Monday, June 21, 2010

High School Football Rankings

Here's a preseason Top 5 ranking for Class 5A Football
1 - La Cueva
2 - Mayfield
3 - Las Cruces
4 - Clovis
5 - Manzano, Sandia (tie)

On another note, any thoughts on Mayfield running back Brandon is receiving some interest from Division I schools, including New Mexico State and perhaps Texas-El Paso?

Betancourt will need to prove he can get done consistently and stay healthy. It'll be interesting to see if any other schools jump in the mix.

- Felix

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Next Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, unbeaten Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., the son of the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez, meets John Duddy in a bout fight that both fighters need.

Chavez Jr. isn't widely considered a great father like his dad and Duddy was once a prospect, but has one loss to his name.

Both are considered average fighters by many boxing fans. I have not been impressed by either fighter in their careers, although Chavez Jr. is only 24 and he is working with trainer Freddie Roach.

What are you thoughts on either fighter, but especially Chavez Jr.

- Felix

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Continuing series on top hispanic jockeys

One of the sport's better hispanic jockeys over the years has been Mexico City's Victor Espinoza. He currently rides in California and is one of the many top riders on the tough Southern California circuit.

Arguably he is best known for riding 2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner War Emblem. Espinoza also finished third in the 2001 Kentucky Derby aboard Congaree.

Espinoza is a solid, if not spectacular rider. He has been consistent throughout his career and is always a danger. He's been the rider on many top horses, including Happy Ticket and Imperialism.

- Felix

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Siju Shabazz wins regional

Las Cruces amatuer fighter Siju Shabazz won a USA Boxing regional title on Saturday night in Albuquerque with a decision win over Arizona's Robert Lopez.
With the win, Shabazz advances to the USA Nationals next month in Colorado.

- Felix

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Joel Garcia boxing story

Up and coming Garcia has high hopes
By Felix Chavez
El Paso Times
EL PASO — El Paso has been home to many solid lower weight fighters over the years, including Fernie Morales, Juan Lazcano and Antonio Escalante.
The city has another world title hopeful on its hands in 19-year-old Joel Garcia. Garcia recently made his pro debut in Laredo and left with a four-round decision victory against Raymundo Torres on Torres’ home turf.
“It was a good win,” Garcia said. “It was good to get in there and get the first pro fight out of the way. I felt like I did some good things.”
Garcia’s trainer Louis Aguilar said Garcia handled himself well in the pro debut, particularly since it was in his opponent’s hometown.
“We didn’t have much notice for the fight, but Joel was in the gym getting ready for a fight and was in good shape,” Aguilar said. “Joel boxed well, he settled in just fine.”
Garcia is currently fighting between 108 and 112 pounds, but Aguilar said he could fighter at a higher weight down the road.
Garcia would like to fight five times this year and could be busy this summer. He is slated to fight next month in New Mexico on the undercard of the Johnny Tapia vs. Frankie Archuleta featherweight bout. Garcia could also land on a card in McAllen, Texas, later this month as well.
“I’d like to stay busy,” Garcia said. “It’s a learning experience as a professional. There is so much to pick up and work on. It’s a process and I’ll be patient. I have a lot of good help here in El Paso. I spar with a lot of fighters at or near my weight and that helps me in terms of preparation. I’m able to experience a lot of things in the gym.”
Garcia certainly has the amateur pedigree to become a competitive professional boxer. He won 79 of his 86 fights, won several El Paso Golden Gloves titles and was also a two-time regional Chihuahua state champion.
“Joel had some very tough fights as an amateur and that will help him as he fights more as a pro,” Aguilar said. “Joel is a good boxer and he’s getting better all the time. He’s still young, but he has impressed a lot of people so far. He works hard in the gym and he always wants to get better. There isn’t any need to rush him. He took some time off from the sport, but he’s ready for the professional ranks.”
Garcia said his goal is to win a world title one day, but he’s aware of the time and preparation it will take.
“A championship belt is something I really want,” Garcia said. “I know it will take time. I learned a great deal in the amateurs and it help me get ready for the professional level. I just look forward to my next fight and want to win that one and then it’s on to the next one after that.”

Felix Chavez can be reached at; (915) 546-6374

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Onate coaches

Apparently, Ben Trujillo will be the new girls basketball coach at Onate High School, while former New Mexico State volleyball player Alice Borden has been pegged as the new volleyball coach.

- Felix

Monday, June 7, 2010

Another Hispanic Jockey Post

I have posted two blog items on retired hispanic jockeys in the past couple of days. Today, I take a look at a current jockey and one of the best going today.

The talented Rafael Bejarano has emerged as one of the nation's best since 2004. The 27-year-old native of Peru is having a big year this year and we aren't even halfway through the year. His horses have earned a nation's best $6,739,101 through June 6.

Bejarano is very adept at reading how a race will happen and then make the correct adjustments. He's won with horses on the lead and with horses having to come from behind in which he has to make a bold move at the critical time.

Bejarano has won several big races including the San Felipe Stakes, the Blue Grass Stakes and the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Among the top horses he's been on include Papa Clem, Ginger Punch and Square Eddie. Bejarano has been a staple in California, but surely it won't be long before the talented rider gets a chance to become a top notch jockey all over the U.S. He rides hard, with confidence and with patience and he can never be underestimated.

- Felix

Sunday, June 6, 2010

More Top Hispanic Jockeys

Today I continue a look at the top Hispanic jockeys of all-time. Today, I give you a look at Mexican Ismael "Milo" Valenzuela. Valenzuela began working with quarter horses in his young career, but by the late 1950s, he was beginning to make his mark on the thoroughbred scene.

Valenzuela rode such great great horses as Tim Tam and Kelso. Tim Tam won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, while Kelso won 22 of 35 starts.

Valenzuela is part of the National Racing Museum Hall of Fame and won more than 2,500 races in his fine career. Valenzuela is part of a great family of riding, which includes Pat Valenzuela, who is currently riding in Louisiana and has been at top of the sport at various times in his career.

Ismael Valenzuela was a complete rider, he won at the highest levels of the sport and is among one of the top riders of all time. You don't get an assignment to ride a horse like Kelso if you don't have the ability to do so and the confidence and respect of many.

- Felix

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Top Hispanic jockeys

Today I start a look at some of the top hispanic old-timer jockeys and some of the current hispanic jockeys, who have made a name for themselves. There is a long and beautiful history of Mexican, Panamanian and other Latin American jockeys and their influence on the Sport of Kings.

One of the greatest jockeys of our time was the gifted Panamaian, Braulio Baeza. he led the U.S. in earnings five times and won the George Woolf Memorial jockey Award in 1968. In his career, Baeza won an impressive 4,013 races, including wins in the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, Belmont Stakes, Travers Stakes and the Blue Grass Stakes.

Baeza rode so many great horses, but among the best he rode were Ack Ack, Dr. Fager and Buckpasser.

Baeza was greatly respected for his patient rides and his confidence to perform at the highest level. Many of today's top hispanic riders owe a lot to Baeza. He rode not only here in the United States but in other countries where he fared well.

I never saw Baeza ride live, I was just two years old when he retired, but he certainly made the most of opportunities and helped open the door for many of today's latino jockeys. Baeza is certainly someone to look up to in terms of knowing how to be successful at the best tracks and in the biggest races.

His legacy in the sport will never be forgotten and must be considered to be in the top tier of jockeys of any race, but he's certaily in the top five of any list that rates hispanic jockeys.

Any thoughts?

- Felix

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ring Magazine on Austin Trout

Las Cruces junior middleweight Austin Trout, who is ranked by the World Boxing Association didn't exactly getting a ringing endorsement by Ring Magazine in the July issue.

Trout was given the dubious distinction of being tabbed the most protected in the 154-pound division in the recent state of the game edition of the magazine.

The junior middleweight division features standouts Alfred Angulo, Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams.

- Felix