New Mexicoâ€™s #1 Sports Magazine APRIL MAY 2016
4 hope 6a state basketball
champions no. 11 seed rams boys stun the crowd
2016 gatorade player of the year
bataan death march
New Mexicoâ€™s #1 Sports Magazine APRIL MAY 2016
Hoops 4 Hope 2016
6a boys state basketball champions
10 6a girls state basketball champions
More Sports.... 7
Bataan Death March marathon
14 2016 Gatorade Player of the Year Clay Patterson
Photo credit: Brian Boysen
4a state basketball champions
Hello ABQ Sports Fans!
ABQ Sports magazine P.O.Box 15981 • Rio Rancho, NM 87174 1.855.567.SPORT (7678) abqsportsmag.com
It’s officially Spring! Along with gusty winds come spring sports. Track and field season is well underway, we have a look at the area’s top T&F athletes to date. Basketball dominates this issue, starting with one of the best sports stories of the year. Rio Rancho boys vaulted from #11 to #1, rolling over their competition game after game during the playoffs. Exciting, nail-biting, those words don’t even come close to the emotion generated as the Rams, led by Wally Salata, proved naysayers wrong with a meteoric performance during the 2016 state basketball championships. Our team of photographers and writers have all the action inside.
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The Gatorade Player of the Year happens to come from that Rams champion team. He’s Clay Patterson - still a junior and a lot left in him for next season. We get to know Clay; what drives him, his thoughts on his top player status and the victory he shares with his younger brother. Clay is part of fiercely passionate family that has generated some of the metro’s top athletes.
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Lawmakers went head to head - this time on the court, instead of on the floor of the Capitol Building - the annual benefit game raising money for medical treatment for thousands of our state’s cancer patients. Learn more in Hoops 4 Hope.
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A look at 6A ladies, and both categories of 4A state basketball champs are also inside, along with an in-depth interview with a man well known in New Mexico sports circles. He’s Anthony Griego, a man who strives for perfection in his images.
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You’ll also meet Wally Salata and Lisa Villareal, the 6A head coaches who led their basketball teams to gold, and we have an update on a Corrales gymnast just back from Canada. CJ Maestas returns with some impressive hardware, and he’ll be in the Duke City to be honored by the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame.
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Some high school JROTC cadets win the grueling Bataan Death March Marathon. Learn who they are, and where they attend school. That, and so much more, in this April issue of ABQ Sports Magazine!
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On the Cover
Brian Carlos Montoya Boysen
New Mexico’s #1 Sports Magazine APRIL MAY 2016
This months cover features the Rio Rancho Rams 6A high School basketball team celebrating there championship win. Photo by Brian Boysen, Moji Sports Photography
4 hope 6a state basketball
champions no. 11 seed rams boys stun the crowd
2016 gatorade player of the year
bataan death march
a new beginning at
club rio rancho
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www.dukecityderby.com abqsportsmag.com • 5
Hoops 4 Hope 2016
“Aggies” trump “Lobos” in Double OT BY: staff report PHOTOS: COURTESY, DOROTHY HORNBECK
Bataan Death March Marathon Rio Rancho Marine Corps JROTC 1st BY: SUMIKO CORLEY PHOTO: COURTESY, ROBIN CULLEN
The prep track & field season is well underway, with some multisport athletes and track stars from seasons past topping their respective events. Here’s a look at the highest ranked metro athletes at this point in the season BOYS: Jordan Byrd Manzano 100 & 200 meters
An Aggie-Lobo showdown always promises some good competition. In this case, the benefit game also resulted in more than $22,000 raised to help fight cancer in New Mexico. Lawmakers used to settling their differences verbally took it to the court in February at Santa Fe High. Basketball skills? Well, let’s just say none were needed. UNM football coach Bob Davie took the helm of the Senate ‘Lobos’, the House ‘Aggies’ were coached by NMSU football coach Doug Martin. Fierce, funny, and all in good spirit. Double overtime was closed with the Senate ‘Lobos’ with the W, 32-29. The antics raised $22,347 for the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center (UNM CCC). “We are deeply grateful to New Mexico’s legislators for their tremendous and steadfast commitment to fighting cancer in our state,” says Center CEO and Director, Cheryl Willman, MD. “The ‘Hoops 4 Hope’ event is fun for everyone, but it is also an important source of support for the UNM Cancer Center.” The facility serves some 10,000 patients statewide each year as the Official Cancer Center of New Mexico. It’s also the only National Cancer Institute designated cancer center in the state, offering patients access to more than 160 clinical trials. The CCC has an annual research budget topping $72 million, employing 132 cancer scientists. Partners include Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, Lovelace Respiratory Research Insititute and NMSU. The collaboration has developed new diagnostics and drugs for many cancers, including leukemia, breast and pancreatic. Hoops 4 Hope has raised nearly $90,000 over the past five years. Learn more at cancer.unm.edu and Hoops4Hope@salud.unm.edu.
6 April-May 2016
Abram Schaap Volcano Vista 400 meters Gavin Sleeter Eldorado 800 meters Andrew Bosquez Hobbs 1600 & 3200 meters Far back row: Taylor Harrison, Brody Olson, Elijah Martinez (off white hat) Far left front: Christian Molina, Gabriel Atencio, Justin Hontanosas, Lewis John, Kamrynn Concho, Jeremiah Astorga, Taylor Churchill, Charlee Cullen, Master Gunnery Sergeant Pete De La Rosa
Eleven cadets, along with one of their instructors, retired Master Gunnery Sgt. Pete De La Rosa, bested a field of 28 teams March 20 at White Sands Missile Range. The 26.2-mile course consisted of soft sand, hilly off road and pavement. They won the event in 4:52:09. “I am very proud of their performance,” says De La Rosa. “All but two of the runners were first time marathoners. The training was extremely challenging because we run despite the weather conditions.” More than 6,600 runners participated in this annual event that commemorates the New Mexico National Guardsmen who died during the Bataan Death March in WWII.
1 Nationally after Nike This junior running back from Los Lunas High has the attention of several big name college football coaches after his performance at the 2016 Nike Regional High School Football Combine held in Dallas mid March. Among his accomplishments - a 4.5 40-yard dash and a 44 inch vertical jump that propelled him to #1 in the nation. SB Nation calls him a “monster recruit”. “He is now a four star recruit,” says KRQE Sports Director Van Tate. “ If he can stay injury free, he will be able to write his ticket on wherever he wants to go...He has the best numbers and that is all the coaches need to see...He is concerned about getting a good education. He says all of his options are still open, even the Aggies and UT San Antonio are in play. The Lobos have not offered him yet. Arizona, New Mexico State, Michigan and UT San Antonio are the only schools that have completely offered.” Samuels had 1400 yards and 24 touchdowns during 2015
Josh Foley Rio Rancho 110 hurdles Veto Virgin Cleveland 300 hurdles 4x100 Manzano 4x200 Volcano Vista Medley Relay Eldorado 4x400 Volcano Vista Demetry Rodriguez Cleveland Shot Put Alejandro Goldston Volcano Vista Long Jump
GIRLS Nia Powdrell Cleveland 100 & 200 meters, Long Jump Jamie Fenton La Cueva 400 meters Mason Swanson La Cueva 800m Amanda Mayoral Cleveland 1600 & 3200 meters Kiersten Huitt Prep 100 hurdles Sarah Mackin Cleveland 300 hurdles Elizabeth Davis Cleveland High Jump Shaye Romero La Cueva Triple Jump Morgan Crotta Prep Pole Vault Duc Willard Hope Shot Put & Discus Samantha Carr Rio Rancho Javelin 400 Relay Cleveland 800 Relay Cleveland 1600 Relay La Cueva 1600 Medley Relay La Cueva
abqsportsmag.com • 7
HEAD COACH: WALLY SALATA COACHING STAFF: HOWARD KNEZEVICH, SCOTT GARRETSON, DALON BYNUM STATISTICS: RAMON SWOOPS
STAFF REPORT PHOTOS: MOJI SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
his was uncharted territory for the Rio Rancho High School boys basketball team.
The Rams had been to the final four last March, but no team had been the 11th seed and won the big-schools’ state title. In 2006, Alamogordo had been seeded 12th and got to the championship game, losing to No. 2 Manzano. And coach Wally Salata’s Rams were heading into the postseason on a five-game losing streak. The Rams (19-12) won a nail-biter, 55-53, in their first-round game at No. 6 Albuquerque High; the Bulldogs had won two of three previous meetings with the Rams.
Rio Rancho turns into
6A State Basketball Champions 8 April-May 2016
KNEZEVICH, GARRETSON, SALATA, BYNUM, SWOOPS
Next, a relatively easy 72-63 win over No. 3 Cibola – a team that had beaten the Rams three times in the season. In the semifinals, the Rams faced city foe Cleveland High, the 2 seed. As they had done in their game with the Cougars and would again against Carlsbad, the Rams never trailed and beat the favored Storm, 49-43. Then, before a crowd of about 8,000 at WisePies Arena, the Rams chalked up a 5654 victory over No. 4 Carlsbad, with Carlsbad making its first appearance in the championship game since 1957. The Rams’ starting five – junior guards Clay Patterson, the Gatorade Player of the Year, and Juan Hurt, plus sophomore forwards Derrick Reyes and Joe Elmalhy, and junior forward Jeremy Snider – saw a lot of time on the floor and got it done. Hurt and Patterson led the way for the Rams with 17 points apiece in the title tilt, while Reyes had 12. Elmalhy led the rebounding effort with 8 of his team’s 25 boards. Carlsbad was led by Brenden Boatwright’s 13 points and 11 rebounds. “When you get guys like this, that are coachable, they’re gonna do what it takes to win,” Salata said. They’re “gonna be a good team” in 2016-17, too. The Rams had only one senior on this year’s roster. abqsportsmag.com • 9
Volcano Vista denies Cougars repeat in 6A Head Coach: Lisa Villareal
Coaching Staff: Ross Villareal, Lisa Madrid, Stefani Dominguez, Sarah Armstrong STAFF REPORT PHOTOS: MOJI SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Been there, done that:
4A Basketball State Champions
Hope boys four-peat, girls repeat STAFF REPORT PHOTOS: MOJI SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Ya gotta have Hope. Yes, you’ve gotta have Hope. The New Mexico High School Basketball Tournament had plenty of Hope (Christian School) in mid-March: The school’s boys and girls basketball team each won Class 4A championships at WisePies Arena. For longtime boys coach Jim Murphy, winning a title was nothing new. Heck, Murphy’s the state’s leader in state championships, with 14. But it was kind of new for his brother-in-law, Huskies girls coach Terry Heisey. He’s “only” won three state championships, but that includes the last two. He had the privilege of having a daughter (Christine, a junior) and his niece (Charity Murphy, also a junior) on his roster, dominated by underclassmen. Ladies, first: Taking a 14-game winning streak to state, the No. 5 Huskies (22-9) throttled visiting Hatch Valley 58-34 in the first round, then beat Kirtland Central 53-44 in the quarterfinals. Like the school’s boys team, the Huskies had faced tough competition, losing along the way to 6A’s defending champ, Cibola, plus once to Eldorado and twice to 6A’s eventual champ, Volcano Vista. That set up a showdown with No. 1 Portales, which the Huskies eliminated after a tense 35-34 victory. In the championship game at WisePies Arena, the Huskies beat No.2 Shiprock, 51-48. Trailing the Class 6A state champion by nine points at halftime wasn’t a problem for the Volcano Vista Hawks (24-5), who fought back from that 19-10 halftime deficit to catch defending 6A champ Cibola, 24-all, at the end of the third period at WisePies Arena – and then edge the No. 1 Cougars 9-7 in the final quarter. Better free-throw shooting was the key: The Hawks, also winning state championships for coach Lisa Villareal in 2012 and ’14, were 10-of-17 at the line to Cibola’s 8-of-17. Senior Raven Herrera had game-highs of 16 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Hawks. Corbyn Cunningham had 11 to lead the Cougars (26-2), whose only losses were to the Hawks. The second-seeded Hawks routed Atrisco Heritage Academy 62-16 in the first round; beat their District 1-6A foe Cleveland 45-34 in the quarterfinals; then defeated Las Cruces 54-48 in the semifinals to get to the championship game. 10 April-May 2016
Now, the boys. Seeded No. 1, the Huskies (29-2, with their losses coming to Class 6A’s top seed, Oñate, and No. 3 Cibola) routed visiting Cobre 70-28 in the first round, then beat their District 5-4A foe, Sandia Prep, 65-50 in the quarterfinals. Next came the Silver Colts in the semifinals. No problem: Huskies 69, Colts 50. That set up a meeting with No. 3 West Las Vegas, with a loud crowd cheering their Dons’ every move. It didn’t help: Murphy’s Huskies hoisted the blue trophy for the fourth year in a row after a convincing 67-42 domination of the Dons. abqsportsmag.com • 11
New Mexico NOTABLES cj
PLAY THIS COURT....
gold in calgary
Photo: Courtesy, Marty Saiz This Corrales gymnast is just back from the University of Calgary International Cup, earning an individual gold on rings and a second gold in the team category in mid March. Justifiably, Maestas has been selected the Collegiate Athlete of the Year by the NM Sports Hall of Fame and will be honored April 3rd at the Hall of Fame banquet in Albuquerque. He then returns to Colorado and the Olympic Training Center in preparation of the Olympic qualifiers this summer. Maestas recently graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in communications. He and his national team have just finished a photo shoot with People Magazine and will be featured in a future issue.
6a state basketball girls champ volcano vista Photo: MoJI Sports Photography Three-time state champion head coach Villareal clearly excels in at least two things: coaching and time management. This year’s win is her third in five years with the Hawks. “I’ve been lucky to be successful with all of the sports I coached,” she says. “Making a difference in so many lives over the years has been very rewarding.” Villareal is Volcano Vista’s Technology Coordinator, managing more than 150 faculty and staff members plus 11+ computer labs. She’s also a new mom to 20-month old daughter Ryan. Villareal’s coaching experience spans 20 years, including stints at Espanola Valley High (basketball, volleyball, softball) and Capital High (basketball, volleyball). She hails from Alcalde, where she played basketball, volleyball and softball, and holds two degrees: a BA in Management from Western NM University and Masters in Technology from Lesley. She says her athletes all hold a special place in her heart. “Seize every opportunity! Work hard everyday! No adversity will ever hold them back from achieving their goals! Last, but not least, to Never Ever Give Up!” What’s next? “Continue my commitment, my passion, and my focus,” says Villareal, “in producing quality basketball teams and athletes who will later become productive citizens in society.” 12 April-May 2016
NOT THAT COURT....
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Cibola, Sandoval, and Valencia County
6a state basketball boys champ rio rancho high school
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6a METRO coach of the year
Photo: MoJI Sports Photography Salata and his athletes stunned teams around the state with each successive playoff win. They fought for every point, defying the odds and vaulting from #11 to #1, in a Cinderella story that truly, could be no sweeter. “My motivation comes from all the people who said I couldn’t play basketball in high school, college and professional,” says Salata. “My motivation is from all the people who said I couldn’t win a State Championship.” Salata has been a head coach for 17 years: Rio Rancho, Rio Grande, St. Pius and Los Lunas. This 1982 Pius grad played ball himself; high school honors include a state championship, All-State Tournament selection and a special recognition award from the Albuquerque Journal. During his four years at Fresno Pacific University, Salata was named MVP three times (1984, 1986, 1987), All-Conference (1987), AllDistrict (1986), 1000 Point Club (1983-87), Conference Player of the Week (Feb 1987) and Fresno Bee Athlete of the Week (Nov 1984). He also spent two years pro in Mexico as a player and coach. This Staten Island native has played basketball since 3rd grade, is a father of three (Ally, Walter and Georgia) and currently teaches Special Education in the Inclusion setting at RRHS. His message for athletes? “I want players to know that there is more in life than basketball. We talk about life skills all the time. Stay humble. Do your best. Never Give Up!!” Salata has just one senior on his winning team, which means he returns with a seasoned team in the quest for a 2nd state championship.
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Victory was doubly sweet because Clay shared it with his teammate and brother, David. “ It was awesome winning a state championship with David,” says Clay, “because not many people get to play with their siblings.” The brothers are two of the four Patterson boys. If you follow prep sports, then you’ll be familiar with older brothers Austin and Brady. Austin is currently a junior at Eastern NM University, playing football as a receiver. His prep honors include All-Metro, All-District, All-State and AllAcademic (football), he also played basketball and baseball. Brady is a freshman point guard for the Greyhounds. High school honors include All-Metro, All-District, All-State, All-Academic, District Player of the Year, Metro Player of the Year, USA Today Player of the year (basketball) and All-Metro, All-District, All-State, All-Academic and 6A state champion (football). Parents Dave and Valerie are accomplished athletes and coaches, as well as local business owners; their company is The Grounds Guys of Rio Rancho. Being a junior and freshman, Clay and David return with the Rams next season seeking another win.
CLAY PATTERSON 2016 GATORADE PLAYER OF THE YEAR BY: SUMIKO CORLEY PHOTOS: MARTY SAIZ and DAVE & VALERIE PATTERSON It’s an exclusive club. One of the most prestigious and sought-after accolades in high school sports. Clay Patterson’s selection as Player of the Year recognizes not only his athlete prowess, but his academic excellence (3.59 GPA) and his character. Patterson is one of the finest student-athletes in the nation. “It’s a huge honor being picked,” says Patterson, “because I have always looked up to past winners of this award and now I join them.”
“We are a Christian family,” says Dave, “and while we are not perfect, we strive to do things in such a way that it would honor the Lord. He is the main reason for the boys’ successes.” The 6-foot, 160-pound junior guard led the Rams to a 1912 record and the Class 6A state title this past season. Patterson averaged 20.5 points, 3.3 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game while shooting 55 percent from 3-point range. A First Team All-State selection, he scored a game-high 17 points in Rio Rancho’s 56-54 win over Carlsbad in the Class 6A state championship game. A devoted parishioner in his church community, he has volunteered locally as a youth basketball coach, on behalf of an area retirement home and in association with an elementary school literacy-outreach initiative. -Gatorade.com
ANTHONY GRIEGO Moji Sports Photography- Director/Manager Age 46 BUSINESS PROFILE
PHOTO: RAYMOND ARMIJO, MOJI Studios
rowing up in Tijeras and attending Manzano High, Griego is well-known, and wellrespected in the metro area. His photography career spans more than two decades, and he now finds himself shooting images of the children of those whom he once photographed at the beginning of his career. “I have been taking photos since I was 10 years old,” he says. “I was my father’s little security guard, watching his gear while he was photographing weddings and family functions. As my love for photography grew, I married and had children. Then I began coaching little league baseball which naturally mixed sports with photography.” His first official shooting job came through AAFES, the Kirtland Air Force Base store known as ‘The Exchange”. Then came 20 years at Kim Jew. The owner-brothers of Kim Jew separated their business and for the past 2 1/2 years Griego has been with MOJI, which specializes in sports, school and event photography.
He’s covered all the ‘biggies’ locally, including Notah Begay III, UFC and high school state championships. Griego has also covered the NBA and MLB, and serves as the official photographer for the Isotopes, UNM’s athletic department and ESPN’s Gildan Bowl. Musical acts? Well, he has those covered as well - from Carlos Santana to Jason Aldean to Pitbull. “I have been very fortunate in my career to have my work published in...ESPN Magazine, ESPN.com, Minor League Baseball.com, Abq Sports Magazine, Orlies Lowriding Magazine, UFC Magazine, FIGHTMAGAZINE.COM, The Source (hip hop magazine), Sporting News Magazine, Streetseen Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.” The man also has the hardware, including several 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards from the Professional Photography Association (PPA), the Sports Photography Association of America (SPAA) and the New Mexico State Fair.
“A lot of his workouts are done on his own and of his own initiative,” says father Dave Patterson. “We have our own court in our backyard an he spends countless hours there shooting and working on his game.”
Griego celebrates 25 years of marriage with wife Renea, they have five children ages 11-25. He’s a happy, successful man. And a man who believes in giving back to his community, working with the Juvenile Diabetes Association, ALS Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House.
The award tops a come-from behind state championship win.
Off time? There’s not a lot of that, but when he’s not working, he’s coaching, fishing and golfing. Chances are, even when he’s ‘relaxing’...a camera is probably never far away.
14 April-May 2016
Clay, Brady, Valerie, Dave, David, Austin
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“What keeps me intrigued is the love of sports,” says Griego, “team work and overall challenge of capturing moments in time.”
Patterson got his start at the Boys & Girls Club 12 years ago. In addition to team practice, during the season he puts in five hours each week on his own, 10-20 hours each week offseason, he also plays AAU club ball.
“Unbelievable,” says Dave, “one of my proudest moments, especially knowing that I had coached many of the players on this team, not just my sons.”
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“I simply love what I do,” says Griego. “Love what you do, live, love, laugh.” abqsportsmag.com • 15
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