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Serving the greater New Mexico central region - New Mexico’s Premiere Sports Magazine March 2011

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hometown

heroes Holly holm & keith jardine

2011 usa indoor

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On the Sports Scene!

With the outstanding variety of sports and sporting events happening here in our town, it is easy to see why so many ABQ Sports readers have sent us messages, sharing how inspired they have been by the slick and colorful photos and comprehensive and knowledgeable sports writing. Our community is responding positively to ABQ Sports, Albuquerque’s only magazine covering local sports and athleets, showing just how athletically active and talented Albuquerque truly is! With your support, we can cover many new and exciting events. The opportunity to impact your local sports community is only a phone call or e-mail or Facebook friend-request away. Send us your ideas; any and all are welcome!To you business owners from Los Alamos to Belen: ABQ Sports magazine is an excellent vehicle to deliver your company’s specialty and strength to the public, through the procurement of an extremely visible and high grade color ad space. Consider making us a part of your marketing plan, today. We strive, like the outstanding athletes found in this central portion of the Land of Enchantment, for excellence, and just like them, we deliver results!

From our readers... Having seen this magazine for the firt time in person, I can say it looks great. Its a decent read and is overall very professional looking. Thank you for covering local sports scene where I live. - Lisa Lucero, Clovis, NM

Publisher Montoya Publishing, LLC

Art Director/Production DL Graphic Design design@abqsportsmag.com

Photographers

Carlos Montoya

Stevie Montoya

Kayla Montoya

Basketball, Soccer, MMA and Baseball coming up! ABQ SPORTS MAGAZINE IS HIRING. We are looking for energetic writers and advertising sales representatives and we’d like to meet some bloggers too. Jobs@abqsportsmag.com

Join us on Facebook 4 March 2011

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Kerr Adams Contributing Writers

Isaiah Dave Montoya Friedlander

Trula Howe

Michael Black

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Paula West

2011 USA Track and Field .......................................................................................6 Death Race: Ben Abruzzo......................................................................................10

Phillip Lopez

World Class Capoeira: Keeps the Duke City “Kicking” ..........................................12

Advertisers For any advertsing information, please contact 505.620.3969 or sales@abqsportsmag.com

2011 NMAA High School Swimming Championships ..........................................20

Readers

Albuquerque Kings ...............................................................................................24

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

Coming up next issue...

®

ABQ Sports magazine P.O.Box 15981 • Rio Rancho, NM 87174 505.620.3969 • abqsportsmag.com

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.

Cover photo by Carlos Montoya. Albuquerque Kings hoop it up!

Sport Scene

In each and every issue of ABQ Sports Magazine, we highlight a myriad assortment of sporting and athletic events, and we shine the spotlight on Albuquerque’s many spectacular athletes. The stories you will find in ABQ Sports cover local sporting events of all kinds soccer, baseball basketball, rodeo, track & field, football, swimming, and other seasonal and special sporting events - and we cover them at every level - middle school, high school, university, semi-pro, pro and recreational leagues. Not only do we showcase local events and athletes, but we also share tips on health, exercise and nutriiont. For us at ABQ Sports, this type of coverage is fun, fulfilling and fervent. We are proud to be help inspire growth in the minds and hearts of local readers, urging to think about their own athletic potential and push their own physical activity to new heights. All of these efforts have contributed to a significant improvement of public awareness and opinion of our local sports scene.

Features

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Double Threat: Holly Holm and Keith Jardine ........................................................11 Mescalero Warrior Challenge ..............................................................................14 NM State Wrestling ................................................................................................18 The Nightmares: National Youth Sports Association ...............................................28 abqsportsmag.com • 5


2011 USA Indoor Track & Field

Championships Albuquerque, NM

Story by Trula Howe Photos by Carlos Montoya

A

lbuquerque was proud to welcome the 2011 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships to our town this last month. The event took place at the Albuquerque Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday, February 26-27, 2011. The convention center was equipped with state-of-the-art Mondo track facilities, allowing participants to compete in 13 different events, for both men and women: Men’s and Women’s 60-Meter Hurdles, Men’s and Women’s 60-Meter Dash, Men’s and Women’s 800-Meter Run, Men’s and Women’s 400-Meter Dash, Men’s and Women’s 3000-Meter Run, Men’s and Women’s Mile Run, Men’s and Women’s 3000-Meter Race Walk, Men’s and Women’s Weight Throw, Men’s and Women’s Triple Jump, Men’s and Women’s Long Jump, Men’s and Women’s High Jump, Men’s and Women’s Pole Vault, and Men’s and Women’s Shot Put. Teams and individuals from all over the country participated including Team Nike, Team Asics, Team New Balance, Team Puma, Team Adidas, the US Army, as well as several other teams and many unattached athletes. The event was sponsored not only by USATF official groups (BMW, Visa, Nike, Hershey’s Track & Field Games, and 24-Hour Fitness) but also by several local businesses (USA Track & Field New Mexico, Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau; City of Albuquerque, SMG Private Management, New Mexico Sports Authority, New Mexico Tourism Department, ABQ Sports Magazine, Whole Foods Market, UNM Lobos, ABQ Team FIT, Dr. Michael Maggio, and Dentist JD Hale.) USATF has a special program called “Win With Integrity”, aimed at educating youth, parents, educators and coaches about the positive results of a physically active, drug-free lifestyle. USATF personnel go out into the local communities to share their knowledge and advice. In addition to this local community participation, USATF also held a collection of food items for local Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico, placing bins at the entrances, and giving away programs to those who donated. For more information about USA Track & Field, including event results, athlete biographies, upcoming events, special programs and all things related to USA Track & Field, visit their website www.usatf.org. Continued on next page

6 March 2011

abqsportsmag.com • 7


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Death Race

DOUBLE THREAT Story and Photos By Dave Friedlander

Story by Ben Abruzzo Photos by Carlos Montoya

I often get asked, “Why would want to do that?” The question of course is referring to the Death Race, held this year on June 24th at a Farm in Vermont. My name is Ben Abruzzo, and I am the co-owner of CrossFit Albuquerque, www.crossfitabq.com, and I have spent most of my life doing things that fall in to the category of “not normal”. I was an Army Infantry Officer, an FBI agent, and have skied, climbed, and ran my way through life. In the last few years I found CrossFit, and have used it to transform my training program and my life. I am stronger, faster, and have greater endurance at 32 than I did at 22. When your week is as diversified as running up the side of a mountain carrying kettlebells, deadlifting 2.5 times your bodyweight, or doing 100 pullups with out thinking, then the Death Race starts to seem like a natural fit. The Death Race was recently called the 3rd most difficult endurance race in world. It changes greatly year to year. The race is never the same, and up to 80% percent of the field will not even finish. Well, I’m going to finish, and I am there to do more than that. I am there to win. How do you train for a race that covers 50 plus miles over 48 hours? A race that has barbed wire, log spitting, memorization, swimming, manure pushing, and swimming. How do you train for carrying buckets of rocks up thousands of vertical feet? How do you train to be strong, durable, fast, and have an endless supply of endurance? I train with the help of some good friends and a great gym. My training program is designed by Carolyn Parker of Athena Fit and backed up by my great friends and athletes at CrossFit Albuquerque. I firmly believe that life is about the journey and not the destination and so far this train up has been one for the ages.

10 March 2011

March 4 th - Duke City MMA fans were given the rare opportunity of seeing hometown hero and international icon, Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine, ply his craft in person. Jardine has fought thirteen times in the UFC, and for most of his fans, television is the closest they’ve come to seeing their hero in action. On this night,however, a packed house at the Route 66 Casino and Hotel Legend Theatre was thrilled to show their adoration in person, and greeting him with deafening applause, not only on his arrival, but throughout his performance. Facing Jardine from across the cage from was Aron “The Poster Boy” Lofton. Lofton, a formidable opponent, with a dozen cage fights to his record and thickly muscled physique, is the stuff of comic book super heroes. Jardine , with his own impressive build , wasn’t phased in the least by Lofton’s powerful appearance. The instant the opening bell rang, Jardine darted across the cage, eagerly throwing a two punch combo, then clinching with Lofton, who quickly reversed positions, pinning Jardine against the cage. Lofton dropped Jardine with a double-leg takedown, where things might have gone badly for Jardine, but Lofton had not counted on Jardine’s significant, but sometimes underrated, ground game. Jardine worked back to his feet and began to punish Lofton with heavy punches to the head and torso. Lofton was dropped to the ground, and Jardine immediately swarmed all over him, wearing him down with relentless ground and pound. Lofton was soundly vanquished by the time referee Richard Espinosa stepped in and stopped the fight, awarding Jardine a TKO victory at 3:37 of the first round. Holly Holm, the number one pound-for-pound female boxer in the world, has arguably accomplished all that she can in that sport,

taking all comers and dispatching them with skill and grace. So this naturally begs the question, “what’s next for ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’?” The answer: become a mixed martial artist. It would have been all too easy to find an opponent to serve as an easy introduction into her new professional career, but that’s not Holm’s style. For her MMA debut, Holm’s opponent was Wisconsin’s top female cagefighter, Christina “Machine Gun” Domke. Domke boasts an impressive set of skills and was expected to use her considerable grappling prowess to neutralize Holms striking. What remained to be seen was how Holm would react when the distance closed and the fight went to the ground. Consider, if you will, where Holm trains - none other than the world famous Jackson’s Gym, where ground fighting skills are taught and honed to perfection. Holm credits her coaches and superb training partners for helping her to prepare her for this new type of battle. In the first round Holm peppered Domke with steady jabs, two punch, leg kicks combos. In response, Domke struggled diligently for a takedown, but each attempt was thwarted, as Holm sprawled like a veteran. Finally in the waning moments of the first round, Domke got her one takedown, but before she could capitalize Holm quickly reversed her. In the second round Holm’s strikes and kicks began to wear Domke down, and at 3:59 into the round, Holm landed a thunderous leg kick, taking Domke’s legs out from under her, and ending the fight, squarely cementing her entrance into the world of MMA. Congratulations to Fresquez Productions and Mean 1 MMA & Fitness for putting on an unforgettable show. abqsportsmag.com • 11


World Class Capoeira Instructor Mestre Virgulino

Friday

Keeps the Duke City “Kicking.”

t h g i n

! s t h g i f

Story and Photos By Dave Friedlander

Story and Photos By Dave Friedlander

Capoeira is a martial art

that is as entertaining to watch as it is difficult to perform. Originating in Africa, Capoeira travelled across the ocean to Brazil, where it was further developed and refined. The art is over five hundred years old and has practitioners in all corners of the globe. Capoeiristas learn a dizzying number of moves, which require flexibility, balance and rhythm. “There’s a multitude of eight point strikes and even more takedowns” according to Mestre Virgulino, owner of Albuquerque’s Cordao De Ouro Academy. Capoeira seems like an improvised acrobatic dance with participants feigning kicks, but for those brave enough to engage in full contact Capoeira - Watch out! Those kicks come in fast and from all angles. Capoeira also imbues its students with the discipline and etiquette of a traditional martial art, wrapped in the pageantry of Brazilian culture and African rhythms. Mestre Virgulino began studying Capoeira at the age of seven in Sao Paolo, Brazil under Mestre Suassuna, a grandmaster and Capoeira icon. Now thirty-eight-years-old, Virgulino is just two belt ranks from being a Grandmaster himself. His appearance seems that of a prototypical Capoeirista: a thickly muscled, gymnast’s build, which allows him to balance on his hands·then spring up to kick over your head in a split second. His skill and agility were evident in a three kick move he showed us during a recent class. In fact, all his students, young and old, seem to defy gravity while executing moves both explosive and graceful.

12 March 2011

Chavez and Berg

In the end of July, Mestre Virgulino and·his school will be hosting a weekend-long·Batizado (graduation·ceremony and workshop), which will be attended by masters and students from their thirty-three affiliate schools around the country and the world. Mestre Virgulino himself keeps a busy schedule of seminars and training. “I recently traveled to Turkey, Europe and Moscow to meet with and train students” he told me. On July 30th, Mestre Virgulino and his students, along with many of the visiting masters, will perform demonstrations at the Inaugural Southwest Combat Sports Expo at the Santa Ana Star Center. Anyone interested in learning more can visit their website www.abqcapoeiracdo.com or stop by the school at 1423 Central Ave. by UNM. Classes are fun, unintimidating, and open to all ages. Observing the class, one can see how Capoeira brings students together as an extended family, supporting and encouraging one another.

Clovis, NM. – Friday February 11, Fight fans in Clovis were treated to fourteen action packed fights, highlighted by two stunning knockouts and a frenetic female main event. In the main event, Albuquerque’s Angelica Chavez weathered an early onslaught by Denver’s Jennifer Berg before finishing her at the end the first round, with a guillotine choke. The first knockout was turned in by Diego Brandao, who dispatched Nick Buschman early in the first with a hard punch followed by a flying knee. That makes two KO’s in as many appearances in the Evolution cage for Brandao. The second knockout of the night came in the third round of the co-main event, with only seven seconds left in the third round, when Tim Means answered a flying knee by Ricky Musgrave with a crisp right hook. In the final amateur fight of the night Jeremiah Cullum absorbed some clean jabs from Damon Bland while answering with stinging leg kicks and a myriad of submission attempts including a flying armbar. Bland hung on, Cullum earned the unanimous decision.

Means and Musgrave

abqsportsmag.com • 13


Coty “Ox” Wheeler ground and pounds Mike Chupa

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ew Mexico’s favorite son and MMA fighter Coty “Ox” Wheeler returned home to headline the Inaugural Mescalero Warrior Challenge at the Inn of the Mountain Gods on Saturday. Utilizing his well-rounded game the WEC veteran electrified his hometown crowd with a second round submission over opponent Mike Chupa. Not a single sole was seated as Wheeler entered the packed event center dressed in native regalia with indigenous drumming and chants playing live·in the background. Standing across the cage from him was El Paso fighter Mike Chupa who appeared undaunted by the praise being heaped upon Wheeler. Chupa did his best to make it a challenging contest in the first round, but in the opening of the second round Wheeler stuffed a takedown by Chupa and caught him in a tight guillotine for the submission. In the co-main event Wheeler’s team mate and fellow WEC veteran Frank Gomez faced Alfredo Herrera. Despite being a late replacement for the injured Rich Chavez, Gomez needed less then two minutes to put Herrera in a crucifix en route to a TKO victory. In the previous bout Tommy “Guns” Truex showed his steely reserve in weathering an aggressive start by opponent J.R Sotelo. Sotelo dazed Truex with a flurry of punches and then had him in a tight Triangle choke for over a minute. Once Truex finally broke free he quickly overwhelmed Sotelo then finished him with a Kimura. Truex graciously acknowledged the effort put forth by Sotelo. Also on hand to lend support was Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit and Jon “Bones” Jones who both took time to address the audience, as well as Jone’s football playing brother Arthur of the Baltimore Ravens.

LING LEA

Story and Photos By Dave Friedlander

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14 March 2011

mits J.R. Sotelo by

Tommy Truex sub

Kimura

Victorious “Ox”

Frank Gomez controls Alfredo Herrera


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Holly Holm Keith jardine

albuquerque, NM

Photo by Carlos Montoya

HOMETOWN HEROES 16 March 2011

abqsportsmag.com • 17


F

ebruary 18th and 19th Matmen from around the Land of Enchantment gathered at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho for the 2011 NM State Wrestling 5A, 4A, and 3A tournament.  Nothing beats the intensity of a State Championship and this year’s wrestling tournament was no exception. Champions were crowned and records were set.

2011

NM STATE WRESTLING SANTA aNA sTAR CENTER, RIO RANCHO, nm

Story and Photos By Dave Friedlander

Continued on next page

18 March 2011

This year the battle of the big schools was fierce. Perennial favorite Rio Rancho took top honors again by a narrow margin over Mayfield. Rio Grande took the third spot with Rio Rancho’s cross town rival Cleveland in fourth. Volcano Vista rounded out the top five. Rio Rancho claimed three individual champs, Cleveland, Cibola, Carlsbad and Volcano Vista all had two individual champs. Four Corner powerhouse Piedra Vista High school took home the 4A team Championship by winning three weight classes and placing in almost all fourteen weight divisions. Aztec, Belen and Santa Fe had two individual champs each, but it was Aztec and Los Lunas taking second and third respectively in team totals. History was made this year in 3A when first seed, 160-pound Daniel Martinez took his unbeaten season into the finals where he won his fifth 3A title, a streak he began in ‘07.  He is only the second 3A Matman to do so. Silver High won the Team 3A title followed by Robertson and St. Michaels. abqsportsmag.com • 19


T

Taking on

Water By Michael T. Black

Albuquerque Academy played host to New Mexico’s top high school aquatic athletes, as the 2011 NM State HS Swimming and Diving Championships took place. The meet was held over two days in February and featured 24 competitive events. Highlights of the meet include a record-setting time posted in the Girls’ 100-yard Butterfly and dominant relay performances from the Academy’s relay teams. Overall the meet was a successful showcase of aquatic talent. Albuquerque High’s Madison Bridges proved her ability to rise to the occasion as she took to the pool for the 100-yard Butterfly. Bridges breezed through the preliminary round, posting a 59.56 before lighting the timers with a record-setting time of 56.89 in the final. The talented junior is also the state record holder in the 100-yard Backstroke, a mark she set in 2010. In defeating her closest opponent by a more than a full second, Bridges demonstrated that she will be a force to be reckoned with in her senior campaign. Not to be outshined, the Academy swimmers came up big, winning nine events and placing in the top three in 14 out of the 24 events, to retain the state titles for both boys and girls. Displaying their knack for competitive strokes, the Academy’s relay teams took four out of the six relays and boosted their team standings to an insurmountable lead. In 24 events, the Academy boys and girls placed first in overall standings, with scores of 299 points and 320.5 points respectively, giving Head Coach Dave Barney a third title in as many years. A recognition ceremony held after the meet acknowledged all the winners and participants. A complete list of results and scoring can be seen on the NMAA website at www.nmact.org. Continued on next page

Photos by Carlos Montoya

abqsportsmag.com • 21


Continued from previous page

◄More photos online at abqsportsmag.com

hampionships C tate S Basketball e State of New Mexico! Show in th It's time for the Greatest Championships ll a tb e sk a B l o o ch S h ig H The annual NMAAState

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ore the boy went to press right bef comprehensive uliar time this issue. We pec a at s eet ce such situation made str Sin the y. hit wa s der ort un Sp re Q we AB of nts tourname rtsmag. The March edition e the issue came out the d girls. Go to www.abqspo pective class of boys an nt began and by the tim res me h rna eac tou for s ps ion shi Will any mp ion Q. mp cha AB cha at the Pit in predict the state ship games will be played fantasy basketball and y ion pla mp we cha le, All sib ks. lau pic imp s ort coverage compare them to ABQ Sp for the champions and com to make your pics ? 11 mps in 20 end of it all as state cha ABQ teams emerge by the

In Class-A girl action, it should be (#1) Ft. Sumner vs (#2) Tatum in the finals with Ft. Sumner emerging as champs! In Class-AA girls finals action (#1) Texico should take out surprise finals team (#11) Mora in the finals. In Class 3A girls action ABQ’s Hope Christian (#5) should make the finals but ultimately lose to (#3) Robertson in the finals. In Class 4A girls action at the Pit, (#1) Kirtland Central should maintain throughout and dominate all the way to a title vs (#2) Roswell. In Class 5A girls action (#8) Valley will represent the ABQ but will likely fall to (#3) Mayfield in the finals. In Class-A boys action, it should be (#1) Hagerman vs (#2) Cliff in the finals with Hagerman emerging as champs! In Class-AA boys finals action (#1) Tularosa should take out (#2) Mora in the finals. In Class 3A boys action (#5) Socorro should make the finals but ultimately lose to ABQ”s own 2011 state champs (#3) Sandia Prep! In Class 4A boys action at the Pit, (#1) Gallup should maintain throughout, yet far south New Mexico’s (#3) Santa Teresa should take it in the end. Finally, In Class 5A boys action (#1) Onate should battle it out to the bitter end, and win the title against (#2) Clovis.

22 March 2011

Disagree? Visit ABQ Sports online to post your picks! See you at the Pit as March madness reigns!!!In the end, ABQ will be represented in the state champ basketball column with boys Sandia Prep as state champs! Go ABQ Sports! abqsportsmag.com • 23


◄More photos online at abqsportsmag.com

kept the name as a thank-you, even though they eventually didn’t have the funds to help us anymore.” Which brings up an important point. Our state’s Wheelchair Basketball players don’t get paid, and they don’t expect to. They’d simply like the team to continue existing -- so that they can continue playing. And without a current sponsorship, this is a constant worry. “We really haven’t had the money to travel. With a sponsorship, we would be able to guarantee a certain amount of tournaments, like we did before.” The Kings are recognized nation-wide; they just haven’t gotten tangible support at home. “We’re part of the NWBA, which has roughly two hundred teams around the country. A lot of cities have NBA teams that sponsor Wheelchair Basketball clubs, but New Mexico doesn’t have any such thing.

King

“In order to play against other teams, we have to go out of state, because there are simply no other teams in New Mexico to play. What keeps us from being a legitimate contender is that we rely on donations to be able to travel. What we really need is a sponsorship.”

for a

Moment By Chris Federico of McKernan Sports & Entertainment

P

Photos by Carlos Montoya

laying on the glossy, media-coated surface of American Jose Cabrera saw his chance when a friend of his, who played for sports are those who toss back and forth elitist the Albuquerque Kings -- the only Wheelchair Basketball team in commentary, ludicrous monetary figures, and livestockNew Mexico -- invited him to watch a practice. He ultimately tried it reminiscent trading information instead of anything out himself, and was surprised at just how difficult it was. And just resembling an actual ball. Mainstream fans often know more about how quickly he fell in love with it. the size of a player’s house than his achievements on the course, court or battlefield.Conversation-piece scores. “Accidentally” Everyone on the team pitches in with additional work, according humorous news stories. Play along by smiling for the camera. Hey, to his skills. Cabrera now works on team publicity and website that’s showbiz, kid. However, running beneath the noise, flash, design -- and, of course, continues to play. The team’s managers conceit and exclusivity is the are Jake Schmalzriedt and blood Sebastian Rael, who “handle Given such passion on the court, can the spectator assume registration, set up our that actually keeps sports that he’ll be in for a fantastic time? “Absolutely! People tournaments, and do many alive -- on all levels. The real imagine a bunch of guys in wheelchairs, moving around other things,” according to pulse beats strongly in those very slowly,” Cabrera enthuses, “but the chairs we use are Cabrera. “They’ve been with who truly love to play. And specifically designed for basketball. they’ll take any opportunity the team longer than most they can, because they feel of the other players. They’re it in their veins. incredibly committed.” Would you believe it -- there are still many who feel that anyone who loves to play should get the chance, and that elitism doesn’t figure into real enthusiasm. And without those people, of course, the entire facade would collapse like a deflated basketball.

The Kings have been around for thirty years, although they’ve only had the name for six or seven; their most popular former designation, the Albuquerque Hot-Shots, might ring a bell. “We changed the name to the Kings due to a temporary sponsorship from an NBA team, the Sacramento Kings,” says Cabrera. “We’ve

Medical-supply companies, for instance, usually tend to sponsor Wheelchair Basketball teams. “We play very hard, so the wheelchairs do occasionally break. To be honest, we don’t even have benches! New Mexico simply doesn’t have the facilities for Wheelchair Basketball, but we’re all optimistic, and we all love to play.” Given such passion on the court, can the spectator assume that he’ll be in for a fantastic time? “Absolutely! People imagine a bunch of guys in wheelchairs, moving around very slowly,” Cabrera enthuses, “but the chairs we use are specifically designed for basketball. They’re made of light-weight metal, and the wheels are angled out for smoother movement. There’s a fifth wheel, to keep the player from tipping back. “The speed is amazing! You take up more space in a chair, so you can’t just weave close to an opponent, like you can on foot. Planning your set-ups actually resembles planning a chess move. Do you move to block, or stay where you are, so you’ll be open for the ball? You have to learn the players extremely well, and know which players can score from which positions. Yes, the spectators would be amazed at the speed, and very surprised by just how much strategy is involved. It’s an exciting sport to watch.” Anyone who’s interested can show up and watch a practice -- and even try playing, since the Kings are always looking for recruits. “We practice three days a week. From 12 to 2 PM On the third Saturday of every month, we’re in Johnson Gym at UNM. Anyone who wants to learn how to play Wheelchair Basketball can show up during the first

Continued on next page

24 March 2011

abqsportsmag.com • 25


Continued from previous page

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hour, from 12 to 1. Fans can even come and watch, if they want to see what it’s all about first.” On the 12th and 13th of Feburary, the Kings will be playing in Long Beach, California. The five players who are committed to the trip will be paying out of their own pockets. Also, the Kings are hosting a tournament this year called the Duke City Classic. The team is hoping to bring the sport to New Mexicans who have never been able to experience tournament play. The event will take place on February 26 and 27 at Albuquerque Job Corp. (12th and Indian School, near I-40). It will be free, and open to the public. T-shirts and concessions will be on sale. After the tournament, the Kings will be trying to raise enough money to play at the 29th Annual Spitfire Challenge Wheelchair Basketball Competition in Ontario, Canada, which will take place in July. Teams from around the world will be competing. The Kings placed third two years ago -- no small feat, considering that they were playing against some well funded, expert, international teams. “These are people who really love to play, so the games are extremely exciting. We even coach a junior team, which is made up of players who are 18 and younger. Based on their abilities, they often move up to the adult league, as long as they say they’re absolutely ready. The junior practices are not as intense, but they’re still great workouts. It’s also a major self-esteem builder, of course.” And they should be encouraged to continue. Local sports must be supported -- because when the heart stops, it takes everything else with it. For more information, please visit www.abqkings.org.

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Some of our players do come from families undergoing economic hardship and are not able to pay fees and buy equipment. This is where the fantastic families and coaching staff come into play. The coaches provide whatever funds they can afford to help players, and they, along with the parents, donate their time for fund-raising efforts. Again, we come out as a family in support of each other. We have even gone out to get sponsors and donations to help support our players. Our parents even ask coaches to talk to some of the players when they have difficulties in their lives as our coaches are role models to these youngsters. We have strict rules on the game field for our players, coaches, and parents. We are here to show these kids how to be great players and direct them toward being productive adults. Our Nightmares organization is always looking for more players to join our family. We can always be contacted through NYS, at registration or at their office, by asking for Coach Dorsey. NYS can be contacted from their website at www.NYSonline.org, or our specific team can be contacted by email at Nightmaresfootball@yahoo. com with any questions or comments.

INTRODUCING THE...

NIGHTMARES Story and Pictures by Leonard Dorsey

NATIONAL YOUTH sPORTS

W

hen you think of youth football in Albuquerque the first organization that comes to mind (and usually the only one you know of) is YAFL. We are here to inform you that YAFL is not the only option for Albuquerque anymore. We are The Nightmares of NYS (National Youth Sports), and we are here to make our mark on the sport of youth football in Albuquerque. NYS hosts 3 sessions a year for youth football, spring, summer, and fall. Like many other sports, it is available to both boys and girls, beginning at the age of three. As a team, the Nightmares began in the spring of 2010, finishing that season with a record of 2-7. We then battled the summer heat and the summer teams to finish with a 3-7 record. With our veterans returning and new players personally

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asking to join our team, we were able to finish off our first year with a run at the Gold and an impressive 2nd place division champs. The Nightmares first team was on in the Minor division (9-12 year olds), and now we are looking to branch off to a Jr. High/ Middle school division (11-14 years old) for the spring 2011 season. Our team is like our family. Everybody has a part to play, and we don’t work as well if we don’t work as a whole. Parents give advice and attend practice regularly. Extended family shows up at the games to support the kids. We even find that the kids befriend each other and end up hanging out together outside of football and school. Our team always hosts a banquet at the end of each season, as a way to let go of the stress of official season play, and to present awards to players and extraordinary parents as well. Continued on next page

28 March 2011

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General Contractor • Ryan Turner 980-1122 • License# 354268 abqsportsmag.com • 31



ABQ Sports March 2011 Issue