Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Boxing notes

Las Cruces unbeaten bantamweight prospect Sammy Di Pace could be in line for a July 11 fight in Albuquerque on the Ray Sanchez/Joaquin Zamora undercard.

Las Cruces' Ricky Vasquez, a fighter at 122 could land on a June card in Phoenix.

Las Cruces junior middleweight Austin Trout could headline a July card proposed for Las Cruces, most likely at the Pan American Center.

- Felix

All-District 3-5A softball

First Team
Alamogordo — Adreena Olmos, Alexis Sifuentes
Las Cruces — Desirae Ceniceros, Natasha Nesiba, Shontel Lopez, Elizabeth Velasquez, Alberta Medina
Gadsden — Celeste Munoz, Priscila Miramontes
Mayfield — Brianna Rodriguez, Breanna Diaz, Nicole Gallardo
Oñate — Evelyn Mirabal, Antoinette Diaz, Michelle Tejeda, Jordan Yuen, Kristi Covarrubia, Nicole Garcia
Honorable Mention
Alamogordo — Shelby Tujillo, Rachelle Roman
Las Cruces — Amanda Sanchez, Brooke Montoya, Madison Diaz
Oñate — Kathryn Newberry, Shelby Sandoval, Amanda Diaz, Santana Martinez

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Class 5A football

It's funny now that prep sports are done for the 2007-08 season, people are already excited about the 2008-09 campaign, particularly the start of football.

Just to give readers out there a quick taste, here's my preseason Top 5 in Class 5A.

1. Las Cruces High
2. Mayfield
3. Clovis
4. La Cueva
5. Cibola

Yes, I know Mayfield is the defending champion and has won three straight 5A titles. But I'm putting LCHS No.1 based on what the Bulldawgs have coming back and what Mayfield doesn't. Las Cruces High has a great deal coming back, i.e. running back James Hall Jr. and QB Dante Caro, and will be super talented. Mayfield has returnees back, but also loses big-time players such as Yani Suter, Freddy Young, Matt Sandoval and Nathan Enriquez.

Clovis is tradtion-rich, La Cueva should be solid with offensive stalwarts Ronnie Daniels and Gus Bowe and Cibola has been one of the state's best the past couple of years under head coach Judge Chavez.

- Felix

Big Brown and Belmont

1978 was the last time a thoroughbred won the Triple Crown of racing and the horse that won it was the great Affirmed.

On June 7, Big Brown will attempt to win the Triple Crown. He has been very impressive in winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. But Big Brown suffered a bit of a setback, suffering a quarter crack in his left front hoof. It's not a serious injury and Big Brown worked well on Tuesday morning.

The 1 1/2 mile Belmont will be the most grueling of the three Triple Crown races and Big Brown will face a huge challenge from Casino Drive and Denis of Cork among others.

But Big Brown hasn't been pushed to the limit in either of the first two Triple Crown racesa and that probably helped him save a great deal of energy for the Belmont.

Big Brown is the horse to beat on June 7, stay tuned for more info on the race, but what are your thoughts on Big Brown's quest for the Triple Crown.

- Felix

Monday, May 26, 2008

Rick Viramontes and Onate Girls Basketball

Onate High School has a new girls basketball coach in Rick Viramontes. He replaces Roger Maya. More on this later in the week.

- Felix

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Interesting Prep Hoops note

Of note, Highland High School point guard Xavier Blount left the program to transfer to a high school in Virginia.

Blount was one of the best players in New Mexico and was being recruited by several Division I schools.

- Felix

All-District 3-5A Baseball

Ariel Perez, Onate
Nathan Enriquez, Mayfield
Doran Jones, Las Cruces High
Steven Florez, Las Cruces High

Vicente Fernandez, Onate
Alex Mendoza, Gadsden

Joe Koerper, Onate
Gaby Taney, Onate
Abe Tarin, Onate
Randy Montoya, Onate
Freddy Young, Mayfield
Luis Quinones, Mayfield
Nathan Enriquez, Mayfield
Jacob Lilley, Las Cruces High
Abraham Casillas, Gadsden

Isaiah Dominguez, Mayfield
Patrick Moreno, Mayfield
Tress Diaz, Las Cruces High
Dante Daro, Las Cruces High
Eric Dorton, Alamogordo
Paul Stewart, Alamogordo

Designated Hitter
Junior Garcia, Mayfield

Onate baseball follow

What a season it turned out to be for the Onate High School baseball squad. The Knights nearly won the 5A high school state baseball title on Friday night in Albuquerque, losing a 4-3 heartbreaker to La Cueva.

La Cueva has won 5 of the past 6 big-school state titles and Friday's game was one of its toughest to date. The Knights got great pitching from senior Ariel Perez and made some good defensive plays to stay in the game. The Knights led 3-2 entering the top of the seventh.

The Knights finished 22-9 and return several key players next year. They will have to find a starter to replace Perez and a quality reliever to replace the departed Matt Cannon.

But Onate should have a good offense once again and is the early favorite to win 3-5A and perhaps get back to the state finals.

- Felix

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Interesting prep notes

Former Las Cruces High and Carlsbad High head football coach Kirk Potter is back as a head coach in New Mexico. He was recently hired at the new high school in Rio Rancho, V. Sue Cleveland High School. Potter was the head coach at LCHS for two years in the 1990s, including leading the program to an 11-1 mark on season. He later coached Carlsbad to the 2000 big schools state title game where the Cavemen lost to you guessed, Las Cruces High.

And former Rio Rancho High guard Marcus Williams is headed to play basketball at Cochise College in Arizona, a two-year junior college. Williams is the younger brother of New Mexico State wide receiver Chris Williams. Marcus Williams played football, basketball and ran track for RRHS.

- Felix

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Onate/Rio Rancho Preview

Thursday's (May 22) meeting between Onate and Rio Rancho in the Class 5A high school baseball tournament semis in Albuquerque should be entertaining.

Onate will likely throw its ace, Randy Montoya, against Rio Rancho's ace, Anthony Haase.
Both have big-game experience and if both are on, don't be surprised if the game is low-scoring.

Rio Rancho is a very good defensive ballclub and pitching is solid too. Onate is good on the bump and its offense is good once it gets rolling as witnessed by its come from behind 8-7 win on Wednesday against Carlsbad.

Rio Rancho and Onate squared off earlier this season in Las Cruces and the Rams won 10-9.
This semifinal will come down to defense and who gets the big hit. I believe the game will be 3-2 or 2-1 and whoever makes the first mistake will be in some trouble.

The other semifinal pits La Cueva vs. Eldorado. La Cueva was very impressive in routing Santa Fe High, while Eldorado got good pitching in limiting the Vikings to just two runs.

- Felix

Onate advances, Mayfield falls

For the second straight season, the Onate Knights baseball team is headed to the semifinals of the Class 5A high school baseball tournament.
The third-seeded Knights rallied to beat No. 6 Carlsbad by a score of 8-7 on Wednesday afternoon at Lobo Field in Albuquerque.
Onate trailed 7-2 entering the bottom of the seventh, but scored six times, the final four coming on a walk-off grand slam by senior Ariel Perez.
Abe Tarin picked up the win on the mound for OHS. The Knights are 21-8, Carlsbad end 21-8.

Meanhwhile, No. 7 Mayfield dropped an 11-1 decision to No. 2 and defending champ, Rio Rancho. The Rams scored six runs in the second and never looked back. Mayfield's season end at 20-9, while Rio Rancho is now 26-3 and will take on Onate on Thursday morning at 11 a.m. at Lobo Field.

- Felix

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ricky Hatton and Juan Lazcano

El Paso junior welterweight contender takes on England's Ricky Hatton Saturday in England.
The fight will be broadcaast on Versus, which shows live boxing on Thursday night's and also shows classic boxing matches.

But this is the first time that Versus has shown a really big name fighter like Hatton and that is good for boxing. Often times, you have to have HBO or Showtime or you have to get the pay-per-view event to watch a fighter of Hatton's calliber. The Versus card also features Paul Malignaggi vs Lovemore N'dou in a light welterweight bout.

If everything goes as planned, Hatton will fight the winner of the Malignaggi vs. N'dou fight later this year.

You have to give Hatton credit for coming back from his loss to welterweight king Floyd Mayweather last December. Hatton got beat up pretty bad in that last bout and wants to re-emerge as a contender.

I like Hatton at the 140-pound level. He's stronger, he hits harder and he's more active. Plus, there are a lot of attractive fights at 140 pounds for him.

Lazcano, who once challenged Jose Luis Castillo for the lightweight title several years ago, will present a challenge for Hatton.

The "Hispanic Causing Panic" is a veteran fighter with one last shot in front of him. He last fought in Feb. of 2007, losing a close decision to Vivian Harris. When Lazcano is in shape and focused, he's tough. He has a good enough skill level to give Hatton fits.

But Hatton will be fighting in front of 50,000 of his best friends and he's simply younger and stronger than Lazcano. I expect Hatton to stop Lazcano late in the fight.

Hatton could have drowned in sorrow after his loss and it could have gone really bad for him. But Hatton has proven that he's tough mentally and he wants the opportunity to prove himself again. He seems motivated and eager for this fight, let's see if it's true on Saturday afternoon.

- Felix

Antonio Margarito/Miguel Cotto

Finally the time has come for welterweights Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto to fight. The two will take part in the much-anticipated fight July 26 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Cotto is 32-0 and has beaten the likes of Shane Mosley, Zab Judah and Carlos Quintana. Margarito is 36-5 and has beaten Kermit Cintron and Joshua Clottey and lost a close decision to Paul Williams.

This is another great match between Mexican and Puerto Rican rivals. Cotto is great inside-fighter, who has improved his boxing skill in recent fights.

Margarito carries a big punch and whoever he fights has to always be aware of his knockout prowess.

Both are great champions and it's going to be a fight that is intriging to fight fans. Both carry heavy hands, both have good chins and both believe they are the best at what they do.

The winner surely will be regarded as the best welterweight in the world and will reap the consequences.

Margarito will come with both hands firing and he will surely try and get Cotto out early. The key for Cotto is try and frustrate Margarito and not let him have enough room to work.

The other welterweight bout of note is June 7 in Connecticut when Paul Williams faces off with Carlos Quintana in a rematch of their bout earlier this year. Quintana stunned some by knocking off the taller Williams to win the WBO welterweight bout.

Quintana fought an intelligent fight and simply outworked Wililams, who is known to outwork his opponents.

Again, the winner of this fight will put himself in a position for bigger things, perhaps a chance at the winner of the Margarito/Cotto fight.

Quintana will need to box smartly and Williams will need to use his reach and good jab to win.

- Felix

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Class 5A baseball state tourney

There were really no surprises over the weekend in the first round of the Class 5A state baseball tournament, which featured a best 2-of-3 format.
However, there were some close games and a couple of series went the entire distance. Las Cruces High, seeded No. 11 took No. 6 Carlsbad to three, before bowing out and No. 13 Sandia took one from No. 4 Eldorado. Also, No. 10 Cibola and No. 7 Mayfield played a close game on Friday, No. 15 Manzano gave No. 2 Rio Rancho fits and No. 8 Santa Fe High and No. 9 Rio Grande played two one-run games with SFHS winning both.

The eight remaining teams are No. 1 La Cueva, No. 2 Rio Rancho, No. 3 Onate, No. 4 Eldorado, No. 5 Valley, No. 6 Carlsbad, No. 7 Mayfield and No. 8 Rio Rancho.

No. 1 La Cueva is 25-3 on the year and beat Clovis twice to begin play in the state tournament. Among the top players are pitcher Nolan Snell and batters Mitchell Garver, Andrew Lamb and Josh McAllister, all of whom had two RBI each in La Cueva's 17-0 win against Clovis on Saturday. Before Rio Rio Rancho won the 5A title last year, the Bears had won four straight state titles.

No. 2 Rio Rancho enters the tournament with a 25-3 mark. The Rams are the defending state champs and beat Manzano to advance to the quarters. Longtime coach Ron Murphy is no stranger to the postseason have led both St. Pius and the Rams to postseason success. The Rams have pitching depth with Anthony Haase and Alex Wehner and Haase is also a threat at the plate.

No. 3 Onate is coming off a series win against Los Lunas. The District 3-5A champs went 11-1 in district and pitching is the key. Ariel Perez, Abe Tarin, Randy Montoya and Matt Cannon give the team four quality starters. First baseman Joe Koerper has 15 homers in 28 games, not too bad for the junior.

No. 4 Eldorado enters the quarters with a 20-9 mark. The Eagles are always one of the state's best and expect them to be in the hunt again. Pitcher Patrick Roney won Game 3 against Sandia and at the plate, Sam Wilson, Austin Cantwell and Nolan Trammell are all formidiable hitters.

No. 5 Valley is 21-7 and played in a tough district with Santa Fe and La Cueva. Last year, the Vikes were the No. 1 seed but fell in the quarters to Onate. Pitcher Ryan Reynolds is the ace. Vikings beat Gadsden in the opening round.

No. 6 Carlsbad is 21-7 on the year. Team's best wins were probably against Las Cruces High in the first round and a win against Gadsden earlier in the year. A couple of key players are Andrew Castillo and Trey Gonzales. Played weak schedule.

No. 7 Mayfield was last year's runner-up and made the semifinals two years ago. Team has won nine straight and finished second in 3-5A. Beat Cibola to reach quarters. Top hitters are Nathan Enriquez, Freddy Young, Tony Soto and Isaiah Dominguez, Enriquez is ace on the staff.

No. 8 Santa Fe High enters the quarters with a very good 20-8 mark. Beat Rio Rancho, Valley and La Cueva in regular season. Knocked off Rio Grande to reach quarters. Designated Hitter Richard Pacheco is a key reason the team advanced with key hits to dismantle the Ravens. Pitcher Roby Romero is 6-0 on the mound.


Class 5A quarterfinal times and matchups

The Class 5A baseball state tournament quarterfinals are set. The quarterfinals begin Wednesday, May 21 in Albuquerque.

No. 1 La Cueva takes on No. 8 Santa Fe High on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Rio Rancho and that game will be preceded by No. 5 Valley vs. No. 4 Eldorado at 11 a.m.
The two winners meet Thursday at 2 p.m. at Lobo Field on the University of New Mexico campus.

No. 3 Onate takes on No. 6 Carlsbad on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Lobo Field, and that will be followed by No. 2 Rio Rancho vs. No. 7 Mayfield at 2 p.m.
The winners of these two games will meet on Thursday at 11 a.m.

The 5A championship game is set for Friday at 7 p.m. at Isotopes Park.

- Felix

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Antonio Escalante/David Martinez boxing match

El Paso super bantamweight contender Antonio Escalante (17-2-1) faces Albuquerque's David Martinez (18-3-1) Friday night on Telefutura's weekly boxing show.

It's a big fight for both fighters.

Escalante is angling toward world championship status in the near future. Escalante is a young fighter with plenty of power in both hands and he's turning into a consistent boxer.

At times, the question around Escalante has been his defense. He can still get better in that area, but with more experience in the ring against top notch fighters, he hopes that will help him.

Martinez is a fighter without much power, just a handful of knockouts in his career. But he will make Escalante work and that's what Escalante needs. Martinez will need to try and give Escalante different angles and try to ourwork him on the outside. Escalante is too strong for Martinez and if Martinez tries to make it a battle on the inside, he'l l either be out in a few rounds or he'll get whacked for much of the evening.

Everytime Martinez has stepped up in competition in his pro career, he has come up short. Another loss will put him out of any contention for bigger fights.

Escalante on the other hand seriously needs to look good on Friday night. The 122-pound divison has a lot of good fighters and if Escalante wants to take the next step in his career, he needs to look good.

My pick, Escalnte Ko's Martinez inside of six and finds himself in position for a bigger fight next time out.

- Felix

Gadsden sports news

Gadsden's Liz Castellanos signs with NMMI
By Felix Chavez
Sun-News reporter
LAS CRUCES - Gadsden High volleyball player Liz Castellanos was one of the top outside hitters in Class 5A during her junior and senior seasons.
Now the talented outside hitter will taker her talents to New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell beginning in the fall.
"I really liked the program," said Castellanos, who helped lead the Panthers to the state playoffs last season. "I'm glad for the chance to play at the next level."
Castellanos was an All-District 3-5A selection, as well as a Class 5A All-State, first-team pick and she will play in the North-South All-Star game in July in Albuquerque.
"Liz went up there and got to play with some of the other team members and she did really good," Gadsden head coach Al Rosen said. "Liz is a very good athlete and I'm glad she decided to keep playing. She didn't play club volleyball, but she kept working out with our program and she was coaching some of the younger players. Liz can step in next year and help NMMI out and she'll have a chance to go to a four-year school down the road."
Castellanos helped lead Gadsden to a share of the regular season district title as a senior.

The start of Gadsden's Class 5A first round baseball series against Albuquerque Valley was pushed back to today. The series was scheduled to start Thursday at noon with a doubleheader in the best 2-of-3 format, but rain postponed the two games.
Gadsden and Valley will try and play two today with a third game scheduled for Saturday if necessary.
Gadsden is seeded No. 12 and Valley is No. 5.

Felix Chavez can be reached at

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Baseball/Softball column

By Felix Chavez
Sun-News reporter
The Onate Knights were seeded No. 3 in the Class 5A baseballtournament and deservedly so. Onate proved in district play that when healthy and when it has everypart in place, it is one of the top teams in the state. The No. 3 seedshows the seeding committee was fair and balanced. La Cueva and RioRancho were the top two seeds in most arguments and Onate was one of theteams that could have been seeded No. 3 along with a Valley orEldorado. But the realization is that the Knights were one of the four bestteams last year and coming into this year, expectations were high. The Knights weren't healthy or at full strength early in the season,thus they suffered a few more losses than they would have liked. But once Abe Tarin joined the team from basketball and Ariel Perezand Randy Montoya got healthy, the team had one of the best and deepestpitching staffs in the state and also the team's performance at theplate was improved. The Knights didn't get an easy draw in the first round, which is abest 2-of-3 format, drawing an experienced and hard-nosed Los Lunassquad. But OHS should get past the Tigers, setting up a quarterfinal matchupwith either Carlsbad or District 3-5A rival Las Cruces High. Andshould the Knights keep on rolling, a semifinal rematch with defending 5Achamp, Rio Rancho looms. From my standpoint, the Knights have a fairly easy road to the semis.They should get past LLHS, then they will be favored against eitherLCHS or Carlsbad. Are the Knights a state championship caliber squad? From a pitchingstandpoint, they have enough arms and their hitting has improved as theseason has gone on. If the Knights continue to get the pitchingperformances that they have been, watch out, it could be OHS' time to win abaseball title. But don't forget Mayfield, which finished second last year to RioRancho. The Trojans earned a legitimate No. 7 seed and will face Cibolathis weekend. Mayfield doesn't have the pitching it did a year ago, butthe bats are certainly heating up. Mayfield has plenty of big bats and will be a difficult matchup foranyone. But MHS might have to outscore opponents to get it done. TheTrojans struggled on the mound in a doubleheader sweep of Las Cruces Highto end the regular season and that can't be a good omen. But don't count out the Trojans, who have a veteran team and one thathas been one of the state's best baseball programs the past threeyears. Kudos have to go out to the Las Cruces High softball team. TheBulldawgs earned a share of the District 3-5A title and got a No. 7 seed inthe state playoffs, which begin today in Farmington. The Bulldawgs are a very young team and had to overcome injury issuesto get a share of the title. Head coach Rodney Pollard has to feel good about his bunch for thefuture, but he and the team feel like they can do some damage this weekat the state tournament. The Bulldawgs faced a tough pre-districtschedule and did fine and then in district, competed well in a solid, if notspectacular district. If Pollard's bunch, which includes a potentially dominating pitcherin Alberta Medina, can continue to improve in the coming years, don't besurprised of LCHS becomes an instant state title contender.

Felix Chavez can be reached at

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

5A state baseball playoff times

First Round
Best 2 of 3 at higher seed
No. 12 Gadsden at No. 5 Valley, noon and 2 p.m.
No. 14 Los Lunas at No. 3 Onate, 7 p.m.
No. 11 Las Cruces High at No. 6 Carlsbad, 5 and 7 p.m.

No. 12 Gadsden at No. 5 Gadsden, 9 a.m. (if necessary)
No. 11 Las Cruces High at Carlsbad, 11 a.m. (if necessary)
No. 14 Los Lunas at No. 3 Onate, 1 p.m.
No. 14 Los Lunas at No. 3 Onate, 3 p.m. (if necessary)
No. 15 Manzano at No. 2 Rio Rancho, 3 p.m.
No. 9 Rio Grande at No. 8 Santa Fe, 3 p.m.
No. 16 Clovis at No. 1 La Cueva, 4 p.m.
No. 13 Sandia at No. 4 Eldorado, 4 p.m.
No. 10 Cibola at No. 7 Mayfield, 7 p.m.

No. 15 Manzano at No. 2 Rio Rancho, 10 a.m.
No. 16 Clovis at No. 1 La Cueva, 11 a.m.
No. 9 Rio Grande at No. 8 Santa Fe, 11 a.m.
No. 13 Sandia at No. 4 Eldorado, 11 a.m.
No. 10 Cibola at No. 7 Mayfield, 1 p.m.
No. 16 Clovis at No. 1 La Cueva, 1 p.m. (if necessary)
No. 15 Manzano at No. 2 Rio Rancho, 1 p.m. (if necessary)
No. 9 Rio Grande at No. 8 Santa Fe, 1 p.m. (if necessary)
No. 13 Sandia at No. 4 Eldorado, 1 p.m. (if necessary)
No. 10 Cibola at No. 7 Mayfield, 3 p.m. (if necessary)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ray Sanchez and victory

Albuquerque junior middleweight Ray Sanchez III earned a hard-fought win Friday against rugged veteran Patrick Thompson. Not a bad win for Sanchez, who was coming off a knockout loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Where does Sanchez go now? He'll have to take another step up and see where he is. He might have to take it on the road, however. I don't know if he will get another shot at a really good fighter at home in the Duke City.

Sanchez III appears to have improved in the past few months with his skill level, but until he can beat a proven contender, he's going to be stuck in also-ran status. But he can enjoy his win for now, a win he needed in a big way in front of his home fans.

Where do you think Sanchez will go next?


Baseball Postings 3A-5A

State Baseball Tournament
Class 5A, first round May 16-17. Of note is possible that Onate and Los Lunas will play Thursday/Fridy.
Best 2 of 3 format at site of higher seed
No. 16 Clovis at No. 1 La Cueva
No. 15 Manzano at No. 2 Rio Rancho
No. 14 Los Lunas at No. 3 Onate
No. 13 Sandia at No. 4 Eldorado
No. 12 Gadsden at No. 5 Valley
No. 11 Las Cruces High at No. 6 Carlsbad
No. 10 Cibola at No. 7 Mayfield
No. 9 Rio Grande at No. 8 Santa Fe

May 21
La Cueva/Clovis winner vs. Santa Fe/Rio Grande winner
Valley/Gadsden winner vs. Eldorado/Sandia winner
Onate/Los Lunas winner vs. Carlsbad/Las Cruces winner
Mayfield/Cibola winner vs. Rio Rancho/Manzano winner

May 22
La Cueva-Clovis/Santa Fe-Rio Grande winner vs. Valley-Gadsden/Eldorado-Sandia winner
Onate-Los Lunas/Carlsbad-Las Cruces winner vs. Mayfield-Cibola/Rio Rancho-Manzano winner

May 23, 7 p.m.

Class 4A
First Round
May 16-17
best 2 of 3 at site of higher seed
No. 16 Taos at No. 1 Farmington
No. 15 Aztec at No. 2 Albuquerque Academy
No. 14 Silver at No. 3 Goddard
No. 13 Los Alamos at No. 4 Belen
No. 12 Del Norte at No. 5 Piedra Vista
No. 11 Kirtland Central at No. 6 Moriarty
No. 10 Deming at No. 7 Artesia
No. 9 Bernalillo at No. 8 St. Pius

May 21
Taos-Farmington winner vs. Bernaillio-St. Pius winner
Del Norte-Piedra Vista winner vs. Los Alamos-Belen winner
Silver-Goddard winner vs. Kirtland Centra-Moriarty winner
Deming-Artesia winner vs. Aztec-Albuquerque Academy winner

May 22
Taos-Farmington/Bernalillo-St. Pius winner vs. Del Norte-Piedra Vista/Los Alamos-Belen winner
Silver-Goddard/Kirtland Central-Moriarty winner vs. Deming-Artesia/Aztec/Academy winner

May 23, 3:30 p.m.

Class 3A
First Round
May 16-17
best 2 of 3 format at ste of higher seed
No. 16 Tohatchi at No. 1 St. Michael's
No. 15 Robertson at No. 2 Cobre
No. 14 Hatch Valey at No. 3 Bloomfield
No. 13 Santa Fe Indian at No. 4 Portales
No. 12 Ruidoso at No. 5 Sandia Prep
No. 11 N.M. Millitary at No. 6 Socorro
No. 10 Pojoaque at No. 7 Lovington
No. 9 Hope Chrisitan at No. 8 Raton

May 21
Tohatchi-St. Michael's winner vs. Hope Christian-Raton winner
Ruidoso-Sandia Prep winner vs. Santa Fe Indian-Portales winner
Hatch Valley-Bloomfield winner vs. N.M. Millitary-Socorro winner
Pojoaque-Lovington winner vs. Robertson-Cobre winner

May 22
Tohatch-St. Michael's/Hope Christian-Raton winner vs. Ruidoso-Sandia Prep/Santa Fe Indian Sdchool/-Portales winner
Hatch Valley-Bloomfield/NMMI-Socorro winner vs. Pojoaque-Lovington/Robertson-Cobre w inner

May 23, noon

All Championship games at Isotopes Park

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mayfield wins track title

Mayfield takes boys district title
Sun-News report
The Mayfield boys track and field team won the District 3-5A track and field championship on Saturday in Alamogordo.
The Trojans scored 158 1/2 points, followed by Alamogordo with 136 1/2 points and Oñate with 76. Gadsden was fourth with 44 points, while Las Cruces High was fifth with 30.
Spencer Faubion won the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles. John Caldwell was second in the 100 meter and 400 meter events.
Seth Gilpin won the mile and was second in the two-mile run. Billy Quigg won the javelin, while Kyle Tiemann was second in the discus and the javelin. Andy Correll was second in the shot put, while Brandon Maurer won the pole vault.
On the girls side, Alamogordo won the district title with 176 points, followed by Mayfield with 148, Oñate with 170, Gadsden with 45 and Las Cruces High with three.
Jenna Banegas won the 100, Amanda Hand was first in the pole vault, Tina Apodaca won the 300 meter hurdles and Cassie Goff took the javelin.
Becca Rudisill was second in the long jump, Sierra Lawson was second in the triple jump and Mia Herrera was second in the 3,200 meter run.
The Onate boys were led by Gary Sanchez, who finished first in the 3,200 meter run and second in the 1,600 meters and Tim Young, who was first in the triple jump and high jump.
Jonathan Allen was second in the high jump and was also part of a medley relay team with Jonathan Murray, Miguel Garcia and Paul Bruns that took first.
On the girls side, Adriana Cueto was second in the 100 meter and 300 meter hurdles, Jennifer Marshall was second in the high jump and Jade Brown took first in the shot put.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sammy Di Pace wins

Las Cruces professional fighter Sammy DiPace defeated Wilmer Suarez by first round knockout on Friday night in Albuquerque. He is now 3-0 in his young career, all coming via knockout.

- Felix

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Chaparral boys hoops hire

The hire of Steve Heredia to lead the Chaparral boys basketball program heading into year No. 2 of varsity action was a good one.

He's been around high school basketball for nearly 10 years and has done a variety of jobs from coaching freshman to scouting to be a varsity assistant.

Chaparral needs a coach with energy and unrelenting commitment. Heredia wanted to be a head coach and he plans on going full force into his new job.

It's going to take time for Heredia to get everything done the way he wants it, but Heredia has been around and he has seen how things can get done and how they should be done.

Chaparral is an interesting job because it's so new, there are new facilities and one has to wonder just how much talent is in that area.

But it was a good hire by the Lobos and if they give Heredia time, there's a good chance he can deliver a winner.

- Felix

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Austin Trout and NABF rankings

Las Cruces junior middleweight Austin Trout is ranked No. 16 by the North American Boxing Federation.

Trout is 14-0 and is coming off a second-round stoppage of Steve Verdin last Friday in El Paso.

Trout is currently sparring in Big Bear, Calif., with Shane Mosley.

- Felix

Eight Belles and Derby tragedy

What a sad tragedy it was last Saturday in the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby. The talented filly, Eight Belles, died after finishing second when her two front ankles broke. She had to be euthanized right on the track.

Eight Belles was a great horse with a tremendous competitive streak as witnessed by her second-place showing against the boys in a talented field of 20.

She ran her best race of her career that day and paid for it with her life.

Horse racing is a tremendous sport and has a great history. But changes need to be made to prevent injuries such as the one Eight Belles suffered.

One change must come in terms of breeding. So much of today's breeding is geared toward speed and that can be dangerous on a young 3-year-old body.

Also, medication is an issue. Too many horses are on medication and go to the track injured but because of the medication don't feel it. There simply needs to be more oversight by horse racing officials on what trainers are giving to their horses.

Two years ago Barbaro suffered what turned out to be a life-ending injury in the Preakness. That was a very tragic event.

Eight Belles' death is more tragic to me in some ways. The fact that she broke down right after the race in what was a tremendous race, was a sad ending to a great day.

I followed the career of Eight Belles closely over the last few months. She was getting better each race and those close to her felt she could race against the best, regardless of gender. They were right.

Let's hope her legacy is always remembered.

- Felix

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Track Results

Mirimanian Invitational 2008 - 5/2/2008
Mayfield High School
Field of Dreams, Las Cruces NM

Girls Results *********************************************************************

Girls 100 Meter Dash
Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Banegas, Jenna Mayfield 11.92 12.32 6 7
2 Ferguson, Ashley Hot Springs 12.75 12.41 6 5
3 Medina, Celina Cobre 13.90 12.88 3 4
4 Rudisill, Becca Mayfield 13.10 13.14 6 3
5 Altuna, Alesha Silver City 13.25 13.20 5 1.50
5 Barto, Kathy Chaparral 13.60 13.20 4 1.50

Girls 200 Meter Dash
Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Benson, Jalisa Alamogordo 26.10 25.79 6 7
2 Lalla, Amber Mayfield 26.61 26.33 6 5
3 Ferguson, Ashley Hot Springs 26.87 26.52 6 4
4 Whyte, Yanique Alamogordo 27.80 27.66 5 3
5 Smith, L Gadsden 27.80 27.77 5 2
6 Smith, Que Onate 27.29 28.07 5 1

Girls 400 Meter Dash
Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Gonzalez, Kelsi Alamogordo 58.60 59.31 4 7
2 Lalla, Amber Mayfield 59.10 1:01.01 4 5
3 Nunez, Andrea Santa Teresa 1:04.50 1:01.50 4 4
4 Hoyt, Shawnea Alamogordo 1:03.00 1:04.06 4 3
5 Jimenez, MB Gadsden 1:03.00 1:05.08 4 2
6 Marquez, Gracie Santa Teresa 1:07.50 1:06.43 3 1

Girls 800 Meter Run
Name Year School Seed Finals Points
1 Sevilla, G Gadsden 2:55.00 2:27.80 7
2 Ellison, Sarah Alamogordo 2:29.00 2:28.40 5
3 Oberleas, Jenny Mayfield 2:27.05 2:28.50 4
4 Dominguez, Desiree Alamogordo 2:30.00 2:29.60 3
5 Jimenez, MB Gadsden 2:30.00 2:34.50 2
6 Turner, Brianne Mayfield 2:30.00 2:37.30 1

Girls 1600 Meter Run
Name Year School Seed Finals Points
1 Campos, Jackie Santa Teresa 5:19.00 5:16.20 7
2 Sevilla, G Gadsden 5:29.00 5:38.47 5
3 Jimenez, MS Gadsden 5:50.00 5:55.61 4
4 Herrera, Mia Mayfield 5:50.00 5:56.33 3
5 Garcia, Jazmin Alamogordo 5:50.00 6:11.56 2
6 Ortiz, Cheyenne Mayfield 6:15.00 6:22.74 1

Girls 3200 Meter Run
Name Year School Seed Finals Points
1 Ellison, Sarah Alamogordo 11:50.00 12:02.00 7
2 Kilchrist, Myla Alamogordo 13:00.00 13:06.00 5
3 Herrera, Mia Mayfield 12:40.00 13:08.00 4
4 Jimenez, MS Gadsden 13:00.00 13:16.00 3
5 Turner, Brianne Mayfield 13:00.00 13:44.00 2
6 Moore, Amanda Mayfield 13:30.00 13:48.00 1

Girls 100 Meter Hurdles
Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Astorga, Brianna Mayfield 15.29 16.03 3 7
2 Cueto, Adrianna Onate 16.56 16.95 3 5
3 Taylor, Jhannai Onate 17.22 17.02 3 4
4 Lara, Brianna Onate 17.08 17.86 3 3
5 Ortiz, Cheyenne Mayfield 17.50 18.16 3 2
6 Dunnevan, Jacquelina Silver City 17.80 18.17 2 1

Girls 300 Meter Hurdles
Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Astorga, Brianna Mayfield 46.77 47.12 3 7
2 Apodaca, Justina Mayfield 50.10 48.07 3 5
3 Cueto, Adrianna Onate 48.64 48.58 3 4
4 Lara, Brianna Onate 49.50 50.14 3 3
5 Ortiz, Cheyenne Mayfield 51.90 52.47 3 2
6 Hansen, Alex Alamogordo 52.00 53.59 3 1

Girls 4x100 Meter Relay
School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Alamogordo 'A' 49.80 49.39 2 10
2 Mayfield 'A' 50.08 50.20 2 8
3 Onate 'A' 51.99 51.51 2 6
4 Cobre 'A' 51.42 52.02 2 4
5 Silver City 'A' 53.11 52.38 2 2

Girls 4x200 Meter Relay
School Seed Finals Points
1 Alamogordo 'A' 1:45.20 1:45.20 10
2 Mayfield 'A' 1:46.55 1:46.80 8
3 Onate 'A' 1:48.90 1:50.80 6
4 Silver City 'A' 1:55.00 1:54.60 4
5 Gadsden 'A' 1:54.00 1:57.30 2
6 Cobre 'A' 2:00.00 1:57.70 1

Girls 4x400 Meter Relay
School Seed Finals Points
1 Mayfield 'A' 4:05.71 4:14.48 10
2 Onate 'A' 4:15.00 4:21.94 8
3 Silver City 'A' 4:34.00 4:34.31 6

Girls 1600 Sprint Medley
School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Alamogordo 'A' 4:36.00 4:27.14 2 10
2 Mayfield 'A' 4:23.44 4:35.73 2 8
3 Gadsden 'A' 4:48.00 4:40.25 2 6
4 Silver City 'A' 4:44.00 4:43.41 2 4
5 Chaparral 'A' 5:00.00 4:47.50 1 2
6 Onate 'A' 4:39.70 4:50.02 2 1

Girls High Jump
Name Year School Seed Finals Points
1 Lane, Alli Silver City 5-02.00 4-11.00 7
2 Whyte, Yanique Alamogordo 5-01.00 4-09.00 5
3 Wollard, Jenna Onate 4-11.00 4-09.00 4
4 Nielson, Katie Alamogordo 4-10.00 4-07.00 3
5 Marshall, Jennifer Onate 5-01.00 4-07.00 2
6 Holguin, Elena Mayfield 4-10.00 4-05.00 1

Girls Pole Vault
Name Year School Seed Finals Points
1 Williamson, Rachel Mayfield 6-06.00 9-00.00 7
2 Hansen, Alex Alamogordo 9-00.00 8-06.00 5
3 Hand, Amanda Mayfield 8-09.00 8-06.00 4
4 Markham, Jackie Onate 6-06.00 8-00.00 3
5 Aldrete, Karissa Hot Springs 7-00.00 7-06.00 2
6 Brown, Iman Mayfield 7-01.00 7-06.00 1

Girls Long Jump
Name Year School Seed Finals Points
1 Benson, Jalisa Alamogordo 17-02.00 16-05.25 7
2 Rudisill, Becca Mayfield 17-02.50 16-05.00 5
3 Martin, Jasmine Alamogordo 15-00.00 14-07.00 4
4 Lawson, Sierra Mayfield 16-06.00 14-06.50 3
5 Concha, Amanda Chaparral 12-00.00 14-04.00 2
6 Gonzales, Amy Mayfield 15-00.00 14-01.75 1

Girls Triple Jump
Name Year School Seed Finals Points
1 Veasley, Christina Alamogordo 35-08.00 34-11.00 7
2 Smith, Leslie Las Cruces High 33-08.00 34-03.50 5
3 Jordan, Ayana Mayfield 32-00.00 33-11.75 4
4 Lawson, Sierra Mayfield 32-03.00 33-02.75 3
5 North, CC Cobre 34-01.00 33-02.75 2
6 Hansen, Alex Alamogordo 32-00.00 31-09.25 1

Girls Shot Put
Name Year School Prelims Finals Points
1 Steenport, Angela Cobre 34-05.75 34-05.75 7
2 Salaiz, Jessica Silver City 33-08.50 33-08.50 5
3 Brown, Jade Onate 33-00.25 33-00.25 4
4 Herrera, Breanna Alamogordo 32-10.25 32-10.25 3
5 Hay, Thurza Cobre 32-04.25 32-04.25 2
6 Harden, Brandy Alamogordo 31-09.50 31-09.50 1

Girls Discus Throw
Name Year School Prelims Finals Points
1 Hay, Thurza Cobre 101-10 101-10 7
2 Teske, Sam Alamogordo 98-06 98-06 5
3 Gerber, Tiffany Alamogordo 97-08 97-08 4
4 Rust, Kaitlyn Alamogordo 97-03 97-03 3
....Girls Discus Throw
5 Quintero, Gabby Silver City 95-06 95-06 2
6 Paul, Cheyenne Mayfield 92-04 92-04 1

Girls Javelin Throw
Name Year School Prelims Finals Points
1 Villalba, Sabrina Silver City 110-05 110-05 7
2 Covorrubia, Kristi Onate 109-01 109-01 5
3 Teske, Sam Alamogordo 04-07.50 104-07.50 4
4 Gerber, Tiffany Alamogordo 104-02 104-02 3
5 Aquilar, Lucy Silver City 97-00.50 97-00.50 2
6 Grassel, Steph Onate 96-05 96-05 1

Boys Results **********************************************************************

Boys 100 Meter Dash
Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Davis, Brandon Alamogordo 10.87 10.72 5 7
2 Allen, Johnathan Onate 11.01 10.84 5 5
3 Caldwell, John Mayfield 11.00 10.99 5 4
4 Alvidrez, Robert Mayfield 11.10 11.29 5 3
5 Simpson, DJ Alamogordo 11.04 11.42 5 2
6 Wagner, Tayler Alamogordo 11.15 11.48 4 0.50
6 Podila, Sundeep Las Cruces High 11.75 11.48 3 0.50

Boys 200 Meter Dash
Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Wride, Bobby Alamogordo 22.69 22.51 6 7
2 Alvidrez, Robert Mayfield 22.90 22.66 6 5
3 Armburst, DJ Onate 23.69 23.34 5 4
4 Balderama, Wally Onate 23.03 23.48 6 3
5 Manning, Jared Alamogordo 23.07 23.57 6 2
6 Griffin, Zeus Deming 24.24 24.12 4 1

Boys 400 Meter Dash
Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Jackson, Wesley Alamogordo 50.30 51.53 4 7
2 Caldwell, John Mayfield 51.50 51.79 4 5
3 Trout, Michael Alamogordo 51.65 52.32 4 4
4 Corral, Joel Cobre 52.00 53.10 4 3
5 Madrid, Nick Cobre 52.00 53.23 4 2
6 Holguin, Chris Silver City 53.00 53.52 3 1

Boys 800 Meter Run
Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Martinez, Obed Santa Teresa 2:03.00 2:01.90 5 7
2 Teske, JC Alamogordo 2:10.00 2:03.60 4 5
3 Coyozo, Michael Alamogordo 2:03.00 2:05.20 5 4
4 Gilpin, Seth Mayfield 2:05.00 2:06.30 5 3
5 Porter, Chris Mayfield 2:04.00 2:06.60 5 2
6 Harrigan, Matt Alamogordo 2:08.00 2:08.60 5 1

Boys 1600 Meter Run
Name Year School Seed Finals Points
1 Montelongo, A Gadsden 4:40.00 4:36.36 7
2 Gilpin, Seth Mayfield 4:36.00 4:37.46 5
3 Sanchez, Gary Onate 4:42.00 4:45.80 4
4 Apodaca, C Gadsden 4:45.00 4:49.97 3
5 Garcia, Josh Alamogordo 4:50.00 4:51.59 2
6 Trout, Michael Alamogordo 4:46.00 4:52.52 1

Boys 3200 Meter Run
Name Year School Seed Finals Points
1 Sanchez, Gary Onate 10:08.00 10:15.00 7
2 Gilpin, Seth Mayfield 10:11.00 10:25.00 5
3 Wood, Raliegh Onate 10:44.00 10:35.00 4
4 Viramontes, Jacob Mayfield 10:35.00 10:38.00 3
5 Enriquez, Zach Mayfield 10:38.00 10:48.00 2
6 Garcia, Josh Alamogordo 10:48.00 10:54.00 1

Boys 110 Meter Hurdles
Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Faubion, Spencer Mayfield 14.83 14.62 4 7
2 Schoeppner, Collin Mayfield 15.70 15.47 4 5
3 Chavez, M. Gadsden 15.37 15.61 4 4
4 Jackson, Wesley Alamogordo 15.17 16.52 4 3
5 Cox, F. Cobre 16.30 16.72 4 2
6 Rosenbauer, L. Deming 16.62 16.77 4 1

Boys 300 Meter Hurdles
Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Faubion, Spencer Mayfield 41.20 41.45 4 7
2 Chavez, M. Gadsden 41.70 41.63 4 5
3 Porter, Chris Mayfield 43.50 42.09 4 4
4 Schoeppner, Collin Mayfield 42.00 42.27 4 3
5 Cox, F. Cobre 42.60 43.05 4 2
6 Newell, Gary Alamogordo 42.73 43.16 4 1

Boys 4x100 Meter Relay
School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Alamogordo 'A' 42.59 43.12 2 10
2 Las Cruces High School 'A' 44.62 43.74 2 8
3 Mayfield 'A' 43.86 43.89 2 6
4 Onate 'A' 44.35 44.22 2 4
5 Silver City 'A' 45.18 44.85 2 2
6 Santa Teresa 'A' 45.25 46.43 2 1

Boys 4x200 Meter Relay
School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Alamogordo 'A' 1:30.01 1:31.37 2 10
2 Santa Teresa 'A' 1:32.00 1:31.84 2 8
3 Onate 'A' 1:33.00 1:33.12 2 6
4 Mayfield 'A' 1:31.40 1:33.26 2 4
5 Cobre 'A' 1:37.00 1:36.85 2 2
6 Silver City 'A' 1:38.00 1:39.64 2 1

Boys 4x400 Meter Relay
School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Alamogordo 'A' 3:27.30 3:28.79 2 10
2 Mayfield 'A' 3:30.00 3:29.31 2 8
3 Santa Teresa 'A' 3:28.70 3:31.15 2 6
4 Cobre 'A' 3:32.00 3:36.74 2 4
5 Onate 'A' 3:41.60 3:43.62 2 2
6 Gadsden 'A' 3:46.80 3:44.96 1 1

Boys 1600 Sprint Medley
School Seed Finals H# Points
1 Onate 'A' 3:43.00 3:43.03 2 10
2 Las Cruces High School 'A' 3:47.00 3:46.39 2 8
3 Mayfield 'A' 3:41.65 3:51.54 2 6
4 Santa Teresa 'A' 3:46.50 3:52.86 2 4
5 Silver City 'A' 4:02.00 3:59.50 1 2
6 Chaparral 'A' 4:01.00 3:59.79 1 1

Boys High Jump
Name Year School Seed Finals Points
1 Garcia, Avron Mayfield 6-01.00 6-00.00 7
2 Maag, Dale Deming 5-11.00 5-10.00 5
3 Garner, Brandon Onate 6-01.00 5-10.00 4
4 Young, Tim Onate 6-03.00 5-08.00 3
5 Corral, Joel Cobre 5-06.00 5-08.00 2
6 Miller, Marcus Alamogordo 5-09.00 5-08.00 1

Boys Pole Vault
Name Year School Seed Finals Points
1 Pedersen, Ben Onate 13-09.00 13-03.00 7
2 Maurer, Brandon Mayfield 14-09.00 13-03.00 5
3 Trainor, Jon Hot Springs 10-06.00 11-03.00 4
4 Betancourt, Brandon Mayfield 10-00.00 11-03.00 3
5 Lavell, Evan Silver City 11-06.00 10-09.00 2
6 Jones, Jarred Alamogordo 10-06.00 10-09.00 1

Boys Long Jump
Name Year School Seed Finals Points
1 Young, Tim Onate 20-06.00 20-01.25 7
2 Garner, Brandon Onate 18-08.00 19-09.25 5
3 Shoemaker, Tanner Las Cruces High 18-05.00 19-01.75 4
4 James, Darius Alamogordo 20-06.00 19-00.50 3
5 Long, Tyler Hot Springs 18-07.00 18-10.00 2
6 Schoeppner, Collin Mayfield 18-09.00 18-08.25 1

Boys Triple Jump
Name Year School Seed Finals Points
1 Young, Tim Onate 42-06.00 40-11.75 7
2 Schoeppner, Collin Mayfield 41-02.00 40-07.25 5
3 James, Darius Alamogordo 40-04.00 39-01.00 4
4 Madrid, Nick Cobre 39-03.00 38-11.50 3
5 Garcia, Avron Mayfield 38-06.00 37-09.00 2
6 Long, Tyler Hot Springs 38-10.00 37-08.50 1

Boys Shot Put
Name Year School Prelims Finals Points
1 Correll, Andy Mayfield 48-05.75 48-05.75 7
2 Munoz, Victor Mayfield 47-09.25 47-09.25 5
3 Oakley, Marcus Alamogordo 47-02.00 47-02.00 4
4 Mendonca, Aaron Alamogordo 44-09.25 44-09.25 3
5 Holiday, Dylan Silver City 44-05.50 44-05.50 2
6 Bright, Nick Alamogordo 43-09.00 43-09.00 1

Boys Discus Throw
Name Year School Prelims Finals Points
1 Oakley, Marcus Alamogordo 146-03 146-03 7
2 Grenados, A. Gadsden 134-02 134-02 5
3 Tiemann, Kyle Mayfield 130-00 130-00 4
4 Hernandez, Zac Onate 126-09 126-09 3
5 Garcia, Avron Mayfield 121-10 121-10 2
6 Cecava, Joe Alamogordo 121-03 121-03 1

Boys Javelin Throw
Name Year School Prelims Finals Points
1 Anderson, Tony Alamogordo 164-10 7
2 Ellis, Michael Mayfield 152-06.50 5
3 Brock Baca Mayfield 145-01 4
4 Hilton, A. Deming 144-04.50 3
5 Allen, Will Onate 142-09.50 2
6 Tiemann, Kyle Mayfield 142-04 1

Women - Team Rankings - 19 Events Scored
1) Alamogordo 128 2) Mayfield 123
3) Onate 60 4) Silver City 41.50
5) Gadsden 33 6) Cobre 27
7) Santa Teresa 12 8) Hot Springs 11
9) Chaparral 5.50 10) Las Cruces High School 5

Men - Team Rankings - 19 Events Scored
1) Mayfield 138 2) Alamogordo 109.50
3) Onate 87 4) Santa Teresa 26
5) Gadsden 25 6) Las Cruces High School 20.50
7) Cobre 20 8) Silver City 10
9) Deming 10 10) Hot Springs 7
11) Chaparral 1

Felix's Boxing Column

EL PASO — The official promotion of boxer Johnny Tapia’s comeback was called Quest For Glory.
Instead, it turned into a Quest For The Truth on a boxing card that turned into a fiasco.
On Friday night at the El Paso Country Coliseum, the 41-year-old and six-time world champion Tapia was supposed to have fought for the first time in over a year and it was supposed to be the start of his quest for another world title.
Instead, questions about his contract with promoter Ron Weathers ended Tapia’s fight with Pedro Rincon, leaving Tapia’s future in doubt and left a great fight town without much of a boxing card.
The chaos actually started earlier in the week when Tapia’s original opponent, Jose Alonso pulled out and in came Rincon. Then during Thursday’s weigh-in, confusion weighed in (no pun intended) when there wasn’t an official weigh-in and there were threats of the fight not coming off.
Then on Friday, the wheels did come off the main event, which led to an ardent press conference between bouts on Friday night to try and explain what had happened.
It’s funny, in all my years, I had never been to a fight card where a press conference was the main event.
Tapia nor his wife Teresa Tapia were present at the press conference, rather the fighter’s attorneys Thomas Pharr and Antonio Maestas, both of Albuquerque, were there to discuss matters.
Pharr said there was no contract in order between Tapia and Weathers. Maestas said Tapia really wanted to fight and was in good shape and should not be blamed for what occurred.
Weathers, who stood next to the two attorneys, disagreed. He said there was a contract that would have provided for a 70-30 split of the proceeds of the fight, 70 percent for Tapia, 30 for Weathers.
Weathers added that he had advanced Tapia several thousand dollars that the Texas commission had a copy of the contract. Texas boxing administrator Dick Cole said there was a contract on file, but only for $1. Such a deal is not uncommon, Cole said, and is used as a way of keeping matters confidential.
However, Weathers accused Cole of encouraging Teresa Tapia to ask for more money up front from Weathers, an accusation Cole denied.
Weathers added that the Tapias asked for an additional $60,000 on the morning of the fight, which he could not deliver. Weathers later hinted that Tapia had a back injury suffered later in the day after acupuncture. But attorney Maestas said Tapia was ready to fight.
Either way you look at it, the situation was muddled and frustrating for everyone. The very few fight fans in the crowd, estimated at less than 1,000, were frustrated and some took the refund offer and went home. Others saw the sign outside the arena that Tapia wasn’t fighting and never came in.
Weathers and the attorneys agreed that Tapia is done working with the promoter, who claims he had a long term plan for Tapia’s return to the elite.
Cole wouldn’t say whether or not Tapia would be disciplined for Friday’s pull-out.
Tapia has had a long and fine career, but Friday’s fiasco tarnishes it. Now, he’s going to have a heck of a time finding a serious promoter to back his cause.
I have to wonder whether Tapia really wants to fight at all. He said he wanted to win another title, but boxing is very draining on one’s emotional and physical state. Maybe this was his way of saying no more.
The boxing scene in New Mexico, El Paso and Juarez has a great history, particulary in El Paso. Why does this type of scenario have to take place in a great fight town?
It’s sad, El Paso didn’t deserve this kind of treatment.
And Tapia’s career should never have gotten to this point. He’s fought the best in his era, he’s made lots of money, been the headline attraction and fought at Madison Square Garden.
Now, it’s reasonable to assume his career is over on a disputed contract in a non-descript affair that was supposed to take place in what is basically a barn in West Texas.
What a sad state of affairs.

Felix Chavez can be reached at

Friday, May 2, 2008

Saturday's Kentucky Derby

Intrigue indeed.
This year's version of the Kentucky Derby is filled with its usual load of top horses, optimistic owners and top notch jockeys and trainers.

The favorite is Big Brown and for good reason. He's fast, talented and was very impressive in last start, winning the Florida Derby. Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. believes 100 percent that this is the horse to beat Saturday afternoon. Big Brown is perfect in three starts, but inexperience could hurt. Last year, Curlin was in the same boat and ran well, but couldn't hold up. Big Brown will be in the hunt, make no doubt about it. But if the speed factor is too great, he might burn up. Keep that in mind. Plus the No. 20 post spot isn't the most desirable.

Actually, I like some of the value that bettors could get with some horses. Gayego is 15-1 in the morning-line and was last seen winning the Arkansas Derby with New Mexico native and rider Mike Smith aboard. Gayego has a very good stalking style and made a good transition from the synthetic surface to the regular surface. But, like Big Brown he has an outside post, No. 19, that could do more damage than good.

Pyro is a horse that cannot be dismissed and the 6-1 morning-line odds is indicative of that. Pyro ran a very dull race in the Blue Grass, but trainer Steve Asmussen is one of the nation's best. However, Pyro ran superbly early in carer and might have peaked early. But if you don't bet to win keep in mind for exotics. Asmussen will also saddle Z Fortune in the race.

But the horse I like the best is Colonel John, who is 4-1 in the morning line and seems to be the horse that many believe could best Big Brown. Colonel John has never finished worse than second in six lifetime starts for trainer Eoin Harty and is coming off a dazzling workout of 57.61 seconds on Sunday. Should get better with longer distances. Also gets a solid post in the No. 10 hole.

Also, keep an eye on the likes of Court Vision and Cowboy Cal. Cowboy Cal was second in the Blue Grass and trainer Todd Pletcher is one of the nation's best. Court Vision has hit the board in all six starts and former Sunland Park and New Mexico jockey Garrett Gomez, one of the nation's best, is aboard.

An interesting note is that Eight Belles will try and become just the fourth filly to win the Derby. I have seen her run several times and she is talented and always getting better. Might be worth a small wager.

The final tally, Colonel John in first, Big Brown up for second and the filly Eight Belles sneaks in for third.