RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – It is one of New Mexico’s biggest cities, but its biggest high school had never won a state football championship, until Friday night. Rio Rancho High played, hosted and won their first state championship game, finishing out the season undefeated.
The school added extra seating for the big game against Mayfield of Las Cruces, readying the stadium to hold up to 7,500 people. It was standing room only, with droves of fans filling the aisles. Of course, they showed up in their finest attire for the special occasion.
“I gotta go all out,” said Kendal Beasely, a junior at Rio Rancho High School with his face painted to show his school spirit. “This is the state championship! It’s our first time ever here. I had to go all out, so I wore the wig. I got my glasses. They’re not on right now. My bow tie.”
The City of Rio Rancho is also making history by hosting a state championship game for the first time.
“Businesses put our logo outside. Everybody’s been talking about,” said Gina Alvarado.
Businesses like the True Value hardware store. The manager said he is donating to the booster club.
“I’m saying when the Rams win, we’re going to do a touchdown donation. So 7 percent of our daily sales from Sunday will be donated to the Rams booster club,” said George Meyerson, Jr.
Even the Rio Rancho mayor has got something riding on the game. The losing team’s mayor has to wear the winning team’s jersey to a city council meeting.
“I want Mayor Ken to know I’ve got his jersey ready for him, and I think he’s going to look great in it,” said Mayor Gregory Hull.
We will find out just how great he looks in it now that the Rams pulled off a win in the last minute of the game. They won 33 to 31.
What has made the long wait even more painful for Rio Rancho High School, the city’s other high school, Cleveland, has only been around for five years and they have already won a state title.