Keep Striking employed!
What the heck?
Are we going to lose the services of Striking the Wonder Dog who runs out and retrieves the tee after a kickoff ?
Ok, take a deep breath. We’re not on that particular ledge just yet. Still, with all the talk across college football nation about the possible elimination of the kickoff in the sport, we here in Las Cruces might have the most to lose. Sure, New Mexico State University is not the only school to have some cute way to retrieve the football tee after a kickoff. Iowa State and Boise State both have used canines to perform the task.
The Boise State version, though, was known as Tee-Dog. Come on Broncos, you come up with a blue turf on he field, but the best you can come up with is “Tee-Dog”? That’s weak.
On the pro level, the Saints have used a pooch named Gumbo, which is awesome.
Still, with all the talk of eliminating the kickoff for safety reasons – a move I am currently against, by the way – there is a very real threat this could be the last season we get to watch Striking run onto the field and bring back the tee.
I personally would miss the doggies as well as the excitement of a kickoff brought back up the field and even the threat of an onside kick.
Hopefully kickoffs will remain.
Prep gridders hit the grass
My son Tyler is torn. A former center for the Oñate High football team, he starts college soon at New Mexico Tech and his days of playing organized football came to an end last October on the turf of the Field of Dreams with a torn-up knee.
Like his old man – who hasn’t played since 1989 and who gets tired anymore by just watching others run – he misses the game. He probably will for the rest of his life.
Still, when he thought about all those high schoolers hitting the grass fields this past week with the start of preseason practice, he did smile a little.
“I loved the playing and weightlifting,” he said. “The running? Well…” He can now know the excitement of being a fan.
We are thankful all those high schoolers are out there sweating and grinding and getting ready. There is nothing like a Friday night under the lights with the band playing, the cheerleaders cheering and the announcer belting out the words “First down!”
The season swings into action the last weekend of August. Centennial and Las Cruces High take to the road Friday, Aug. 26, while Mayfield plays the first game of the year in the Field of Dreams when the Trojans host Rio Grande that same night.
The following afternoon, Saturday, Aug. 27, Oñate plays host to Cleveland.
Brook Stockberger may be reached at 575 680-1977 or via email at brook@lascrucesbulletin. com.