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A preview of things to come in Lincoln County sports

A publication of


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INSIDE: Boys Basketball

Girls Basketball

4 - Ruidoso

6 - Ruidoso

8 - Capitan Like Ruidoso, Tigers awaiting influx from football

10 - Capitan School superintendent takes on Tiger reigns

16 - Carrizozo Speed, not size, the key for Grizzly boys 22 - Mescalero New coach takes on fast Chief squad

18 - Carrizozo Grizzly girls starting over on the hardwood 24 - Mescalero Chavez ready to lead Chief girls to a State title

26 - Hondo Eagles are young, but coach still thinks they can win

28 - Hondo Romero returns to lead Hondo girls

30 - Corona Cardinal boys set to have fun this year

31 - Corona Small girls team has lots of strength

Warriors waiting on players from football team

Warrior girls want to start winning now

20 - Wrestling

Warriors looking to represent at State tourney

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Warrior basketball starts now By Todd Fuqua

RUIDOSO – To start the basketball season, Ruidoso High school might be the victim of its own success. That’s because boys coach Billy Page is waiting on 12 players to get finished with football before they can hit the hardwood. “That’s the first time in a while that we’ve had a lot of kids play multiple sports,” Page said. “It’s a good thing, though, to cross train. I hope we don’t get the football players until December.” That last comment, of course, referred to the Ruidoso football team’s appearance in the Class 4A State playoffs. The Warriors were scheduled to take on Moriarty in the quarterfinals on Nov. 17, with the eventual State Page championship to be played Dec. 1 or 2. Among those doing some cross training are brothers Sebastian and Josaiah Polendo, both of whom are making a great impact on the football team this season. Another is Gabriel Dorame, who had 530 yards and two touchdowns receiving in the regular season. Additionally, there are some football players like Isaiah Otero, who are making the jump to basketball for the first time in a while.

Ruidoso High School Warrior Basketball

2016-17 record: 15-15, 2-5 District 4-4A. Lost to West Las Vegas in the first round of the Class 4A State tournament. Head coach: Billy Page Schedule is subject to change Date Opponent Site Time Nov. 28 Dexter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2 Hot Springs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 4 p.m. Dec. 5 Socorro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Dec. 7-9 Johnny May Classic . . . . . . . . . Tularosa . . . . . . . TBA Dec. 12 Tularosa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Dec. 15 West Las Vegas . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 6 p.m. Dec. 16 Cobre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 4 p.m. Dec. 28-30 SENAI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Albuquerque . . . TBA Jan. 4-6 Ruidoso Mountain Madness Home . . . . . . . . . . TBA Jan. 9 Hatch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Jan. 12 Santa Fe Indian . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Jan. 16 NMMI* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Jan. 20 Texico . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 4 p.m. Jan. 23 Portales* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Jan. 27 Hope Christian* . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 4 p.m. Jan. 30 Moriarty* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Feb. 2 NMMI* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Feb. 9 Portales* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Feb. 13 Hope Christian* . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Feb. 16 Moriarty* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. *District 4-4A

While all the cross training is a good thing, according to Page, it’s also a problem at the beginning of the basketball season. With one sport still going on and so many players tied up, Page is having to rely on a lot of younger kids when the season tips off on Nov. 28 at Dexter. “It allows me to see some kids in a different light,” Page said. “The younger kids will have to step up and play a major role early, to see what they’re made of. “Also, I get to see what leadership qualities they bring,” he added. Of those that Page will have already on the hardwood,

Photo by Todd Fuqua

Ruidoso senior Aldo Cardenas is back for one more year of basketball as a Warrior.

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he’s very happy to have junior Josh Romero back in the middle, as well as a newer face in Aiden Huey. One name that Page is really high on is sophomore Caden Clevenger. “I played him some as a freshman, and he had a great offseason in the summer,” Page said. “He’s one I think

will be a bright spot in the future.” There’s also senior Aldo Cardenas, who played JV ball a few years back and is bringing his quickness back. Page will need all this talent and speed to compete against a District 4-4A field that features the likes of Hope Christian, Portales and Moriarty. Hope has won a State title eight of the last nine years, while Portales was the team the Huskies beat in the title game last season. Moriarty is no pushover either, and New Mexico Military Institute is a mystery each year. “You never know what they’re going to have,” Page said, referring to the Colts. “You can’t leave them out. “I’m looking for us to have a good season, minimum of 16-17 wins,” he added. “Our Photo by Todd Fuqua schedule isn’t easy, but we are Ruidoso junior Josiah Polendo, seen here in a better and our expectations of game against Tularosa from last season, is one of many Warriors still playing football as the basketball what we want to accomplish is season begins. planted in the boys.”

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Photo by Todd Fuqua

Ruidoso junior Josh Romero dunks the ball during preseason practice. Romero and fellow junior Aiden Huey will see lots of time in the paint this season.

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Ruidoso girls ready to start winning By Todd Fuqua RUIDOSO – Consistency is a sometimes overlooked factor when it comes to athletic excellence. Consistency is one of the things the Ruidoso girls basketball team has, at least at the coaching position. Jason Kampksy is starting his seventh year on the coaching staff at Ruidoso High School, and his third as head girls basketball coach. He’s excited about the season to come. “We’re ready more so than we were last year at this time,” Kampsky said. Kampksy said his team is the unwilling beneficiary of the volleyball team’s struggles this year, as the netters’ early Kampsky finish meant an early start on roundball practice. “It’s that double-edged sword, when you are the basketball coach and have to share athletes,” Kampsky said. “Even our cross country girls ran at State on a Saturday, then came out Monday. They were ready to get basketball going, and that’s a good sign for me.” Kampsky certainly has a lot of experience returning for this year. He’s got five seniors, including Hailee Blake at forward, Devynee Palmer at guard,

Photo by Todd Fuqua

Ruidoso’s Hailee Blake, seen here during a summer league game against Tularosa, is returning to the Warrior basketball team for her senior season.

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Ruidoso High School Warrior Basketball

Schedule is subject to change 2016-17 record: 5-22, 0-6 District 4-4A Head coach: Jason Kampsky Date Opponent Site Time Nov. 21 Alamogordo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Dec. 1 Robertson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5 Socorro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7-9 City of Champions Tourney . . Artesia . . . . . . . . . TBA Dec. 12 Tularosa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14 Lovington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15 Hot Springs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19 Hot Springs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Dec. 28-30 SENAI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Albuquerque . . . TBA Jan. 4 Dexter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Jan. 9 Hatch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Jan. 11-13 Tularosa Basin Invite . . . . . . . . Tularosa . . . . . . . . TBA Jan. 18 West Las Vegas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Jan. 20 Artesia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . 2:30 p.m. Jan. 23 Portales* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . 5:30 p.m. Jan. 27 Hope Christian* . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 4 p.m. Jan. 30 Moriarty* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. Feb. 6 Hope Christian* . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Feb. 9 Portales* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. Feb. 12 Roswell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 6 p.m. Feb. 16 Moriarty* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . 5:30 p.m. *District 4-4A

Hailey Evans and Macey Boyiddle. Additionally, junior Andee Roach will step into the center position vacated by the graduation of Lia Mosher. “We moved the ball around a lot, and it’s going to be more of the same this year,” Kampsky said. “We have a couple girls that are more experienced running the offense. They know what’s expected of them.” Erika Jarvis is also back, a player Kampsky said is a “real physical player we love to have.” Blake is a little hobbled by an ankle injury she sustained during volleyball, but Kampsky said it doesn’t seem to have slowed her down. “We keep an eye on it and she wraps it,” Kampsky said. “She’ll tweak it every once in a while, but she’s not complaining and doesn’t seem to be in any real pain.” Girls basketball hasn’t been the focus of excellence at Ruidoso, but Kampsky said that could start to change. “We’re on the upswing. We won five games last year, but we very well should have won eight or nine,” Kampsky said. “We let some slip away, and I think it’s a testament to the girls we have back. They’ve seen how close we can be to winning, how good we can be. “That puts that idea in their brains, that we can win,” he added. “Let’s just go out and do it this year.” WINTER 2017-18


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Tigers looking toward improvement By Todd Fuqua

Capitan High School Tiger Basketball

Last year at this time, Capitan boys basketball coach Justin Foust was in a 2016-17 record: 6-20, 0-8 District 4-3A quandary. Head coach: Justin Foust As the assistant football coach for Schedule is subject to change the Tigers, he was proud to be part of a Date Opponent Site Time team that was storming to its first State Dec. 12 Cloudcroft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Dec. 14-16 Mescalero Invite . . . . . . . . Mescalero . . . . . . TBA title in 35 years. Dec. 19 Cloudcroft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. But that title came at a price for the Jan. 4-6 Smokey Bear Tourney . . . Home . . . . . . . . . . TBA hoops season, as several athletes that Jan. 9 Hagerman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. would make the jump to the hardwood Jan. 12 Mountainair . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 3 p.m. were too banged up from a brutal gridiJan. 13 Mescalero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. ron campaign. Jan. 16 Magdalena . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. What followed was a 6-20 season, Jan. 18 Carrizozo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Jan. 19 Fort Sumner/House . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. winless in District 4-3A. Jan. 23 Estancia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Also, Foust was in his first year as the Foust Jan. 25 Tularosa* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. coach, without a chance to get to know Jan. 27 Loving* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. the guys in the offseason. Things have Feb. 1 Dexter* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. changed a bit. Feb. 3 Eunice* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 6 p.m. “We had a really good summer this Feb. 6 Tularosa* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. year,” Foust said. “We got a lot of basFeb. 10 Loving* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 6 p.m. Feb. 15 Dexter* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. ketball games in and developed some Feb. 17 Eunice* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 6 p.m. of the younger guys with injuries and *District 4-3A discipline issues.” Foust also has a few new faces to the team, guys who didn’t play basketball last season, but aren’t strangers to the court. That includes junior Brendan Usery, who didn’t play his main sport – baseball – at all due to an injury. Among those coming back from last season are seniors Price Bowen and Caleb Hightower, as well as role-playing seniors Domingo Montes and Tanner Lowrance Don’t forget about senior Stephen Ellison, who ended last year’s football championship on crutches and didn’t play a single minute of basketball. “We would love to see him play,” Foust said. “That’s a lot of great athletes, and we’re hoping they’ll stay healthy and give us a good season.” In an effort to get the season started right, Foust has decided to forgo a traditional appearance in the Cloudcroft Mountaintop Tournament, scheduled for Dec. 7-9. Photo by Todd Fuqua Last season, Foust had less than a Caleb Hightower, center, seen in a game last season against Eunice, is one of a handful week to prepare his team after the State of seniors returning for the Tiger basketball team. Page 8

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Photo by Todd Fuqua

Tanner Lowrance will fill crucial spots on the floor for the Tigers this season.

football championship, and the same would be true this season. Instead, they’ll start play with a single game at Cloudcroft, Dec. 12. “We were banged up all year last year and never really recovered,” Foust said. “There were some close games near the end, though, and we have some more kids that will be on the team this year that weren’t last year. More depth on the bench will help us.” It’s depth that will come in handy against a District 4-3A that includes Eunice, a team that was in the Class 3A State quarterfinals last season, basketball-tradition-rich Tularosa, and Dexter. “It’s an uphill climb, but we’re hopeful,” Foust said.

Photo by Todd Fuqua

Senior Price Bowen brings down a rebound during a game last season.

Photo by Todd Fuqua

Domingo Montes, right, during a game against Carrizozo last season.

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Wootton returns to coaching By Todd Fuqua

Capitan High School Tiger Basketball

CAPITAN – Years after he “retired” from coaching, Capitan Superintendent Sean Wootton is back on the basketball 2016-17 record: 12-16. 0-8 in District 4-3A. Head coach: Sean Wootton court leading athletes. Schedule is subject to change This time, he’s at the helm of the Date Opponent Site Time Capitan girls team, and he’s excited to Dec. 12 Cloudcroft . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. see what they can accomplish. Dec. 14-16 Mescalero Invite . . . . . . . Mescalero . . . . . . . . . TBA “When I got into education 23 years Dec. 19 Cloudcroft . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. ago, I did it to work for and serve the Jan. 4-6 Smokey Bear Tourney . . Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . TBA kids,” Wootton said. “As superintendent Jan. 9 Hagerman . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. Jan. 12 Mountainair . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . . . . 1 p.m. I fill one role, but I don’t get to see the Jan. 13 Mescalero . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. children grow and learn from life, and Jan. 16 Magdalena . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. overcome obstacles and be part of a Jan. 18 Carrizozo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. team.” Jan. 19 Fort Sumner/House . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. The team Wootton takes on was 12Jan. 23 Estancia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. 16 last season, but winless in a District Jan. 25 Tularosa* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. Wootton 4-3A that includes Eunice, runner-up Jan. 27 Loving* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. Feb. 1 Dexter* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. to Tohatchi in the 2017 Class 3A State Feb. 3 Eunice* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . . . . 4 p.m. championship. Feb. 6 Tularosa* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. Wootton knows it won’t be easy, but Feb. 10 Loving* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . . . . 4 p.m. the Tigers boast a roster that has six Feb. 15 Dexter* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. strong seniors in Dominique Valadez, Feb. 17 Eunice* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 p.m. Kylie Pruett, Dakota Hazen, Shelby *District 4-3A Southard, Adrianna Romero and Madison Tracey. Add to that juniors Kara Vallance, Skye Wootton and Destanie Magnonie, and you can see why Wootton is ready to go. “They’re athletic, but being athletic and being basketball-minded are two different things,” Wootton said. “We have our work cut out for us, but they are great young ladies and I know they’ll work hard. “Whatever happens, our goal this year as a team is to never get out-worked,” he added. “If we stick to that, we’re going to have a lot of success.” Every player Wootton is relying on was also a member of the Capitan volleyball team that made an appearance at the Class 3A State tournament under the guidance of Pam Allen. Wootton considers Allen his mentor, and is happy his girls had that kind of head-start in the fall. “Volleyball success goes hand in hand Photo by Todd Fuqua with basketball success,” Wootton said. Capitan senior Dominique Valadez, left, brings the ball down the sideline in her team’s “Once they get in the habit of winning game against Lordsburg at last season’s Cloudcroft Mountaintop Tournament. Page 10

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Photo by Todd Fuqua

Shelby Southard, left, is one of six seniors returning for the Capitan girls team this season.

and being successful, it will carry over. “(Allen) has done a tremendous job and it’s nice to have someone that’s a disciplinarian, loves the kids, is energetic, is all about the fundamentals and teaches respect,” he added. “That’s nice that she’s exchanging the baton to me.” After a summer that saw lots of good basketball competition, the team tips off the season Dec. 12 at Cloudcroft, all in preparation of a district season that also includes the likes of Dexter and Tularosa. “Tularosa has a fantastic team,” Wootton said. “They have a history of being successful. If we take it game by game, we’ll be successful and we’ll be in the thick of it.”

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Photo by Todd Fuqua

Dakota Hazen is hoping her senior season for Capitan is a successful one.

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Carrizozo boys must rely on speed By Todd Fuqua

Carrizozo High School Grizzly Basketball

CARRIZOZO – For most of his basketball coaching career, Trampus Pierson has always had a big man – or at least Schedule is subject to change 2016-17 record: 12-17, 1-5 District 2-1A. Lost to one bigger than the rest of his team – to Hondo in the first round of State. rely on. Head coach: Trampus Pierson That changes this season, as he leads Date Opponent Site Time a Carrizozo Grizzly team on the court Nov. 30-Dec. 2 Magdalena Tourney . . . . Magdalena . . . . TBA that will have to use speed to win. Dec. 5 Mescalero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Dec. 7-9 Mountain Top Tourney . Cloudcroft . . . . . TBA “We’re going to have a whole differDec. 14-16 Mescalero Invitational . . Mescalero . . . . . TBA ent look this year,” Pierson said. “We Dec. 21 Hondo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . 4:30 p.m. don’t have a whole lot of size. What we Jan. 4-6 Smokey Bear Tourney . . Capitan . . . . . . . . TBA do have is kids that have a whole lot of Jan. 9 Corona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . 6:30 p.m. Jan. 10 Mescalero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 7 p.m. hustle.” Jan. 12 Hondo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 6 p.m. Carrizozo is coming off a fairly decent Jan. 16 Corona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . 6:30 p.m. 12-17 season, but the Grizzlies were 1-5 Jan. 18 Capitan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 7 p.m. in District 2-1A and fell to Hondo in the Jan. 26 Animas* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 2 p.m. first round of the Class 1A State tournaFeb. 2 Animas* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. Pierson Feb. 8 Quemado* . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 6 p.m. ment. Feb. 9 Reserve* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. Returning from that team is senior XaFeb. 15 Quemado* . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 7 p.m. vier Zamora and juniors Jared Guevara, Feb. 17 Reserve* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Tristen Barela, Daniel Zamora, Orion *District 2-1A Wyatt, Isaiah Ysasi and Dominic Barela. Add to that list Alamogordo transfer Jacob Narvaez, who showed his speed on the gridiron with the Grizzly football team this season. So Carrizozo will have to be speedy to outrun their opponents instead of overpower them inside. It’s new for the team, and it’s kind of new for the coach as well. “I’ve always had the luxury of at least one big guy that we could rely on,” said Pierson, who came to Carrizozo from Hot Springs High School. “It will be different, but we’re looking forward to it and we’ll try to compete every single night.” Competing is a big challenge in a classification as loaded with talent as 1A. That includes a Quemado team that was a State quarterfinalist last season, although they’ve lost a lot of talent to graduation. Also in District 2-1A is Animas, a team that should have a lot of talent, if that school’s State six-man football champiPhoto by Todd Fuqua onship is any indication. Tristen Barela, right, defends and Animas player during Carrizozo’s appearance at last “Animas has some really good athletes year’s Cloudroft Mountaintop Tournament. Page 16

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down there,” Pierson said. “Elida has their program back and looking pretty good. Melrose will also be tough. “Across the board, 1A is going to be really competitive,” he added. “I can’t see any one team that will stand out. We just have to play the game every night and see where we end up.”

Photo by Todd Fuqua

Jared Guevara is one of several juniors returning to the Carrizozo boys team this season.

Photo by Todd Fuqua

Xavier Zamora is the only senior for the Carrizozo Grizzlies this basketball season.

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'Zozo girls growing the program By Todd Fuqua

Carrizozo High School Grizzly Basketball

CARRIZOZO – Fans of the Carrizozo girls basketball team will be seeing a very familiar scene this season. 2016-17 record: 5-25, 0-6 District 2-1A. Lost to Elida Just like they did in volleyball, the in the first round of the Class 1A State playoffs. Head coach: George Vega Grizzlies will have to contend with inexSchedule is subject to change perience and youth. Date Opponent Site Time “We’re rebuilding, so we’re not lookNov. 30-Dec. 2 Magdalena Tourney . . . . Magdalena . . . . TBA ing for this year,” said Carrizozo coach Dec. 5 Mescalero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . 5:30 p.m. George Vega. “We’re looking a few Dec 7-9 Mountain Top Tourney . Cloudcroft . . . . . TBA years down the road.” Dec. 14-16 Mescalero Invitational . . Mescalero . . . . . TBA Last season was a rebuilding one, Jan. 4-6 Smokey Bear Tourney . . Capitan . . . . . . . . TBA as well, as the Grizzlies won just five Jan. 9 Corona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 5 p.m. games and were winless in District Jan. 10 Mescalero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . 5:30 p.m. Jan. 12 Hondo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . 4:30 p.m. 2-1A. Jan. 16 Corona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. That team relied heavily on eighth Jan. 18 Capitan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . 5:30 p.m. graders Suntana Zamora, Kaitlin GueJan. 26 Animas* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . Noon vara and Joana Vega. Feb. 2 Animas* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 3 p.m. Those three are freshmen now, but Feb. 8 Quemado* . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 4 p.m. Zamora has transferred to Tularosa, Feb. 9 Reserve* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 3 p.m. Vega while Vega is hobbled by a knee injury. Feb. 15 Quemado* . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . 5:30 p.m. Feb. 17 Reserve* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 5 p.m. At least it was a different knee that *District 2-1A kept her from playing most of the volleyball season. “I heard it’s pretty serious. If we do get her back, it will be late in the year,” coach Vega said of Joana’s injury. “We were looking forward to having her back, so that’s a big disappointment.” To fill in the gaps, Vega has had to pull up a pair of eighth graders for this year. It’s not that the Grizzlies are without a senior, but that’s just it. Hailey Barela is the only senior on the squad, while D’Anna Willingham rounds out the team as a sophomore. “We put in some young girls last year and they did great,” Vega said. “We’ll see what they learned last year, and see what they bring this year.” Vega’s goal – the goal of every coach – is to get at least a spot in the State playoffs. But to do that, they’ll have to get through the District 2-1A tournament. “Quemado’s very strong, Animas is strong,” Vega said. “It’ll be a fight between us and Reserve for that third spot. That’s what happened in volleyball. Photo by Todd Fuqua “We’re the low man on the totem pole,” Carrizozo senior Hailey Barela, left, and freshman Kaitlin Guevara will be integral parts he added. “We’ll need to work on building of the Grizzly basketball team this season. Page 18

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the system again.” Building that system means starting from the very bottom. “We’ll be working on fundamentals. If you can do that, then we’ll be doing pretty good,” Vega said. “You have to learn to dribble, to pass, to take the pressure, and most of all make those easy baskets. “If we beat ourselves, we’ll never be able to win,” he added. “Fundamentals is where it’s at.”

Photo by Todd Fuqua

Cleo Shanks had limited minutes as an eighth grader last season for Carrizozo.

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Photo by Todd Fuqua

Joana Vega was a big part of last season’s team, but will be on the bench start this season with a knee injury.

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Wrestling achieving critical mass By Todd Fuqua

Ruidoso High School Warrior Wrestling

RUIDOSO – Growing a program can be a challenge if you aren’t starting early. Head coach: Andy Olive That was the impetus of Ruidoso Schedule is subject to change starting its wrestling program at the Date Opponent/Tourney Site middle school, and the youth programs Nov. 18 Goddard Scrimmage . . . . . . . Roswell such as the Lincoln County Warriors Dec. 5 Alamogordo Quad . . . . . . . . . . Alamogordo Dec. 9-10 Las Cruces Invite . . . . . . . . . . . . Las Cruces and Young Guns have made a differDec. 16 Rattler Invite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tucumcari ence as well. Jan. 6 Sierra Blanca Invite . . . . . . . . . Ruidoso That’s why Ruidoso High coach Andy Jan. 10 District 3/4-4A/1A Duals . . . . Socorro Olive is so excited to get things going Jan. 13 Pecos Invite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pecos on the mat this year. He’s got a ton of Jan. 27 Cardinal Classic . . . . . . . . . . . . . Las Vegas kids with tons of talent. Feb. 3 District 3/4-4A/1A Duals . . . . Silver “Wrestling is all about mindset, inFeb. 10 District 3/4-4A/1A Tourney . . Ruidoso tensity and a never-quit attitude,” Olive Junior Varsity said. “It’s grown every year, and this is Nov. 25 Cleveland Scramble . . . . . . . . Rio Rancho the first year we’ve had this many guys Olive Dec. 2 Rocket Invite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Roswell come back. They’re buying into the program.” Olive estimates he’ll have about 30 athletes in the program – middle school and high school – with several of those still playing on the Warrior football team. That’s why the wrestling schedule doesn’t really get going in earnest until the Las Cruces Invitational, Dec. 9-10. The Warriors are at a Goddard scrimmage this weekend (Nov. 18) and will be at a quad in Alamogordo Dec. 5. Among the many wrestlers Olive is waiting on from the gridiron is sophomore Mikey Marin, who was second at State in the heavyweight division after a double overtime loss. Others coming over from football will be juniors Conner Jameson, Layson Powell, Hunter Stevens, Jarren Wilson and Adrian Garcia. Sophomores Leonel Mora and Cody Powers round out the group. Things are moving smoothly, mainly because Olive doesn’t have to teach and re-teach the fundamentals to his athletes. “I would attribute that to us starting the middle school program, getting them started young,” Olive said. “Also, Photo by Todd Fuqua that’s thanks to the youth wrestling Junior Conner Jameson, seen here during the State wrestling tournament last season, is programs. Many thanks to the families back for the Warrior team. Page 20

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for getting those established. It’s really paying off.” Wrestling fans will have a chance to see the Warriors in action during the Sierra Blanca Invitational, Jan. 6, at RMS. Olive said the school affords the perfect atmosphere for the competition. “With how crowded it was, it makes it more intimate and up close. I got no bad vibes from anybody,” Olive said. “The parents loved being that close and I got good feedback from it.” This year’s tournament kicks off the second half of the season, when the Warriors hope to begin the march back to the State meet. Olive expects a number of his wrestlers to get into the second day and compete for a medal. “There are more guys this year that can make it deep into that bracket. They’re also all young guys,” Olive said. “Everyone on this team will really compete, not just fill the weight classes. I’m feeling really good about the season.”

Photo by Todd Fuqua

Mikey Marin, right, seen in his match against Taos’ Morgan Thompson at last year’s State tournament, is looking for a State title this time around.

Photo by Todd Fuqua

Senior Armando Gallerito is hoping to bring a State title back home at his weight class.

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Herrera inherits speedy Chief team By Todd Fuqua

MESCALERO – It’s a long jump from a private school in Albuquerque to a tribal school in Mescalero, but for new boys basketball coach Adam Herrera, it’s not as far a jump as for others. Herrera is a Hondo graduate, so he knows the area. He also knows what it’s like to put a team on the court in a small town setting. But the pressure is still there. “I told my wife I already feel more pressure here than I did there,” Herrera said, referring to his time at Evangel Christian in Albuquerque. “There, I kind of ran the show, and it was a private school with parents spread out all over that big city. “Here, it’s a community,” he added. “It’s all one group and you can feel the difference.” Herrera says speed will be the key to his team’s success. He’s got a

Mescalero High School Chief Basketball

Herrera

2016-17 record: 12-16, 2-6 District 3-2A Head coach: Adam Herrera Schedule is subject to change Date Opponent Site Time Nov. 17 Tierra Encantada . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 6 p.m. Nov. 28 Hodo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Dec. 1 Gateway Christian . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Dec. 5 Carrizozo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Dec. 7-9 Mountain Top Tourney . . Cloudcroft . . . . . TBA Dec. 14-16 Mescalero Invite . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . . . TBA Dec. 27-29 SENAI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Albuquerque . . TBA Jan. 10 Carrizozo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Jan. 12 Fort Sumner . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Jan. 13 Capitan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Jan. 15 Gateway Christian . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Jan. 20 Mesilla Valley* . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 4 p.m. Jan. 26 Lordsburg* . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 6 p.m. Jan. 30 Cloudcroft* . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Feb. 3 Cliff* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . 3:30 p.m. Feb. 6 Lordsburg* . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 6 p.m. Feb. 9 Mesilla Valley* . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Feb. 13 Cloudcroft* . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Feb. 16 Cliff* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 6 p.m. *District 3-2A

Photo by Todd Fuqua

Mescalero senior Alex Kaydahzinne, left, returns to lead a very fast Mescalero squad on the basketball court.

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corps of seniors that will be led by Alex Kaydahzinne, Matias Lapaz and Jeremiah Blake, and they will be fast. It also helps that Herrera had so many players to choose from when assembling his team. Forty-three kids showed up for practices as he winnowed things down to eight full-time varsity. Herrera takes on a team that was 12-16 last season, 2-6 in District 3-2A. Their only district wins came over Cloudroft, although they held their own in a two-point loss to perennial power Cliff. It’s a district that features Lordsburg – the defending Class 2A State champion – and Mesilla Valley, the team Lordsburg beat for that State title. The Mavericks aren’t the same team – they lost a lot of seniors to graduation, and Herrera thinks Mesilla Valley is the team to beat now. “It will be tough, and Mesilla Valley has the size,” Herrera said. “But I want Photo by Todd Fuqua to see those big guys run up and down Matias Lapaz, right, makes a scoop shot in his team’s game against Mountainair during last season’s Mountaintop Tournament at Cloudcroft. with my kids.”

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Mescalero has eyes on the prize By Todd Fuqua

MESCALERO – After having a stellar regular season with a strong senior class, things came to an end for the Mescalero girls basketball team in breathtakingly disappointing fashion. The Chiefs got to the Class 2A State quarterfinals and faced Fort Sumner, a team they had previously dispatched earlier in the season by a fairly comfortable score. It seemed they were on their way to a similar result at Bernalillo, only to see the Vixens make a comeback and win by two. Yeah, it was a letdown, but coach Elmer Chavez is itching to get back on the court with the team he has this season. “Last year we had three eighth graders, three ninth graders and three sophomores,” Chavez said. “Now they’ve matured a little bit. They were really emotional after losing to Fort Sumner, and I told them to cut it out. “We’ve got that fixed and have been working hard all summer,” he added. Chavez, who led Santa Fe to a State 5A title in 2014, believes he has his team right where he wants it now. He’s also very close to a milestone. “It usually takes about three years for me to get a team going,” Chavez said. “I’m glad we won a few games on the way here. Also, I’m just 19 wins away from 400, and the girls don’t want me to have to wait until next year.” To achieve that goal, the Chiefs are relying on a lot of girls that played a surprisingly large role on last season’s team, which had a huge corps of seniors. Katelyn Yuzos, whose sister Lauryn is now playing at Northern New Mexico College, is the only senior on this season’s squad, but those eighth graders, freshmen and sophomores are all a year older and wiser. That includes a junior corps of Paris Davis, Yvonne Douglass and Justice Page 24

Mescalero High School Chief Basketball

Chavez

2016-17 record: 24-7, 8-1 District 3-2A. Lost to Fort Sumner in Class 2A State quarterfinals. Head coach: Elmer Chavez Schedule is subject to change Date Opponent . . . . . . . . . . . Site Time Nov. 17 Tierra Encantada . . . . . . . Home 4 p.m. Nov. 20 Dexter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away 5:30 p.m. Nov. 28 Hondo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away 5:30 p.m. Dec. 1 Gateway Christian . . . . . Home 5:30 p.m. Dec. 5 Carrizozo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home 5:30 p.m. Dec. 7-9 Mountain Top Tourney . Cloudcroft TBA Dec. 14-16 Mescalero Invitational . Home TBA Dec. 27-29 SENAI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Albuquerque TBA Jan. 10 Carrizozo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away 5:30 p.m. Jan. 12 Fort Sumner . . . . . . . . . . . Away 5:30 p.m. Jan. 13 Capitan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home 5:30 p.m. Jan. 15 Gateway Christian . . . . . Away 5:30 p.m. Jan. 20 Mesilla Valley* . . . . . . . . . Home 2:30 p.m. Jan. 26 Lordsburg* . . . . . . . . . . . . Away 4:30 p.m. Jan. 30 Cloudcroft* . . . . . . . . . . . . Away 5:30 p.m. Feb. 3 Cliff* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home 2 p.m. Feb. 6 Lordsburg* . . . . . . . . . . . . Home 4:30 p.m. Feb. 9 Mesilla Valley* . . . . . . . . . Away 5:30 p.m. Feb. 13 Cloudcroft* . . . . . . . . . . . . Home 5:30 p.m. Feb. 16 Cliff* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away 4:30 p.m. *District 3-2A

Photo by Todd Fuqua

Katlyn Yuzos is the only senior on a talented Mescalero girls basketball team this season.

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Blake, who will all see a lot of playing time this season. Sophomore Alyn Kazhe-Kirgan was a huge part of last year’s success as well, as was Madisyn Yuzos. Yes. Another Yuzos sister. Transferring in from Tularosa is Ramona Fossum as a sophomore, as well as 10th grader Fallon Velasquez from Hondo. Already, the team chemistry is working its magic. “I’ve never seen a team be so positive,” Chavez said. “We should go a long way, I just want them to commit and get dedicated.” To get to State, though, the Chiefs will need a good regular season and even better District 3-2A season. Last year, their only district loss was to Lordsburg, a team that is still loaded this year. Then there’s Cliff, Cloudcroft, and Mesilla Valley – a school that won the district title in volleyball. Chavez concedes they’re all good teams, but still feels his team is the one to beat. “It will be a good district. We can win it, but we have to be ready to come out and play,” Chavez said. “I’m excited about this team. I think it’s more talented in skills than when I won the State title. I’m excited to see what this team can do.”

Photo by Todd Fuqua

Alyn Kazhe-Kirgan makes a layup during practice at Mescalero.

Photo by Todd Fuqua

Mescalero sophomore Fallon Velasquez dribbles up court in front of coach Elmer Chavez during practice, Nov. 8.

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Age no excuse for Hondo boys By Todd Fuqua Last year may have been the last shot Hondo had at a boys basketball State championship in a while. That team lost to Springer by just two points in the quarterfinals, and features the last players that had been on the team back when the Eagles last won a State title in 2014. Now the team is very young and battling injuries, much like the six-man football team did this season. But Hondo coach Ben Sanchez doesn’t like pointing to youth as a reason for his team’s struggles. “Yeah, we’re young, but I tell my kids not to use that as an excuse,” Sanchez said. “Look at Maxwell last year. One senior, four freshmen, and they took it all.” Actually, Maxwell has four freshmen this year, players who were in eighth grade last season when they beat Springer – the team that ousted Hondo in the quarters, remember – in the title

Hondo High School Eagle Basketball

Sanchez

2016-17 record: 23-6, 6-0 District 3-1A. Lost in overtime to Springer in Overtime in the Class 1A State quarterfinals. Head coach: Ben Sanchez Schedule is subject to change Date Opponent Site Time Nov. 28 Mescalero . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Dec. 7-9 Hondo Tournament . . . . Home . . . . . . . . . . . . TBA Dec. 14-16 Mescalero Invitational . . Mescalero . . . . . . . . TBA Dec. 21 Carrizozo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Jan. 4-6 Smokey Bear Tourney . . Capitan . . . . . . . . . . TBA Jan. 8 Gateway Christian . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Jan. 9 Cloudcroft . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Jan. 12 Carrizozo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . . . 6 p.m. Jan. 16 Lake Arthur* . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Jan. 18 Mountainair . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Jan. 23 Gateway Christian . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . . . 7 p.m. Jan. 25 Vaughn* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Jan. 30 Corona* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Feb. 1 Lake Arthur* . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Feb. 2 Mountainair . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . . . 4 p.m. Feb. 14 Vaughn* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Feb. 15 Corona* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Feb. 17 Quemado . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. *District 3-1A

Photo by Todd Fuqua

Hondo junior Porfirio Romero, left, dribbles around a pick last season at Mescalero. Romero returns to a young Eagles team this year.

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Photo by Todd Fuqua

Hondo’s Kevin Fernandez, right, seen here defending a Quemado player during last year’s Mesclaero tournament, is one of few Eagles out for the basketball team.

game. So Sanchez won’t blame problems on youth, but he can’t deny they’ll play a factor. Also, there’s not a whole lot of numbers. Up until about two weeks ago, he was still waiting on doctor’s clearances for two of his eight eligible players. “We won’t have much of a bench at all,” Sanchez said. “But once I get my two kids healthy, that’s my size.” One of those two is sophomore Thomas Hernandez,

who didn’t play at all last season due to a knee injury. Also, freshman Dustin Reel will take up the middle at 6-1. One loss that will truly hurt the Eagles is junior Miguez Gonzales, who has transferred to Ruidoso. Sanchez said his team will still press, but it will be a little different. “This will be more of a hard-nosed press,” Sanchez said. “In-your-face kind of playing.” Getting a State title won’t be the only thing that’s challenging. Just getting to State could prove difficult as well. Hondo made short work of their District 3-1A competition last season, going 6-0 and winning games by an average of 42 points. Their narrowest win was a 19-point affair against Vaughn. That Vaughn team is back and prepared to take the district crown from their Eagle rivals. “They have two kids that started last year coming back, and they were the tougher kids,” Sanchez said of Vaughn. “We also have Quemado on the schedule, and they just got a kid that’s about 6-5. We just have to go out there and play.”

Photo by Todd Fuqua

Porfirio Romero, right, makes a shot over a Vaughn defender during a District 3-1A game last season. Vaughn stands to be the Eagles’ toughest test this year.

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New Hondo coach seeking new heights By Todd Fuqua

Hondo High School Eagle Basketball

HONDO – After a hiatus from coaching, Adam Romero is back on the sideline. 2016-17 record: 24-5, 6-0 District 3-1A. Lost to Elida in the Class 1A State semifinals. This time, he’s taken charge of the Head coach: Adam Romero Hondo girls basketball team as they Schedule is subject to change get set for the 2017-18 season. Date Opponent Site Time “I was an assistant under Brad Nov. 28 Mescalero . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. Holland for the boys for five years,” Dec. 1 Mesilla Valley . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. Romero said. “I also coached a lot of Dec. 7-9 Hondo Tournament . . . . Home . . . . . . . . . . . . TBA these girls at the junior high level, so Dec. 14-16 Mescalero Invitational . . Mescalero . . . . . . . . TBA Dec. 21 Carrizozo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. they know what I expect.” Jan. 4-6 Smokey Bear Tourney . . Capitan . . . . . . . . . . TBA Romero inherits a team that lost Jan. 8 Gateway Christian . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. one of its better players in Fallon Jan. 9 Cloudcroft . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. Velasquez when her mom – former Jan. 12 Carrizozo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 4:30 p.m. Jan. 16 Lake Arthur* . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. Hondo girls coach Alice Velasquez – Jan. 18 Mountainair . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. took the volleyball coaching position in Jan. 23 Gateway Christian . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 5:30 p.m. Mescalero. Jan. 25 Vaughn* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. But that doesn’t mean the Lady EaRomero Jan. 30 Corona* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. gles are devoid of talent. Indeed, they Feb. 1 Lake Arthur* . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. Feb. 2 Mountainair . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 2:30 p.m. have three of the toughest seniors in Feb. 14 Vaughn* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. the county, district and maybe even Feb. 15 Corona* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. state in Joyce Ann Cooper, Melissa Feb. 17 Quemado . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . 3:30 p.m. Guillen and Carolina Salcido. *District 3-1A Cooper has been a team leader pretty much since she started playing varsity ball in eighth grade, so she’s ready to get her team to the next level. Also returning from last year’s 24-5 team are sophomores Kyra Lucero and Berenice Almanza, while freshmen Kate Cooper and Julianna Gonzalez will fill crucial roles. “The younger girls will learn a lot and help us,” Romero said. “I’m also looking forward to the leadership from our veteran players.” One veteran who won’t be back is junior Blanca Villanueva, at least not on the court. “She’s got some issues, so she won’t play Photo by Todd Fuqua this season, but she will Hondo’s Carolina Salcido is one of three seniors back for their final season with the Eagle basketball team. Page 28

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be around helping us on the bench,” Romero said. “Hopefully, for her senior year, she can come back and have a great season.” Last season, the Eagles were the only local team to win their quarterfinal game in the Class 1A State playoffs, narrowly besting Animas, 39-33. Unfortunately, Hondo ran into Elida in the semifinals. Romero is hoping to do even better this season. “This year, we’ll give it everything we’ve got,” Romero said. “We’re hoping to get back to where we were at. And if everything goes well, hopefully we’ll get to the next level. “I’d like these girls to experience what it’s like in the Pit,” he added. “I’ve been there as an assistant coach, and I’ve been on both ends of that, winning and losing.” As an assistant to Holland, Romero is looking forward to using a lot of what he learned this year, although he admits to being a little nervous. “I hadn’t even been to any games,” Romero said. “It will be challenging for me to come back, but I’ll try and do my best.”

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Photo by Todd Fuqua

Hondo senior Joyce Ann Cooper, far left, tries to control the ball in front of sohpmore teammate Kyra Lucero as Capitan’s Kara Vallance and Kylie Pruett defend during a game last season.

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Autrey ready for a fun season By Todd Fuqua

Corona High School Cardinal Basketball

After a fall semester which saw no Corona sports – boys or girls – the Cardinals are getting ready for things 2016-17 record: 4-22, 1-5 District 3-1A Head coach: Randy Autrey on the hardwood. Schedule is subject to change Boys coach Randy Autrey is back Date Opponent Site Time for his third year at the Cardinal Nov. 17-18 Vaughn Tourney . . . . . . . . . . Vaughn . . . . . . . . TBA helm, and is hoping his kids have the Nov. 21 Cloudcroft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . 6:30 p.m. ingredient that’s been missing in years Nov. 28 Fort Sumner JV . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . 6:30 p.m. past. Dec. 1 Cloudcroft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . 6:30 p.m. “The program’s built up a lot, we Dec. 7-9 Lake Arthur Tourney . . . . . . Lake Arthur . . . . TBA just have to work on our confidence,” Dec. 15 Reserve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . 1:30 p.m. Dec. 16 Mountainair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . 2:30 p.m. Autrey said. “That’s been our barrier. Jan. 4-6 Smokey Bear Tourney . . . . . Capitan . . . . . . . . TBA Time will tell how we are doing.” Jan. 9 Carrizozo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Corona was 4-22 last season, 1-5 Jan. 13 Animas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . 2:30 p.m. in District 3-1A. Their only district wins Jan. 16 Carrizozo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . 6:30 p.m. came over Lake Arthur – once in the Jan. 23 Vaughn* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . 6:30 p.m. regular season, once in the district Jan. 25 Lake Arthur* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Autrey tournament. Jan. 26 Fort Sumner JV . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . 5:30 p.m. Jan. 30 Hondo* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . 6:30 p.m. Things were a struggle outside of Feb. 8 Vaughn* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . 6:30 p.m. district as well, although the Cardinals Feb. 13 Lake Arthur* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . 6:30 p.m. did earn a win over the Fort Sumner Feb. 15 Hondo* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . 6:30 p.m. JV. *District 3-1A They started with a win over Lake Arthur in the season-opening Eagle Classic at Vaughn, and they’ll be doing the same thing this weekend, Nov. 17-18. Attending a season-opening tournament featuring two district opponents – plus Roy/Mosquero – is a good thing, according to Autrey. “It’s a good preview of what we have to work toward,” Autrey said. “I’d imagine Vaughn will be fast and quick, but I don’t know what Lake Arthur has. That’s why we play these games.” Hondo is in this district as well, and Autrey thinks his team has the speed to at least make those games interesting. “We should match up pretty well. We’ve got some speed,” Autrey said. “I really believe we can run with them. We need the confidence and camaraderie between teammates to do it. We’re getting there.” Two seniors are on the roster, Jim Racher and Conner Cox, complimented by juniors Cabel Cox, Tarren Washburn, Luke Lueras and Cooper Autrey. “We also have three freshmen coming up that I’m very impressed with,” Randy said, referring to Colton Racher, Tyler Lucero and Jesus Villa. “They can bring some speed to us. We just have to show up now. Photo by Todd Fuqua “We could have a very fun season this year,” he Jim Racher, right, is one of two seniors on this season’s Corona Cardinals added. “We will, no matter what.” basketball team. Page 30

WINTER 2017-18


Short on numbers, long on heart By Todd Fuqua Corona’s girls basketball team isn’t big. No, really, they have only six girls on their roster, making every foul and injury potentially season-threatening to the entire team. “We have four juniors and two eighth-graders. That’s it,” said Corona coach Denise Martin. “It will be a challenge, but we just need five that can play together. Then we’ll be in good shape. Martin returns to coaching a team she helped lead more than a decade ago, only now she’s coaching daughter Allison as one of the team’s four juniors. Martin Allison Martin is joined by Alyssa Mulnix, Faith Riley and Alondra Maldonado as the upperclass foursome. Then there’s eighth graders RJ Lucero and Katie Martin. “Six and that’s it, there’s no sitting down to rest,” said coach Martin. “We have to power through it.” The Cardinals haven’t had much time to condition in advance of their season opener this weekend at the Vaughn Aguila Classic, but Martin said that’s not really that big a problem. Most Corona kids are ranch kids, and they’ve been busy

Corona High School Cardinal Basketball

2016-17 record: 10-17, 2-4 District 3-1A Head coach: Denise Martin Schedule is subject to change Date Opponent Site Time Nov. 17-18 Vaughn Tourney . . . . . . . . . . Vaughn . . . . . . . . TBA Nov. 21 Cloudcroft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. Nov. 28 Fort Sumner JV . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. Dec. 1 Cloudcroft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. Dec. 7-9 Lake Arthur Tourney . . . . . . Lake Arthur . . . . TBA Dec. 15 Reserve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . . Noon Dec. 16 Mountainair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 1 p.m. Jan. 4-6 Smokey Bear Tourney . . . . . Capitan . . . . . . . . TBA Jan. 9 Carrizozo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. Jan. 13 Animas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 1 p.m. Jan. 16 Carrizozo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. Jan. 23 Vaughn* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. Jan. 25 Lake Arthur* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. Jan. 26 Fort Sumner JV . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 4 p.m. Jan. 30 Hondo* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. Feb. 8 Vaughn* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. Feb. 13 Lake Arthur* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. Feb. 15 Hondo* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Away . . . . . . . . 5 p.m. *District 3-1A

with FFA, 4H, or just working on their parents’ ranch. That makes for some tough and hardy individuals. “That helps a lot,” Martin said. “Almost all these girls have no give to them.” Corona was 10-17 last season, 2-4 in District 3-1A, having only defeated Vaughn in district play. Indeed, the Cardinals had Lake Arthur’s number. Five of their 10 wins came against the Panthers, including in the Vaughn Aguila Classic. That’s who they open the season with this Friday, and Martin is ready. “We’re real excited. My assistant (Sarah Stewart) and I are ready to go,” Martin said. “We’re having fun as they learn.”

Photo by Todd Fuqua

Corona junior Alyssa Mulnix, left, is one of four juniors back to lead the Cardinal girls team.

WINTER 2017-18

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2017-18 Winter Preview  
2017-18 Winter Preview  

A look at the upcoming 2017-18 high school winter sports seasons in Lincoln County, NM, including boys and girls basketball and wrestling.

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