The Cleveland vs. Rio Rancho football game is a rivalry that is young, but very competitive. Cleveland High School was opened in 2009 and the city of Rio Rancho now has two 6A football programs that have competed for the state championship in several of the past seasons, with Rio Rancho winning the state championship in 2014, and Cleveland winning the state championship last year. Both teams came into the contest with undefeated records, and being ranked number one and two in the state.
Brendon is a 3 year starter for the Storm Football team. He was a crucial part of the 13-0 State Championship team in 2015. Brendon also wrestled on the 2015-16 State Champion Wrestling team at CHS. Brendon is a member of the National Honor Society and has plans to go to college after graduation.
Matthew has been honored with All-District/All-State/All-Metro Academic teams. Matthew is the starting center and has been a great leader for the Rio Rancho football program. Upon graduation, Matthew plans on attending Duke University and attempt to get into medical school.
Gabe Ortega started for the Cleveland Storm for 3 years. His sophomore year was 2013. His team went 10-2 that season. Gabe played safety for us that season. He beat the Rio Rancho Rams for the district championship during the first week of November. In 2014, Gabe became our starting quarterback and let us to a 7-4 season and a 2nd place district finish behind the Rio Rancho Rams. In 2015, Gabe started at safety and at QB for us. We beat Rio Rancho for the district championship and went on to win the State Championship on December 5th. Gabe led our 2015 team to a perfect 13-0 season and Gabe was named the New Mexico Gatorade Player of the Year.