Sports Illustrated recognizes ABQ High Bulldogs

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – For more than four years, the Albuquerque High School Bulldogs had the state’s longest high school football losing streak. This season, the team is getting praise on a national scale from Sports Illustrated for its turnaround.

The latest edition of Sports Illustrated has a write-up on the Bulldogs’ new outlook.

The team’s 43-game losing streak is over.  The team has now won three games.

Doug Dorame, athletic director, said, “I thought someone was trying to sell me a subscription at first because she identified herself as working for Sports Illustrated, and I thought, ‘Why is Sports Illustrated calling the Albuquerque High Athletic Director Office?’ ”

The publication was calling to give props to the players and the new head coach Curtis Flakes, Jr.

“We’re bringing the fun back to it,” Flakes said.

Flakes has brought new energy to the team. In 2011, he nearly died in a motorcycle crash. While in physical therapy, doctors discovered a tumor near his heart. He went through chemotherapy and radiation, then took the job at Albuquerque High School as the head football coach. In the magazine, Flake said he’s experienced a rough four years and so has the team.

“Just getting the kids to believe in themselves and play for each other has been the main thing. We surrounded the kids around some great coaches,” he said.

As for those old days when the Friday night lights weren’t so bright – the players said those days are in the past.

“We don’t bring the losing streak up or anything because we feel like it will bring us down,” said Adrian Lovato, runningback and cornerback.

The team was thrilled their recent accomplishments made Sports Illustrated.

Roel Pavia, AHS Bulldog free safety said, “It feels good to be recognized as a team that’s coming up now.”

The Bulldogs square off against West Mesa at 7 p.m. Friday.

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