News-Bulletin file photo
2023 schedules released for Valencia, Belen and Los Lunas football teams.

Are you ready for some football? High school football?

Valencia County schools have released their schedules for the upcoming season.

Valencia Bowl bragging rights and the Valencia County News-Bulletin Chile Roaster Trophy will be at stake when Belen opens the season at Los Lunas on Friday, Aug. 18, in what could be the final football game between the two schools for sometime.

The 5A Eagles and 6A Tigers have discussed taking a break from the Valencia Bowl because of the enrollment differential between the schools and recent dominance by LLHS. Belen and Los Lunas have played every year on the gridiron since 1953.

4A Valencia will also kick off its schedule on Aug. 18, with a road game against Kirtland Central. It will mark the debut of Jaguars’ head coach LeDarrius Cage, who replaced Wesley Shank.

Homecoming for VHS is Friday, Oct. 6, against Rio Grande. The Jags’ will have an open date Friday, Sept. 1, and three home games in a row from Oct. 6-20.

Among the highlights for Belen will be a Sept. 1 home game against defending 5A champion Artesia, led by former LLHS coach Jeremy Maupin, and homecoming Sept. 22 against Las Cruces Mayfield.

The Eagles will have an open date Oct. 6 before starting district action. Absent again from the schedule is Belen against Valencia, a matchup Eagles’ coach Kevin Peña has said would he would like to see.

Homecoming for Los Lunas, coached by Greg Henington, is Friday, Aug. 25 against Alamogordo. LLHS has a tough stretch early in the season with three straight roads games, ending Sept. 15 against La Cueva.

The Tigers’ bye week comes Oct. 20 before the regular season finale.

The games for all three county schools are scheduled at 7 p.m. on  Fridays. The first day that practices are allowed is July 31.


Belen schedule

Aug. 18: BHS at Los Lunas

Aug. 25: Manzano at BHS

Sept. 1: Artesia at BHS

Sept. 8: BHS at Valley (Milne Stadium)

Sept. 15: BHS at Deming

Sept. 22: Mayfield at BHS (Homecoming)

Sept. 29: BHS at Roswell Goddard

Oct. 13: Highland at BHS*

Oct. 20: BHS at Miyamura*

Oct. 27: Piedra Vista at BHS*



Valencia schedule

News-Bulletin file photo
Valencia Jaguars play at Kirtland Central Aug. 18.

Aug. 18: VHS at Kirtland Central

Aug. 25: Del Norte at VHS

Sept. 8: VHS at Portales

Sept. 15: VHS at Santa Teresa

Sept. 22: Bloomfield at VHS

Sept. 29: VHS at Gadsden

Oct. 6: Rio Grande at VHS (Homecoming)

Oct. 13: St. Pius at VHS*

Oct. 20: Grants at VHS*

Oct. 27: VHS at Silver*


News-Bulletin file photo
The LLHS Tigers host Belen Aug. 18 for the Chile Roaster Trophy

Los Lunas schedule

Aug. 18: Belen at LLHS

Aug. 25: Alamogordo at LLHS (Homecoming)

Sept. 1: LLHS at Farmington

Sept. 8: LLHS at Roswell

Sept. 15: LLHS at La Cueva (Wilson Stadium)

Sept. 22: Valley at LLHS

Sept. 29> Capitol at LLHS

Oct. 6: LLHS at AHS*

Oct. 13: Santa Fe at LLHS*

Oct. 27: LLHS at Clovis*

*District games

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Mike Powers spent more than 40 years as a television news and sports anchor, mostly in the Albuquerque market. He has won numerous awards including New Mexico Sportscaster of the Year. He covers a wide range of sports, including the Valencia County prep scene.