The Grandfalls-Royalty Cowboys squeaked through to the quarterfinals in dramatic fashion last year.
Grandfalls-Royalty scored a touchdown with nine seconds remaining to defeat Lueders-Avoca 65-60 in the round of 16.
With only one starter departing, the Cowboys are looking for more this fall.
“Just keep the same energy and do the same tendencies we did last year,” said senior wide receiver De’Shaun Rogers, when asked what it will take to make a deeper run this season. “Just keep it rolling.”
As a junior, Rogers racked up more than 600 yards receiving, along with 11 touchdowns.
Oscar Huertas is also back. As a junior, he compiled more than 4,000 yards of total offense.
He also knows what it takes to win a championship. Huertas was a manager on the Cowboys team that won the state title in 2013.
“I wasn’t really part of the team, but I was part of the team. It was a pretty cool achievement I guess,” he joked.
Together, Huertas and Rogers form one of the most dynamic set of playmakers in all of six-man.
“They’re good personal friends,” said head coach Joe Helms. “They kind of set the tone as far as their work ethic. It’s as good as anyone we have. Neither of them are very vocal-type leaders, but they’re good, hard-working kids.”
Off the field, Helms is making headway in a personal battle. In the spring, he was diagnosed with cancer.
Fortunately, he says the prognosis is positive and doesn’t anticipate missing much time with the team while he finishes treatment.
“As much as anything, we’re trying to approach it as just about a four-week bump in the road there that we’ll adjust to and then continue as usual,” said Helms.
“He taught me a lot through the years,” said Huertas of his head coach. “It’s been a while since he’s been here, so he’s given me a lot of things to grow on.”
“He’s fighting for us, so we have to fight harder for him,” said Rogers.
SCHEDULE UPDATE: Since the airing of this preview, Grandfalls-Royalty has added a non-district home game against El Paso Faith Christian Academy for week three (9/13).