Buffaloes earn all-state nods

Melrose senior quarterback James Walker earned first team All-State in six-man. It was his first year at the position for Melrose, which won the state championship. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth

Staff and wire reports

Junior Carlos Ruiz led five Melrose players on the 2004 All-State team selected by the New Mexico Six-Man Football Coaches Association.

Ruiz was named Offensive Player of the Year after scoring 56 touchdowns and rushing for 2,849 yards. He also set a national record with 13 touchdowns against Animas in the playoff semifinals.

“His stats speak for themselves,” Melrose coach Dickie Roybal said.

Floyd’s Jarrod Long was selected the defensive Player of The Year.

Melrose senior James Walker joined Ruiz on the first-team offense while seniors Jeremy Weese and Coy Speer were on the first-team defense for the Buffaloes. Buffaloes senior Caleb Dodd made the first team for special teams.

The Buffaloes (11-1) beat Floyd 74-60 in the state-title game.

Walker, a senior, was selected at quarterback. Expected to be a running back, Walker was forced into duty at quarterback when returning starter Brock Graham broke his ankle in a preseason scrimmage.

“He came a long way, did a great job,” Roybal said.
Roybal described Speer as a big, strong kid who did exceptional things on defense, while Weese was a heavy hitter and strong tackler.

Dodd was the long snapper for Melrose.

Roybal said he would have like to see senior Jason Runyan, junior Tyler Tatum and Ruiz on the defensive team.

“But that’s the way it goes,” he said, adding there were a few things working against the Buffaloes.

The state had 62 seniors playing six-man football, more than in the past.

“With as many kids as we had this year, we’re fortunate to have what we did,” Roybal said.

He also said with all the teams spread out across the state, many coaches don’t get to see a lot of the teams and base their votes solely on statistics.

Six-Man All-State
The Associated Press

The 2004 Six-Man All-State football team selected by the New Mexico Six-Man Football Coaches Association.
First team
Offense — Carlos Ruiz, Melrose, Jr.; James Walker, Melrose, Sr.; Jerrod Long, Floyd, Jr.; Bryan Johnson, Floyd, Sr.; Trevor Richins, Animas, Sr.; Cole Jackson, Animas, Jr.; Alberto Castro, Tatum, Jr.; John Maestas, Logan, Sr.
Defense — Jerrod Long, Floyd, Jr.; Coy Speer, Melrose, Sr.; Jeremy Weese, Melrose, Sr.; Zachary Ramirez, Animas, Sr.; Alberto Castro, Tatum, Jr.; Alex Castro, freshman, Tatum; Josh Archuleta, junior, Mountainair; Chris Martinez, junior, Logan.

Second team
Offense — Matthew Chavez, freshman, Mountainair; Chris Matson, junior, Vaughn; Montana Pettis, senior, Magdalena; Obie Palacios, junior, Tatum; Adrian Carrasco, senior, Gateway Christian; Anthony Castillo, senior, Lake Arthur

Defense— Ernest Torres, senior, Magdalena; Chris Matson, junior, Vaughn; Wes James, senior, Logan; Adrian Carrasco, senior, Gateway Christian; Robbie Harrington, senior, Animas; Matthew Chavez, freshman, Mountainair; Anthony Castillo, senior, Lake Arthur; Robert Salas, senior, New Mexico School for the Deaf.