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New Mexico’s #1 Sports Magazine Winter 2015-2016

our champ

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New Mexico’s #1 Sports Magazine Winter 2015 Hello ABQ Sports Fans! ABQ Sports magazine P.O.Box 15981 • Rio Rancho, NM 87174 1.855.567.SPORT (7678) abqsportsmag.com

What a whirlwind month it’s been for New Mexico sports! Hometown girl Holly Holm is crowned the new Bantamweight world champion after completely dismantling Ronda Rousey in the much-hyped fight held in Australia just a few short weeks ago. Rousey was the heavy favorite, but Holm and her team from Jackson-Wink MMA knew what other New Mexicans believed in their hearts - that our state’s superstar boxer and MMA fighter is truly the best of the best. See how fans greeted her when she finally returned home.

Photo credit: Carlos Montoya

CONTENTS

Publisher

Montoya Publishing, LLC

6

Managing Editor Sumiko Corley Sumiko@abqsportsmag.com

The 2015 6A state football trophy stays in the City of Vision, with Heath Ridenour and another Perfect Storm. We’ve got details of the December 5th championship game against cross-town rival Eldorado.

6a state champs: cleveland high school football

Art Director David Lansa DL Graphic Design design@abqsportsmag.com

Imagine being a sophomore in high school and Notre Dame comes calling. It’s a dream come true for Brianna Martinez of Volcano Vista. She’s given her verbal commitment to play for the Leprechauns, and we’ll tell you more about this soccer dynamo.

Director of Photography

The ladies of UNM cross country make history at the university, bringing home the highly coveted NCAA championship.

8

Anthony Griego

The first major prep wrestling action happened this week, learn which area team won a 4-state dual, and we’ll also show you the state high school soccer champions.

Photographers

On behalf of the entire staff at ABQ Sports, we wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, with our best wishes for good health, happiness and prosperity during the holiday season and coming year.

Carlos Montoya

our champ holly holm

Brian Carlos Montoya Boysen

Jordan Montoya

On the Cover New Mexico’s #1 Sports Magazine Winter 2015-2016

view our new & improved website! abqsportsmag.com

Our Champ - Holly Holm. This issue is dedicated to Holly Holm, all her fans and her amazing fantastic achievments in the “fight world”. Cover photo by Carlos Montoya

Daniel Martinez

Kayla Montoya

Sam West

Contributing Writers A NEW BEGINNING AT

OUR CHAMP

CLUB RIO RANCHO

#abqsportsmag

Dave Chris Friedlander Martinez

Marty Saiz

Trula Howe

Distribution

11 UNM CROSS COUNTRY WOMEN

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More Sports....

Rico

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11 UNM Cross Country Womens

Readers

We thank you for investing your time into our magazine. Got any feedback? We appreciate any ideas, suggestions or anything we missed. Please feel to contact us anytime by phone, email, or mail.

Writers

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: carlos@abqsportsmag.com 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.

12 NM Notables

13

southwest shootout duals

14 National Guard State Soccer Championships


The

Storm Rages on

BY: STAFF REPORT PHOTOS: Carlos Montoya

F

or the third time in five years, the City of Vision saw one of its football teams claim a state championship.

ball Player of the Year for the state a few days earlier – added 188 rushing yards and touchdown runs of 20 and 50 yards.

First, it was Cleveland High School in 2011, in just its third year of competition, running the table, capped by a come-from-behind win over Mayfield on the Field of Dreams, to be referred to as “The Perfect Storm.”

Although the Eagles scored first, falling on one of their own fumbles in the end zone, the Storm bounced back to tie the game on Hayes’ 28-yard run and then Ortega’s first run for a touchdown.

Last fall, Rio Rancho High School did likewise, defeating visiting Mayfield in the first Class 6A championship game and also going 13-0.

Playing on an injured ankle, EHS quarterback Jayce Jackson threw a 65-yard TD pass to catch the Storm at 14-all, but Hayes’ first two touchdown runs and a 24-yard field goal by David Duran into a stiff wind gave Cleveland a 31-14 bulge at halftime.

On Saturday, December 5, Cleveland High did an encore: The Perfect Storm, Chapter 2, beating visiting Eldorado 48-35 in a meeting of the top two seeds at “Lightning Bolt Stadium” before a crowd of 8,000-plus.

Noah Sweitzer gave the Eagles life with runs of 19 yards and 2 yards for third-quarter scores, sandwiched around Ortega’s 50-yard dash down the sideline, keeping the Eagles’ deficit at 10 heading into the fourth quarter.

Former Chicago Bears All-Pro linebacker Brian Urlacher, a longtime friend of Cleveland coach Heath Ridenour, was on the sidelines to watch his old buddy from Lovington lead the way. Ridenour later said “Url” gave his team one word of advice: “Win.”

Hayes’ final score of the game early in the fourth quarter upped his team’s lead to 45-28; backup quarterback Matt Denis, the hero in Eldorado’s exciting rally to beat Las Cruces in a semifinal on the Field of Dreams eight days earlier, went in from the 1; Andrew Shelley’s fifth point-after making it 45-35.

Landry Hayes ran for 203 yards and scored four times, on runs of 28, 1, 3 and 5 yards, and Gabe Ortega – named the Gatorade Foot6 Winter 2015-2016

Duran then scored the season’s final points with another field goal into the wind, this one of 29 yards, with 2:29 to go. abqsportsmag.com • 7


HOLLY HOLM WORLD BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPION

F

ew athletes have singlehandedly drawn the type of crowd that greeted Holly Holm during her triumphant return to the Duke City. Thousands of people lined the parade route and stood in Civic Plaza December 6th, sending a clear message to “The Preacher’s Daughter” that she is loved. Fans have been waiting since November 14 to personally congratulate the new world champ, following her second-round KO of Ronda Rousey before 8 Winter 2015-2016

BY: sumiko corley PHOTOS: Carlos Montoya

the sold-out, record-breaking crowd of more than 56,000 at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. She vaulted into international fame, spending the subsequent weeks making the rounds of the talk and TV circuits. Holm has always had diehard fans supporting her, and they were out in full force on that sunny Sunday in December. Holm rode in a trolley, waving to the crowd, followed by Governor Susana Martinez and Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, in separate vehicles.

Holm, as gracious as always, thanked her fans, family and coaches, including Mike Winklejohn and Greg Jackson of Jackson-Wink MMA, she also signed autographs. The crowd chanted, screamed in excitement. She took the opportunity to raise money for charities benefitting New Mexicans - her father, a real-life preacher - auctioned off several fight photos that brought in thousands for the Albuquerque Christian Children’s Home.

Mayor Berry proclaimed December 6, 2015, Holly Holm Day. Word is...Rousey is looking for a rematch. Guaranteed, the fight world will be viewing Holm differently, and locals will be looking for another Win.

Continued next page

abqsportsmag.com • 9


PHOTOS: Carlos Montoya

UNM Cross Country Women

NCAA CHAMPIONS BY: SUMIKO CORLEY PHOTO: COURTESY, UNM ATHLETICS

D

eemed one of the most impressive races in NCAA cross country history, the Lobo women placed all five of their scorers in the top 25 at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, KY November 21st, capturing first place and making history at UNM with the first-ever NCAA Divison I championship for the program. These diminutive ladies faced 31 teams filled with the nation’s top runners, emerging as giants in the field with an 80-point victory over 2nd place Colorado. That margin is the fifth largest in NCAA history. Senior Courtney Frerichs led her team placing fourth at 19:48, and the best in program history. Alice Wright pulled in a fifth place finish at 19:53. Rhona Auckland was in at 20:07 (13th), Calli Thackery finished 15th at 20:07.3 and Molly Renfer secured 24th with her 20:17.5 performance. “Everyone played a role,” said Frerichs. “Rhona got to the outside for us which helped through the bumps. Molly got out front. Every did an amazing job. We couldn’t have done it without each other.”

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Total points - 49 - the lowest NCAA team score since 1982. “It’s a great day,” said head coach Joe Franklin. “Super excited for the women. They’re going to remember this for the rest of their lives and that’s really special.” It’s also remarkable in that all five of these ladies earned All-American honors, earned by the top 40 finishers. The last time that occurred in a single championship was in 2009 by Villanova. Heleen Tamget (20:40.4, 74th) and Whitney Thornburg ( 20:55.4, 109th) also competed for UNM on the 6K course. The NCAA victory is the second for UNM. The university’s ski team won in 2004. 10 Winter 2015-2016

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New Mexico

NOTABLES

bri

martinez

She is just a sophomore at Volcano Vista, yet her talent has gained the attention of Notre Dame and Martinez has accepted a verbal offer for a 4-year scholarship to play in South Bend. The offer was a result of her performance at the invite-only US National Team camps last summer. Martinez has received interest from a lot of top tier schools but it’s Notre Dame’s storied history combined with academics and soccer that sealed the deal. “For Cathy and I,” says father Todd Martinez, “it’s like a dream come true. We always knew she had a lot of potential, and we hoped we could leverage those skills to get her into a school that normally would be out of reach for us.  If she can get a degree from a school like Notre Dame, she will be setting a foundation for a great life.  We were very thankful for the interest from all of the schools that reached out to Bri.” Among her strengths: speed, aggressiveness in the attack and game knowledge. She maintains a 3.8 GPA, has been picked 2nd team All-District twice and honorable mention All-State. Martinez has won two consecutive state championships with club team NM Rush 2K. This center mid will finalize the offer by signing her letter of intent the spring of her junior year.

dmitri

fong

This Cottonwood Classical Prepatory Academy senior was a beast in the box this season, helping her Cibola team to a 2015 state soccer championship in November. By attending a charter school, she is eligible to play for Cibola. Fong has been the starting varsity goalie since her freshman year and has also played midfield. She is an immensely talented multi-sport athlete who was part of the 2015 6A state championship basketball team. She plays guard but is strong all over the court and is looking Photo by: Matt Oetze for a repeat of that victory this full contact photography season. Fong has lettered seven times between the two sports and will receive her eighth at the end of the hoops season. Fong’s accomplishments include All-Academic (soccer and basketball), 1st team All-State and 2nd team All-District for soccer. She will graduate high school with an IB (International Baccalaureate) diploma from one of the nation’s top-ranked high schools. Fong plays club for both these sports. She has committed to play for UNM and Heather Dyche next fall.

bobby

foster

In Memorial

December, 15, 1938 – November 21, 2015

Southwest SHOOTOUT Duals 2015 Champions

Photo Courtesy: Sherri Perez

Bobby Foster was one of the greatest athletes to come out of New Mexico. He grew up in the Duke City and attended the old Albuquerque High. His pro boxing career came on the heels of an impressive amateur record while serving with the US Air Force. In 1959 he earned a spot on the Pan Am team by beating a young Cassius Clay; Foster earned a silver during those games. In 1960 he was offered a spot on the US Olympic Boxing team. He declined the offer due to his stature at 6-3 - the position was middleweight. The 1961 fight against Duke Williams launched the professional career of “The Deputy Sheriff,” as Foster was known. He was crowned world light heavyweight champ in 1968 at Madison Square Garden with a fourth round knockout of Dick Tiger. Foster defended that title 14 times until 1974. During those years he made bids to establish himself at the heavyweight level, fighting greats Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, losing to both. He won 56 of 65 fights, 46 by knockout and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. Foster retired in 1974 as the light heavyweight champ, going to work for the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department where he served as a detective. After retirement he worked security in the Second Judicial District court and as a trainer. He is survived by his wife Rose and children Bobby Jr., Anthony, Yolanda Foster James, Mildred Foster, and Nelson Smith.

Joe

Franklin

The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) has picked Franklin the NCAA Division I National Women’s Coach of the Year. This welldeserved honor follows a stellar season with Franklin coaching his UNM girls to a national title. The championship caps a successful season with the women winning four of five invitationals, including Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Mountain West. This is Franklin’s ninth year at UNM and his second national coach of the year honor, the first came during his time coaching men at Butler in 2004. He also earned Mountain Regional women’s Coach of the Year for the third time this season.

Rio Rancho High School

Head Coach Mike Santos

“Our guys have been practicing against each other for a long time,” says Rams head coach Mike Santos, “so going against other competitors is a good indicator of where we are at the beginning of the season. We have a lot of wrestling to go and time for improvement.”

F

our states, 14 teams. They took to the mat December 5th at Rio Rancho High in the first major wrestling competition of the season. Rio Rancho is the defending two-time state champ, but is fielding a young team with limited varsity experience. They stepped up, though, capturing 1st place with their team of 14 wrestlers, gaining some much-needed experience. This competition allowed each athlete nine matches. During a regular tournament, if they lose twice they’re out.

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2015 New Mexico National Guard State Soccer Championships November 7, APS Soccer Complex

PHOTOS: MOJI SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

6A CIBOLA Head Coach Gary Zink Cibola 2 Eldorado 1

2015 New Mexico National Guard StateNovember Soccer Championships 7, APS Soccer Complex

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