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Carlsbad, Artesia high schools have nine players named All-Stars

The Carlsbad Cavemen and Artesia Bulldogs struggled at times throughout the COVID-19 shortened season, but had enough playmakers to earn nine All-Star football nods.

The Carlsbad Cavemen had four members selected to the Class 6A 2nd Team with the Artesia Bulldogs getting five players selected to all three of the Class 5A teams.

Carlsbad, 6A All-Stars

Kody Daniell, inside linebacker, 2nd team

Carlsbad senior Kody Daniell (24) brings down a Hobbs runner in the first quarter of their Senior Night game on March 19, 2021. Daniell recorded an interception and Carlsbad won, 27-21.

Daniell finished second on the team with 26 total tackles. The senior recorded one interception, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery in his four games.

Eli Asay, slot receiver, 2nd team

Carlsbad's Eli Asay breaks away from the Hobbs defense in the fourth quarter of their Senior Night game against Hobbs on March 19, 2021. Asay scored a rushing touchdown in the first half and Carlsbad won, 27-21.

Asay, a sophomore, led Carlsbad in receptions (16), receiving yards (242) and receiving touchdowns (4). 

Carlsbad’s other two All-Star selections were senior offensive lineman Ryan Gomez and junior offensive lineman Ramon Loya.

Artesia, 5A All-Stars

Braxton McDonald, slot receiver, 1st team

Artesia's Braxton McDonald catches a pass in the season-finale on March 26. McDonald scored one touchdowns and was 3-3 on extra points. Hobbs won, 56-27.

McDonald led the Bulldogs in receptions (38), receiving yards (475) and touchdowns (7). He finished with 609 all-purpose yards, two two-point conversions and 16 extra points.

Cord Cox, quarterback, honorable mention

Photo highlights from Artesia and Alamogordo's Bowl Game on April 2, 2021 at the Bulldog Bowl in Artesia. Artesia won, 55-28.

Cox threw for 1,172 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions for the Bulldogs. He ran the ball 38 times for 135 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns.

Jake Barrera, running back, honorable mention

Photo highlights from Artesia and Alamogordo's Bowl Game on April 2, 2021 at the Bulldog Bowl in Artesia. Artesia won, 55-28.

Barrera led Artesia in rushing attempts (71), yards (452) and touchdowns (8). He was the lone Bulldog to eclipse the 100-yard rushing barrier this season and did it twice. Barrera also had four successful two-point conversions and was second on the team with 52 total points scored.

Rounding up the Bulldog All-Star selections are senior offensive lineman Marcos Tavera who was named to the 2nd Team and senior defensive lineman Robert Morales who was an honorable mention.