By Sebastian Noel
Enchantment Sports Staff Writer
Board your windows, stock up on your non-perishables, there’s an ’emergency quarterback’ coming — and probably going places. Big places.
To call Nathan Sanchez an “emergency quarterback” is as crazy as the term itself.
The undefeated C-Team and junior varsity quarterback is thriving in relief of injured started Diego Pavia.
There is no state of emergency, there is no panic, “Everybody seems pretty comfortable with me back there, the team chemistry is great” declared this week’s Enchantment Sports/Dreamstyle Remodeling Metro Player of the Week.
The Hawks started the season as a top-three team, and despite the injury to Pavia, they are 4-0 and remain in that top three and ready to make a big push toward a championship.
Back to Sanchez, who started this season at cornerback.
That changed in the fourth quarter of the Hawks’ season-opening win again defending state champion La Cueva, when Pavia went out with an injury.
The Hawks’ had penciled in Johnny Herrera as Pavia’s backup, but he was injured early in the game playing his starting position. Herrera never took a snap at quarterback.
So Sanchez was moved from cornerback to the position he had been accustomed his entire life — behind center.
A story and headline in the Albuquerque Journal the next day, referred to Sanchez as the “emergency quarterback.”
I asked Sanchez if the “emergency quarterback” label bothered him, and after some pause, the cerebral Sanchez said “I used it as motivation, I didn’t want people thinking I was a third-string quarterback.”
Sanchez didn’t get a chance to play the position last year, when senior Jake Detherage was leading the Hawks to the semifinals of the state playoffs as one of the best, if not the best, quarterbacks in New Mexico.
I asked Sanchez if he thought, as an underclassman, if he would get a chance at quarterback after Detherage graduated.
He paused, and then said “I just always thought about doing what the team needed.”
What his team got from Sanchez last Friday at Nusenda Community Stadium against the Manzano Monarchs (2-3) was three passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns. In total, 330 yards of offense.
Sanchez has shown he is far from a third-string quarterback, much less the “emergency” guy.
As the season turns towards district play and eventually the playoffs, we don’t know with certainty who will be at quarterback for Volcano Vista, which has an open week before playing Sandia on Thursday (Sept. 26).
But we know Nathan Sanchez’ approach won’t change.
“Be there, and take it week by week.”
Sebastian Noel is a play-by-play announcer for ProView Networks, and also is host of “Local Focus with Sebastian Noel,” airing weeknights at 10 p.m., on ProView. Noel, also serves as the on-field reporter during the My50TV game of the week during the football season.