Bloomfield High's Snell-Martinez leading the charge for team
BLOOMFIELD — There's still much for Diego Snell-Martinez to prove as the Bloomfield Bobcats prepare for their second game of the season this Saturday night at Hope Christian.
In his first game of the 2021 fall campaign, Snell-Martinez, who doubles as both running back and linebacker, helped carry the offense with 87 yards on 11 carries, an impressive per carry average of 7.9 yards as Bloomfield opened the season with a dramatic 29-26 win at home over St. Pius X.
"That was a big win for us, but I feel like there's a lot to improve on as there always is," Snell-Martinez said during a break in Tuesday afternoon practice.
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The Bobcats, ranked 2nd in Class 4A football by MaxPreps, are hoping the improvements will keep on coming when they face a talented squad in Hope Christian. The Huskies (#5, Class 3A) opened their season last weekend with a 28-14 win over Portales.
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"They're a real good team from what we've seen on film and the way the coaches have been getting us ready," Snell-Martinez said.
Snell-Martinez, in his senior year at Bloomfield, is a three-year veteran on the Bobcats football team and has proven himself to be an invaluable leader on both sides of the ball.
"The last couple years, he's been a significant productivity guy on offense and a great defensive captain," said Bobcats coach Mike Kovacs. "This year, he's the captain on both sides of the ball."
Kovacs talked about Snell-Martinez and the leadership he provides both on the field and off, making him a motivator for those around him.
"He does such a good job for us," said Kovacs. "He keeps everyone accountable and contributes in every aspect of the game, from the weight room to the football field."
Snell-Martinez has enjoyed the relationships he's developed on the field with veteran players, but also is excited to see the newcomers come onto the team and contribute to the Bobcats success.
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"We're kind of young, but I think we're proving ourselves all the time," Snell-Martinez said. "The new kids that have come in here have given us the same energy as the ones who left so it's great to see these new kids step up."
Kovacs saw the importance of making Snell-Martinez captain of the team based on the relationships the 18-year-old has acquired off the field.
"When you're in a small school like this, and you're friends with all the athletes here, that means something," Kovacs said. "They all look up to him and there's a lot who want to be just like him."
Snell-Martinez is grateful for the opportunity to be a mentor for so many of his teammates.
"It's just a great environment to be in," Snell-Martinez said. "It doesn't matter their age or how big they are, they're all here doing a great job."
The Bobcats travel to Albuquerque to face Hope Christian at Milne Stadium Saturday at 5 p.m.
GETTING TO KNOW DIEGO
Favorite Movie — Stand By Me
Favorite TV Show — The Office
Favorite Band/Artist — Lil Uzi Vert
Favorite Junk Food — Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Favorite Video Game — Call of Duty: Black Ops
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680