Even as a child, Ramie Enriquez wanted to give something back to the Pueblo community.
As Pueblo County High School’s new head football coach, he’s in a unique position to do that.
“I just want to thank all of the people who helped get me to this point: my family, my wife, my kids, my mom, and then just Pueblo in general,” Enriquez said.
“We (Puebloans) are a different race, a tough race. And it kind of shaped me into the man I am today. So this is a big, big thing for me to show my appreciation for the county of Pueblo.”
Enriquez has always had a passion for sports, playing basketball and soccer at Pueblo West from 2002-2006.
Shortly after graduating from high school, he entered the coaching business and became an assistant to the Cyclones football team in 2007.
Almost 15 years later, Enriquez has the chance to build and lead his own team while shaping the lives of young men the way his coaches did for him during his playing career.
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“I think if we all look back on our high school days, we have these teachers and coaches that kind of influenced us, and coach (Keith) Lane and coach (Monte) Pinkerton were tremendous to me,” Enriquez said. “We’ve just built our relationship with them as players and coaches and that will continue.”
Enriquez said those relationships are the reason he is the coach he is today. He wants to inspire the next generation of football players like his coaches did for him.
At the start of this journey, his expectations of the team have not changed.
Pueblo County has a long history of fielding competitive teams that make the state playoffs every year, and Enriquez hopes to build on that storied success.
“Get into the playoffs and get a little bit further in the playoffs,” Enriquez said of his goals for the team. “We always just want to compete.”
Enriquez said getting his players to compete would be difficult, but with the support of his mentors, he’s confident he’ll find the right way to motivate the team to compete in every game.
While it’s not his first attempt at coaching, he knows there are differences between a head coach and an assistant, most notably that all final decisions will now rest on his shoulders.
One such decision is what identity he wants his team to adopt in the years to come.
“We’re going to play smash mouth football,” said Enriquez. “We want to dictate when we throw the ball but we’re going to play a hard-hitting defense and let the ball go.”
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Christopher Abdelmalek is a sports reporter for the Pueblo Chieftain and can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @chowebacca