, his career statistics rank highly in many categories.  The following are just a few of them.  In career tackles, his 406 tackles place him at 5th, just behind Brian Urlacher, his career sacks at 36 rank him second behind Johnny Jackson.  He is highly ranked in career fumble recoveries, career fumbles caused and also season records for most of these categories.

While at UNM, he played one year under coach Rudy Feldman and the remaining three years under coach Bill Mondt.  The Lobos had one winning season while Cole was playing, but Cole still received notice for his outstanding performance.

Several African-American players who were starters on the 1973 team, including Cole, participated in a boycott over the lack of African-American players on the UNM baseball team under Coach Bob Leigh.  The players were dismissed from the team during the boycott, though Mondt did not cancel their scholarships.  Coach Leigh had dismissed an African-American player from the team.  The students participating in the boycott demanded Leigh’s dismissal as head coach and alleged that he had not given the player a fair chance.  Leigh later stated that the candidate had not played high school baseball, as his parents had stated, and that the parents had made a similar effort to get the student a place on the team at University of Arizona, but had failed (Abilene Reporter-News, April 4, 1974).  The boycott ultimately ended and Cole returned to the team, as did many others and Leigh continued on as head coach until 1976.

Cole was highly regarded in Albuquerque and received many favorable mentions in the local press as he completed his college career.  He was named to an All-America team and was the university’s first NFL first round draft pick, as the 21st player taken in the 1977 draft.  Selected by the Pittsburg Steelers, Cole went on to play 11 seasons for the club (1977-1987), finishing up his fine career with one year with the New York Jets in 1988.  While with the Steelers, he played linebacker and defensive end on some of the finest teams the franchise has known.  The Steelers won 5 division championships, 4 conference championships and 2 Super Bowls during his tenure.  A number of players and coaches from this era have been named to the NFL Hall of Fame.

Cole is the founder of the Obediah Cole Foundation, named for his father, the primary mission of which is to promote education about prostate cancer.  Based in Pittsburg, the foundation is actively involved in efforts to promote greater knowledge of the disease.  Its website states that 5 of 8 sons of Obediah Cole have been diagnosed with the disease.

Cole’s many honors include being an All-Pro selection in 1984 and being named to the Pro Bowl that same year.  He was named to the 20 Year All Western Athletic Conference Team, the Albuquerque Press Hall of Fame and the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame in its 1992 class.




School Names: Foothill

by Mike Magers


Foothill High School is unique among New Mexico schools in that all of its players are incarcerated juvenile offenders.  The school is managed jointly by the New Mexico Department of Education and the Children and the Youth and Families Department.  The student body is comprised of mostly males with some females.  It has a Parent Teacher Student Association made up of parents, teachers, guards and officials of the school.

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Joe Kapp, NFL and CFL

by Mike Magers

Joe Kapp was a quarterback in the NFL for 4 years after an 11 year career in the Canadian Football League.  His connection to New Mexico is that he was born in Santa Fe, although his family moved to California where he was an outstanding player at the Berkeley campus of the University of California.  His College Football Hall of Fame biography states that he was a first team All-America player, finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1958 and led his team to an appearance in the Rose Bowl.  He was team captain of the Bears and was named to the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame.  Kapp was drafted in the 18th round of the NFL draft by the Washington Redskins, but wasn’t signed by the NFL club.  Kapp played in the CFL for the next 11 years before completing his career in the NFL.


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Ray Berry, NFL

by Mike Magers

Ray Berry was born in Lovington, New Mexico in 1963.  His family later moved to Abilene.  Ray went on to graduate from Abilene Cooper High School in Texas where he was an outstanding linebacker on the Cougar football team.  Ray was named as a Parade Magazine High School All-American after his senior season and ultimately signed to play college ball with Baylor University in Waco.

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2016 Schools Playing Football

Below is an alphabetical listing of the schools fielding football teams in 2016.


School Football Class Location Mascot
Alamogordo High School 5A Alamogordo Tigers
Alamo Navajo School 8-Man Magdalena Cougars
Albuquerque Academy 5A Albuquerque Chargers
Albuquerque High School 6A Albuquerque Bulldogs
Animas High School 6-Man Animas Panthers
Artesia High School 5A Artesia Bulldogs
Atrisco Heritage Academy 6A Albuquerque Jaguars
Aztec High School 5A Aztec Tigers
Belen High School 5A Belen Eagles
Bernalillo High School 4A Bernalillo Spartans
Bloomfield High School 5A Bloomfield Bobcats
Capital High School 5A Santa Fe Jaguars
Capitan High School 3A Capitan Tigers
Carlsbad High School 6A Carlsbad Cavemen
Carrizozo High School 8-Man Carrizozo Grizzlies
Centennial High School 6A Las Cruces Hawks
Chaparral High School 5A Chaparral Lobos
Cibola High School 6A Albuquerque Cougars
Clayton High School 3A Clayton Yellowjackets
Cleveland High School 6A Rio Rancho Storm
Cloudcroft High School 8-Man Cloudcroft Bears
Clovis High School 6A Clovis Wildcats
Cobre High School 4A Bayard Indians
Crownpoint High School 3A Crownpoint Eagles
Cuba High School 3A Cuba Rams
Del Norte High School 5A Albuquerque Knights
Deming High School 5A Deming Wildcats
Dexter High School 3A Dexter Demons
Dora High School 8-Man Dora Coyotes
Dulce High School 3A Dulce Hawks
Eldorado High School 6A Albuquerque Eagles
Elida High School (merged with Dora for football) None Elida Tigers
Escalante High School 2A Tierra Amarilla Lobos
Española Valley High School 5A Española Sundevils
Estancia High School 3A Estancia Bears
Eunice High School 3A Eunice Cardinals
Farmington High School 5A Farmington Scorpions
Floyd High School 6-Man Floyd Broncos
Foothill High School 8-Man Albuquerque Falcons
Fort Sumner High School 2A Fort Sumner Foxes
Gadsden High School 6A Anthony Panthers
Gallup High School 5A Gallup Bengals
Gateway Christian High School 8-Man Roswell Warriors
Goddard High School 5A Roswell Rockets
Grants High School 5A Grants Pirates
Hagerman High School 2A Hagerman Bobcats
Hatch Valley High School 4A Hatch Bears
Highland High School 6A Albuquerque Hornets
Hobbs High School 6A Hobbs Eagles
Hondo Valley High School 6-Man Hondo Eagles
Hope Christian High School 4A Albuquerque Huskies
Hot Springs High School 4A Truth or Consequences Tigers
House High School (merged with Ft Sumner for football) None House Cowboys
Jal High School 2A Jal Fighting Panthers
Jemez Valley High School 8-Man Jemez Pueblo Warriors
Kirtland Central High School 5A Kirtland Broncos
La Cueva High School 6A Albuquerque Bears
Laguna Acoma High School 3A Casa Blanca Hawks
Lake Arthur High School 6-Man Lake Arthur Panthers
Las Cruces High School 6A Las Cruces Bulldawgs
Logan High School 8-Man Logan Longhorns
Lordsburg High School 2A Lordsburg Mavericks
Los Alamos High School 5A Los Alamos Hilltoppers
Los Lunas High School 5A Los Lunas Tigers
Loving High School 3A Loving Falcons
Lovington High School 5A Lovington Wildcats
Magdalena High School 8-Man Magdalena Steers
Manzano High School 6A Albuquerque Monarchs
Mayfield High School 6A Las Cruces Trojans
McCurdy High School 3A Española Bobcats
Melrose High School 8-Man Melrose Buffaloes
Menaul High School 8-Man Albuquerque Panthers
Mescalero Apache School 8-Man Mescalero Chiefs
Mesilla Valley Christian School 8-Man Las Cruces Sonblazers
Miyamura High School 5A Gallup Patriots
Moriarty High School 4A Moriarty Pintos
Mosquero High School (merged with Roy for football) None Mosquero Pirates
Mountainair High School 8-Man Mountainair Mustangs
Navajo Pine High School 2A Navajo Warriors
Navajo Prep High School 4A Farmington Fighting Eagle
Newcomb High School 3A Newcomb Skyhawks
NMMI High School 4A Roswell Colts
NM School for the Deaf 6-Man Santa Fe Roadrunners
Oñate High School 6A Las Cruces Knights
Piedra Vista High School 6A Farmington Panthers
Pine Hill High School 8-Man Pinehill Warriors
Pojoaque Valley High School 4A Santa Fe Elks
Portales High School 4A Portales Rams
Questa High School 2A Questa Wildcats
Ramah High School 8-Man Ramah Mustangs
Raton High School 3A Raton Tigers
Reserve High School 6-Man Reserve Mountaineers
Rio Grande High School 6A Albuquerque Rocky Raven
Rio Rancho High School 6A Rio Rancho Rams
Robertson High School 4A Las Vegas Cardinals
Roswell High School 5A Roswell Coyotes
Roy High School 6-Man Roy Longhorns
Ruidoso High School 4A Ruidoso Warriors
Sandia High School 6A Albuquerque Matadors
San Jon High School 6-Man San Jon Coyotes
Santa Fe High School 6A Santa Fe Demons
Santa Fe Indian School 4A Santa Fe Braves
Santa Rosa High School 3A Santa Rosa Lions
Santa Teresa High School 5A Santa Teresa Desert Warriors
Shiprock High School 4A Shiprock Chieftans
Shiprock Northwest 8-Man Shiprock Falcons
Silver High School 4A Silver City Fighting Colts
Socorro High School 4A Socorro Warriors
Springer High School 8-Man Springer Red Devils
St. Michael’s High School 4A Santa Fe Horsemen
St. Pius X High School 5A Albuquerque Sartans
Taos High School 4A Taos Tigers
Tatum High School 8-Man Tatum Coyotes
Texico High School 3A Texico Wolverines
Thoreau High School 4A Thoreau Hawks
To’Hajiilee High School 8-Man Laguna Warriors
Tohatchi High School 3A Tohatchie Cougars
Tse’ Yi’ Gai High School 8-Man Cuba Dine Warriors
Tucumcari High School 3A Tucumcari Rattlers
Tularosa High School 3A Tularosa Wildcats
Valencia High School 5A Los Lunas Jaguars
Valley High School 6A Albuquerque Vikings
Vaughn High School 6-Man Vaughn Eagles
Volcano Vista High School 6A Albuquerque Hawks
West Mesa High School 6A Albuquerque Mustangs
Wingate High School 4A Ft Wingate Bears
W. Las Vegas High School 4A Las Vegas Dons
Zuni High School 3A Zuni Thunderbirds