Eastern New Mexico University added two Belen football players with the recent signings of running back Diego Casillas and tight end Alexes Aguilar.
“I thought it was a great fit,” said Aguilar. “Just to stay in New Mexico — it was a great opportunity and I took it.”
“(ENMU) had the best offer,” said Casillas. “It seemed like a lot of people had good things to say and everything was pointing to Eastern.”
Aguilar and Casillas played a major role in Belen’s recent success on the gridiron, perhaps most notably during the Eagles’ 2017 state title run in their junior season. Belen head coach Greg Henington commented on their endurance during games as Aguilar also played defensive end and Casillas played linebacker.
In 2018, both were selected to All-District and All-Metro teams, with Casillas being selected as Player of the Year for district and metro teams. They were also selected to the 5A All-State first team on both the defensive and offensive side of the football.
Aguilar said the state title run his favorite football experience, while Casillas’s favorite experience was winning big home games.
Henington spoke highly of ENMU’s decision to sign Aguilar and Casillas. He said he has seen both players mature as athletes and leaders over the years.
“I’m very happy for Eastern recognizing New Mexico talent and doing well with it,” said Henington. “They’re a good football team and a good program. I’m happy for them. They just scored two D-1 kids.”
Aguilar plans to study electrical engineering, while Casillas plans to study electronics engineering.
Aguilar and Casillas said they will miss the community and their teammates at Belen. They also said they will miss rivalry games with Los Lunas and their upset wins over teams like Roswell.
“I’ll miss all the guys here,” said Casillas. “There’s a lot to it. I’ve always been an Eagle.”