New Mexicoâ€™s #1 Sports Magazine August-September 2015
lobo all stars inaugural game
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New Mexico’s #1 Sports Magazine Aug- Sept2015 It’s back to school time ABQ Sports Fans! We’re coming off a red hot summer of sports action as youth athletes transition to school sports.
ABQ Sports magazine P.O.Box 15981 • Rio Rancho, NM 87174 1.855.567.SPORT (7678) abqsportsmag.com
Little Leah Futey starts off the action winning a national track championship at Benedictine University this summer. She beat the best of the best in the nation in a photo finish, details are inside.
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New Mexico athletes can claim another national championship - the Albuquerque Cruisin Big Dogs - a deceiving name for a group of grannies - took to the court in Minneapolis clinching an exciting victory. Their story is so remarkable that they were featured on NBC Nightly News.
Managing Editor Sumiko Corley Sumiko@abqsportsmag.com
Cassidy Cox of Manzano High traveled to Rome and returned with a gold medal and the title of world champ, more on this true life Katniss. His passion for kids and athletics is matched only by his devotion to helping youth prevent birth defects. Meet coach Jerome Romero, a force in the national campaign against fetal alcohol syndrome.
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And it is with great sorrow that ABQ Sports observes the passing of the mighty Jim Bradley, the legendary football coach from southern New Mexico.
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On the Cover
New Mexico’s #1 Sports Magazine August 2015
This Issue features the up and coming little leaguers in the Metro area. Photos by Moji Sports Photography.
LOBO ALL STARS INAUGURAL GAME
C H A CLUB MRIO RANCHO P S !
A NEW BEGINNING AT
ALEX BREGMAN HOMETOWN BOY COACH JEROME ROMERO
JIM BRADLEY IN MEMORIAL ‘TODAY WE LOST THE GREATEST TROJAN...GOD BLESS YOU, COACH JIM BRADLEY” -Mayfield High School Twitter Feed
is name is synonymous with the football dynasty in southern New Mexico. A man who was a wee bit gruff at times, but widely respected in NM football. This legend passed away August 12 age the age of 82 after reportedly being in hospice. Bradley suffered a heart attack and two strokes in 2012 and had struggled with health since that time. He led Mayfield and Roswell to more than 200 victories, with career stats of 31091-9. He served as NMSU head coach from 1973-77 (23-31-1). Bradley was chosen New Mexico Coach of the Year five times, was inducted into the New Mexico High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor (1990), National High School Athletics Coaches Hall of Fame (2000) and in 2009, was inducted into the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame. Bradley even coached the Las Cruces Bulldawgs to a state BASEBALL victory in 1963. His head football coaching began before the 1965 season in Mayfield and he retired in 2006 after winning the state championship with Mayfield. Sons Michael and Gary have become successful NM prep football coaches themselves, both state champions. ABQ Sports extends condolences to the Bradley family, especially Coach’s wife Phyllis.
“He was like a dad to some of us, he was tough but fair. He taught us as young men that respect is earned each day on the practice field, in the classroom, and in life. We still live by this!” - Alfredo Saenz, two-time state champ under Bradley
Coach Jerome Romero: saving lives
Local newspaper sports editor Gary Herron is out with a new book celebrating youth and sports in the City of Vision.
All this, and much more, in this August issue of ABQ Sports!
Kymbrye Ann Temple Kymbrye@abqsportsmag.com Cell 930-0185
Albuquerque Academy alumni Alex Bregman is MLB’s #2 pick, Rio Rancho High’s Shelby Pendley goes pro, lots of court action with the greats of Lobo basketball and Lobo Aquatics tackles cancer research doing what they do best.
Alex bregman: mlb’s #2
Brian Carlos Montoya Boysen
Dave Chris Friedlander Martinez
11 lobo all stars inaugural game Picture courtesy: Valerie Armijo
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ABQ Sports is a monthly magazine dedicated to covering all aspects of the Albuquerque and surrounding communities scene. We accept stories and photos for consideration. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org All contents of this magazine are copyrighted by ABQ Sports Magazine, all rights reserved. Reproduction of any articles, advertisement or material from this issue is forbidden without permission of the publisher.
More Sports.... Making a Splash in the Fight Against Cancer
10 Shelby Pendley- Rookie of the Year
eastdale Minors win state
12 NM Notables 13 Cassidy Cox: International Gold
Coach Jerome Romero
MAKING A SPLASH
BY: SUMIKO CORLEY PHOTOS: BRIAN BOYSEN, MOJI PHOTOGRAPHY
e’s devoted the past 22 years of his life to kids. Training them, mentoring, counseling off the courts when teens come to him with problems. Romero is the head coach for girls varsity tennis at Cibola High as well as Sandia Prep’s head girls JV basketball and assistant varsity coach. His passion for kids and their quality of life, though, is not solely for the athletes who have come through his programs.
IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CANCER BY: SUMIKO CORLEY Photo: Kimberly Page
This New Mexico native is a graduate of NMSU and St. Michael’s in Santa Fe. He’s on his 19th year as the state director of the UNM/ CASAA (Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addictions) Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention Program.
This year’s ‘Splash Away Cancer’ event raised about $13,500, which goes to the UNM Cancer Center for use in research and treatment. Some 200 attended the May 13th fundraiser, with more than 100 swimmers of all ages swimming one of three distances: 500 yards, one mile or two miles.
“It is important to spread the message that FAS is a birth defect that is 100% preventable”, says Romero. “Educating kids at a young age in middle school and high school about the hazards of drinking alcohol during pregnancy is best way to prevent FAS. The message should be taught early just like we teach kids to look both ways before you cross the street. Never drink alcohol during pregnancy.”
Spokesperson Dorothy Hornbeck says 100% of the proceeds benefit the Cancer Center.
He has been taking that message into classrooms statewide for years. Now, he’s taking it a step further. “I am funding high school sports programs to be creative and go out into their schools and communities and put on an FAS awareness campaign”, he says. “High School athletes are leaders in their schools so I am giving them the opportunity to help prevent a birth defect. This past year the FAS Prevention Program worked with tennis programs and basketball programs to bring awareness to their fellow students. Tennis matches and basketball games were played wearing red shoes, red shirts to signify FAS. Prevention posters and presentations were conducted at the schools. Feedback from fellow coaches was very positive about the whole experience not only for the student athletics but also for them.” Alcohol is a teratogen, he explains, that alters the development of the baby. Simply put - if a female doesn’t drink during pregnancy, the risk of this syndrome is zero. “Approximately 1 child per 100 is born with FAS,” says Romero, “and 3 children per 100 is born with an FASD.” In New Mexico that means approximately 300 babies are born each year with full blown FAS, 900 others are diagnosed on the fetal alcohol spectrum. Children born with either condition have lifelong difficulty with a multitude of common things like learning, behavior and memory. 6 August 2015
he churning waters at UNM’s natatorium was a fight against a killer, a celebration of surviving cancer, and a memorial for those who haven’t.
“September 9th is FASD Awareness Day to bring attention to the importance of not drinking alcohol while pregnant. Wear red shoes on September 9th, 2015 to bring attention to FASD.” - Jerome Romero, high school coach and state FAS director Romero is a power player in the FAS world. He is the chairman of the National Association of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention Coordinators and a member of the National Organization on FAS. In 2012 he was inducted into the NOFAS Hall of Fame for his work in New Mexico. He duties take him regularly to Washington D.C. to help shape policy and funding on a national basis. For more information or to donate visit www.preventfas.org. To find out how to get your school involved contact Romero at aggie@unm. edu, 505-925-2302.
“The UNM Cancer Center treats more than 60 percent of the adults and virtually all of the children in New Mexico affected by cancer, from every county in the state,” says Hornbeck. “It is home to New Mexico’s largest team of board-certified oncology physicians and research scientists, representing every cancer specialty and hailing from prestigious institutions such as M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, and the Mayo Clinic.” Olympian Mike Bruner made an appearance, well known in swimming circles as the man who won two gold medals in the 1976 Olympics: 200-meter butterfly, in which he also set a world record at 1:59.23, and was at the top of the podium in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay. Bruner is a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. “Swimming for those who enjoy it is a wonderful form of exercise,” says event organizer Joel Swartz. “It’s very individual but quite often a lot of swimmers swim with a team or group. You have your own pace, your own goals and own ability and you have your team. I swim with the Lobo Aquatics Masters. Sometimes it’s easier for me to enjoy and push myself a little bit when I have a group of friends to enjoy it with. My wife is a cancer survivor as well...this is the perfect opportunity to give back...It’s a great way because a lot of people like to stay healthy an it seemed like a no brainer.” The Lobo Aquatic Club, UNM Recreational Services and New Mexico Master Swimming sponsored the event.
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INNAGURAL ABQ SPORTS Magazine
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ans of this Albuquerque Academy graduate cheered when the news came: The number 2 pick by the Houston Astros during the 2015 draft in June. That comes with a $5.9 million dollar signing bonus. “Alex Bregman has been one of college baseball’s elite players for the last three years,” Astros director of scouting Mike Elias said. “He’s a skilled defensive shortstop who also impacts the game on offense, as he possesses the ability to hit for average, steal bases and put up power numbers.” His selection was certainly a time for celebration, but also redemption. Following a hand injury that sidelined him most of his senior high school year at the Academy, Bregman was picked in the 29th round of the 2012 draft. He, his coaches, family and fans knew the 29th pick was not indicative of his talent, nor his potential. He made a wise choice in playing college ball at Louisiana State University. 8 August 2015
LSU says during the 2015 season Bregman went .323/.406/.534 with 22 doubles (tops in the SEC), 9 home runs, 49 RBIs, 38 stolen bases (leading the SEC, and the second-most steals in a season in LSU history), and 206 assists to lead the conference. He led his nationally ranked #1 LSU team to the College World Series, winning a slew of awards along the way: LSU’s Skip Bertman Award for best exemplifying the spirit of LSU baseball, the Rawlings Gold Glove winner at shortstop by the ABCA, First Team D1 Baseball, First Team Perfect Game. The 6-foot 180lb athlete was also one of four finalists for the 2015 Golden Spikes Award, which is presented to the nation’s best college player. He is a two-time All-American and the 2013 National Freshman of the Year by Baseball America.
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He’s been displaying his ball skills since he was five. At 16 he became the first high school player to win the USA Baseball Player of the Year Award. He set a New Mexico season record in 2011 with 19 home runs. His strengths: an excellent defense player who can play anywhere on the field, bat speed, his talent in making frequent contact with few strike outs, his sense of the strike zone, strong arm, good speed, good choices running bases and excellent insincts at shortstop. Parents Sam and Jackie Bregman, both attorneys, reside in Albuquerque.
5011 Montgomery Blvd Suite B1 Albuquerque, NM 87109
abqsportsmag.com • 9
Thunderbirds Little league
NATIONAL PRO FASTPITCH
by GARY HERRON Local Sports Editor and Baseball Expert Pens New Book
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
ack just a few short years ago when Shelby Pendley starred at Rio Rancho High, anyone who saw her on the field knew she was destined for greatness. She may now cross off yet another achievement: Pendley has just been named the NPF Rookie of the Year AND named to the All-NPF Team at second base. When it comes to grit, she’s got it. Pendley has morphed a great high school career into a stellar college performance at the University of Oklahoma and recently achieved her dream of playing in the majors, picked 2nd overall by the USSSA Pride in the National Pro Fastpitch league draft this spring. She’s signed a two-year contract and has spent this summer training in Florida. In her pro debut she led the Pride to a 10-2 win over the Dallas Charge, going 4-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and a trio of RBI’s. Pendley is a three-time All-American, two-time Big 12 Player of the Year, made the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll four times and the Dean’s List three times during her four semesters as a Sooner.
High school athletes and sports teams from Cleveland and Rio Rancho high schools gets their own chapter in “Rio Rancho,” a new book from Arcadia Publishing, due out the first week in August.
Gestic Marquez Zia Little league christian armijo
eastdale Little league
This is Herron’s third of four books: “Baseball in Albuquerque” (Arcadia, 2011) and “Duke City Diamonds: Baseball in Albuquerque” (Rio Grande Books, 2013) preceded “Rio Rancho;” he is working on a fourth book, which will be about baseball in New Mexico, due out from Rio Grande Books in spring 2016.
eastdale Little league
all stars Victoria romero
enchantment Little league
10 August 2015
Longtime Rio Rancho Observer sports editor Gary Herron gathered the numerous images and wrote captions for the book, which tells about Rio Rancho’s early days, incorporation in 1981, the success story of Rio Rancho Public Schools and the “treasures” of this city, the third-largest in New Mexico.
Thunderbirds Little league
hat a great night for the nearly 10,000 Lobo fans!!! It awesome to see so many of the best to ever play in the PIT gather for the All-Star Game. Alex Kirk led the Cherry team with 32 points followed closely by JR GIddens with 30, securing a 127-124 victory over the White team. There was a special presentation to Danny Granger from the Danny Granger
D1 Ambassador Club’s coaches for his financial contribution to the club of $160,000, which has helped 116 high school players over the last 8 years fulfill their dream of playing college basketball and getting an education. The “Dunk Contest” was a huge success with Deshawn Delaney gliding in the air for a monster dunk to beat former NCAA dunk contest winner Tony Danridge, who had an elbow dunk. Cam Bairstow did a great job of hosting this event plus his 3-day camp for the youth of New Mexico. Brandon Mason and Adrienne See-Palacio did an outstanding job organizing a first class camp for the kids and with the all-star game. Thanks to Isleta Casino and Resort, ESPN 101.7 THE TEAM, Graphic Connection, St. Clair’s Winery and Bistro and Proview Sports Network. The $16,000 in proceeds from the events went to Pink Pack cancer fund and the Lobo Club.
abqsportsmag.com • 11
leah futey National Track Champion & All-American
This little dynamo has been winning awards for years, and she adds yet another national title to her name winning the 800m, 9-10 girls division (2:26.80) at the 2015 USA Track & Field (USATF) Hershey Youth Outdoor Track & Field Championship held at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL, June 30-July 5. Leah placed 2nd in the 1500m. In her short years of competing she’s won upwards of 30 combined individual and team titles at the state, regional and national level in track and cross country. She runs with Cougar Track Club of Albuquerque, head coach Will Sisneros.
Alexandra Osterloh All-American Bronze for this talented runner at Youth Outdoors. Osterloh’s 17:57.24 in the 3000m 13-14 girls race walk was good for third place. She competes with AAT (Albuquerque Athletics Track), head coach Carl Brasher. Osterloh’s mother Cassandra, is the race walk coach. She is also coached by two-time Olympian and highly decorated American racewalker Tim Seaman, who lives in San Diego. In addition to this achievement Alex has two association titles and one regional title. She is a five time AllAmerican. Racewalking is not part of high school or middle school track so she competes through USATF.
Casey Owens Heading to the LA Lakers Owens has just signed a deal to coach the Los Angeles Lakers D League team. This New Mexico State University graduate has a lot of experience coaching different levels in different states. He spent time at the helm of the NM Slam, the international basketball league, was the assistant coach in the early 2000’s of the Dakota Wizards CVA league, spent a few years coaching in China, was head video coach for the Chicago Bulls and worked for the Denver Nugget Association. His son Tennessee is a point guard from Centennial High School and plays Danny Granger AU club.
Luke Futey, Emily Schrader, Isabella Schrader,
Top 20 Finishers at Youth Nationals Luke, brother of Leah, pulled in a 14th place (10:34.52) in the 13-14 boys 3000m. Emily Schrader produced two top-20 performances with 11th in the 11-12 girls 3000m (11:47.89) and 19th in the 11-12 girls 1500m (5:28.47). Emily is also a 2015 three-time USATF state champ in the 1500, 3000 and high jump. Her sister Isbella’s 11:18.69 in the 13-14 girls 3000m secured a 10th place finish and she also earned 17th in that bracket’s 1500 (5:13.72). Their mother, Elena Schrader, is the head boys and girls cross country coach and head girls track coach at Volcano Vista. All three athletes run with Cougar Track.
Albuquerque Cruisin Big Dogs National Senior Olympic Basketball Champions In a game that some would say is more suited for their great grandchildren, these ladies took the court July 15 in Minneapolis, MN determined to win gold. And win they did, beating the San Diego Splash 24-12 in the final game to claim the title of national champions. These ladies are all in their 80’s and 90’s, they practice twice a week and are fierce in three-on-three competition. Along with the exercise they have a lot of hardware - these ladies have also won silver and bronze at the national championship in years past - and they’ve formed close friendships. Coach Dennis Porter, a former college coach, says he’s inspired by these gals.
WIN STATE Photos by Moji Sports Photography
“This is a very special group of boys. I am very grateful that I was given the opportunity to coach this talented team. I am proud of the accomplishments that this team achieved, and the boys deserve all the credit for playing so well.” - Diego Armijo, Eastdale head coach
ot only did this group of 12 boys come to win, they wanted to send a clear message that they rule the age group in baseball. Check and doublecheck.
Their July 26 All Star state tournament championship game (9-10 year olds) against Carlsbad made it clear that they have a winning combination of athleticism, teamwork and sound coaching. That 15-4 victory over Carlsbad was actually the third time in the state championship series playoffs they faced and beat that particular opponent. State came on the heels of another decisive victory - 11-3 over Sunset in districts. They had an undefeated season of nine games and the majority of these boys have played together for the past two years. “It was a great win because of all the time and hard work the team put into the entire Allstar experience,” says head coach Diego Armijo. “With good coaching and teamwork, this team accomplished their goal of a state championship they set at the beginning of the Allstar tournament. Playing in the state championship and having to beat a very good Carlsbad Allstar team three times was very rewarding. It’s hard to beat a team three times, but this Eastdale Allstar team had great pitching and hit the ball really well to finish the tournament as State Champions.” Armijo plans to keep the boys together until high school.
12 August 2015
INTERNATIONAL GOLD BY: SUMIKO CORLEY PHOTOS: COURTESY, QUINTIN COX
hen this 17-year old takes aim, it’s not often that she strays from her very focused path. It’s that determination that has earned her international honors, where she and a teammate from Virginia won the top prize in the Cadet Compound Mixed Team shoot in Rome, Italy in mid July at the European Youth Cup. “Winning gold felt really amazing,” says Cassidy, “because it’s reassurance that all the hard work put in is finally paying off.” The Cadet Compound Mixed Team is formed by the top male and female archer on the US team. Cox and her partner each shot 8 arrows at a distance of 50 meters. To put that distance into perspective, they were shooting a little more than the half way point of a football field. They won based on accuracy under time restrictions. Cox also brought home a silver in the Cadet Women’s shoot, the only New Mexican on a team of three. This Manzano High senior earned her position on the US Archery Team, coming in as the top ranked Cadet female based on her achievements in 2014. She has earned high marks at various competitions around the US this year, including the World Youth Championships held in South Dakota shortly before the European Youth Cup. “She shot with (two out of state teammates) on the Cadet Female Compound team”, says father Quintin Cox. “The team broke a world record in qualifying, beating the old record by over 30 points. In the team eliminations, they won a close match with Team Australia in the semi-finals and easily won against a very good team from Mexico taking the Gold medal. In the Gold medal match, they tied a world record for team match play. The gold medal in the team rounds was a memory of a lifetime for her and us - my wife and I.” Cox is a true Cadet in age, but because of her skill is shooting in the next older category of Junior, where she is ranked #2 in the nation against archers her senior. abqsportsmag.com • 13
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New Mexico's #1 Sports magazine