Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lisa Dunlap
Roswell Daily Record
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at email@example.com.
By Lisa Dunlap
Roswell Daily Record
If you could use only one word to define Paul Parks and you chose “courage,” you’d be right. Paul died in a culvert, where he was living outside the Roswell city limits some time around Jan. 10.
Paul had grown up in Roswell. His father Dudley still lives here.
“As a child, he really liked skateboards and bicycles,” Dudley said. “He’d get out there and build a ramp and do jumps all day long.”
Paul’s twin brother Gary was in awe of him.
“He was the first person I’ve ever seen who could ride a wheelie for blocks at a time,” Gary remembered. “He was jumping skateboards back when they had the cheap plastic wheels before they started putting good wheels on them.
“Paul rappelled down cliffs, he camped out in snowy weather. That’s why he probably survived being homeless like he did because challenging himself was part of who he was. Paul took life by the horns.”
Their older brother Dale remembers how self-directed and brave his kid brother was even when he was very young.
“When we lived over on Chamisal,” Dale said, “he was 2 years old, dad put him in the go-cart. You couldn’t see his head above the seat. It looked like the go-cart was driving itself. We were near Alameda and he’d driven it down to El Capitan school. I remember dad standing there, just stunned that he could drive it. We wondered what he was going to do and when he came to the end of the street, he turned it around and came back home.”
Dale remembers Paul had a very even temperament, never showing anger or lashing out.
“I never saw him get his temper up,” Dale said. “He was always mellow with his cadence. If he thought something was funny, he’d just ‘mmph’ and that was it.”
Gary said nobody in the family ever suspected that Paul had a problem.
“We never suspected the drugs,” Gary said, “because he was always quick-witted and made the same jokes.”
Dudley learned a valuable lesson about addiction from his son.
“When they took Paul to Sunrise,” Dudley said, “I went up there and I said to him, ‘Paul, I couldn’t tell you were on anything.’ And he said, ‘It isn’t when I’m using it that you can tell. It’s when I’m not using it.’”
Dale, who lives near San Diego, remembered the last time he spoke to his brother.
“I talked to him the Wednesday after Christmas,” Dale said. “I call Dad every Wednesday and he happened to be here so I talked to him for a few minutes. He had the same sense of humor, the same rhythm, he was clearheaded. The week after that, I told Dad, ‘I wish I could sit down with Paul, like an interview with no judgment and find out where his mind went to say, ‘this is the answer to my problem.’ It’s like I have a craving to know that answer without condemning him for doing it.”
Jeneva Martinez, board member of the Roswell Homeless Coalition, had become close friends with Paul. She remembered how that friendship started and talked a bit about what it meant to her.
“When I first started working with the homeless,” Martinez said, “I was told by a police officer about Paul, ‘Now that guy, I think he has schizophrenia, so you might want to be careful.’ So I was afraid to approach him for about six months.
“Then I approached him at Walmart and he was so coherent and helpful to me. That’s when we started recognizing each other when I’d go down to the riverbed and we’d started with the meals. Conversations would come out of that. I’m a breast cancer survivor so he told me about his mom. My husband and I own a refrigeration company and he would talk with my husband about jobs.”
Martinez saw firsthand what a good man Paul was underneath the rough exterior and homeless image.
“I get the whole idea that when he was using, he felt normal,” she said. “I see a lot of guys that are using need it to feel normal. He was self-medicating, I believe. He had a lot of pride and determination to make his own way. He worked every day. He never panhandled. He would never ask for help. I know you (referring to Dudley) had offered to let him live here and he wouldn’t. If he had 20 bucks and somebody asked for it, he would give it to them, every time.”
As painful as this has been for him, Dale continues to work to understand both sides of an issue.
“I understand there are people who want to push homeless people aside and get rid of them,” Dale said, “but I also understand that they’re people, too, and they need help. There are so many degrees of homelessness, from the person who lost their job and end up on the street but they don’t turn to drugs, to those who do turn to drugs and can’t function well, so they lose everything. But so many people just think, ‘Boom. You’re a homeless person. Go away from me.’ When you treat homeless people like they’re bad people, you’re being a bad person for judging them.”
Paul had made an effort to beat his addiction.
“About six months ago, Paul was in a Narcoholics Anonymous program,” Martinez said. “He was getting counseling. I don’t know if it was court ordered or not, but he attended every program and he did well while he went. He might not have felt like himself anymore. He cycled back.”
Gary voiced thoughts common to those who have lost a loved one.
“I didn’t really know my twin brother for the last 20 years of his life,” Gary said. “I gave myself excuses, but I became complacent. It was easier to not acknowledge it. When he died and people who knew us in school reached out to me on Facebook, it helped me to know that his life still mattered.”
Paul had lived in “The Wash,” the nickname given to the Berrendo riverbed by the Roswell Mall, by the homeless people who lived there for years. His homemade shack covered with blue tarps could be seen from North Main Street. On Nov. 17, Roswell’s tenting ordinance was enforced and he was made to leave his familiar shelter.
“He’d been in his little hut for years,” Martinez said. “He was only in the storm drain for a short time before he died. He had no access to anything from there.”
“We’ve wondered if the police had left Paul alone where he had been,” Dale said, “he might still have been alive.”
At first Dudley Parks had not wanted a current picture of his son published, but after thinking about it, he changed his mind.
“If it helps anybody, it was worth it,” he said.
Paul’s memorial service will be Monday at 1 p.m. at Harvest Ministries, 601 N. Main St. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Roswell Homeless Coalition.
By Curtis Michaels
ARTESIA — Walk into Michael Mondragon’s office at the Bulldog Pit in Artesia and you’ll notice a picture of him and former President George W. Bush. Mondragon has an interesting story behind the photo.
“Whenever I was first coaching here, I think it was 2008 or 2009, but they gave all the teachers the afternoon off, the whole school district. They had a big speech here by President Bush. Me, my older brother Patrick and Blackie Moreno, we’re golfers and it was in the spring and they gave us the afternoon off and we decided, ‘hey, let’s go to the golf course and get a round of golf in.’”
While at Artesia Country Club, Mondragon met former President Bush.
“So, we’re playing our nine holes and we make the turn and we’re going into the clubhouse (and) the pro shop, getting me a Snickers and a Gatorade, there’s security service everywhere and I turn around and sure enough here’s George Bush coming around the corner,” Mondragon said.
Mondragon added he was standing there, “taking it all in and sees me and says, ‘how are you doing sir, would you like to take a picture?’”
Mondragon said he was wearing an Artesia Junior High shirt and he jumped at the chance to have a photo taken with the former president of the United States.
President Bush asked Mondragon if he taught in Artesia. “I said, ‘Yes sir, I teach and coach at the junior high.’ He shook my hand and took a picture.”
Mondragon added, “I didn’t realize nothing of it, one thing that was pretty cool is, I went and told the guys, ‘Hey man, I just went and took a picture with the president (and) they’re all cool.’”
Sometime later, Mondragon got a phone call from the Artesia Country Club telling him that a manilla envelope arrived and it had that picture in it.
In addition to being a teacher and a coach, Mondragon is also seeking a seat on the Artesia City Council in District 2. He will have some write-in opposition from George C. Mullen. Did that encounter with former President Bush prompt his interest in running for the seat?
“I’ve always been kind of excited about politics,” Mondragon said. “I’m not afraid to talk and being from Artesia, I’m at the point now in the society I think, there’s so much going on and everybody’s got everything they want to say and complain about or don’t like. I think it was a Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University basketball coach) that kind of motivated me that said, ‘If you don’t like where things are going, get involved and inspire change.’ That’s something I want to do,” Mondragon said.
Mondragon has lived in Artesia since was 10 years old and he also has a wife and two young children.
“If I’m gonna sit here and complain about something going on with Artesia, might as well get involved,” Mondragon said.
Mondragon said he loves The City of Champions and he wants to inspire change. He teaches financial literacy and geometry along with weights and athletics at Artesia High School. When Mondragon was younger, he wasn’t looking to become a teacher or coach. Instead he wanted to go into aerospace engineering.
“I got into college and was fortunate enough to play a little college basketball at Eastern (New Mexico University) and when I got there, they didn’t have aerospace engineering,” he said.
One semester, Mondragon said he was overwhelmed with upper-level math and engineering classes.
“So I went from that to public speaking to business and then I got done playing ball and I started helping out with the girls program (at Portales High School). Brenda Gomez had called me up and knew my dad (Billy) was the head girls coach here and said, ‘Hey, do you mind getting some guys and helping us practice?’
Mondragon said yes to the question.
“Once I started doing that, I really enjoyed seeing the interaction and helping those girls and helping that program,” he said.
Mondragon comes from a long line of educators and coaches. He said teaching and coaching was his true calling.
Mondragon added, his job as a coach is an extension of what he does in the classroom.
“I think one thing that people don’t realize is athletes will do anything for you,” he said.
“You’ve kind of got that over them, because they want to play a game. So you think you teach them, I mean, that’s one thing we harp here. I want these guys to leave my program and be successful young men,” he said.
Mondragon said he likes to see his former charges attain a college degree and be positive role models who give back to society.
“The wins are gonna take care of themselves,” he said. “We don’t really harp a whole lot on winning, we harp on all the little things, having good character, having a good work ethic, being discipline (and) sacrifice for your teammates.”
He added, “We have a quote that we use a lot and it’s called sacrifice, ‘If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.’ We really push that on our guys and really push that mentality and I think that’s what teachers do.
“Teachers inspire people, they empower young men and I think that’s what we’re trying to do here in our program and be successful,” Mondragon said.
Mondragon was an assistant coach in Artesia from 2007 to 2010. In the spring of 2010, he became Morarity’s head coach and he was there until 2014 when he came back to Artesia.
Things have come full circle for Mondragon as Derek Montoya, a former player, is an assistant coach on his staff. Another former player, Koby Caton, is the head trainer.
“Derek, to see him grow up and to see him become the young man he was, it’s kind of weird when I got the head job here in the spring (of 2014), me and Coach (Cooper) Henderson (athletics director) were talking and Derek was helping out Ike (Montoya, Mondragon’s predecessor) at the time and he just finished his stuff with school and so I gave him a call and he was in Las Cruces and I was in Moriarty and asked him, ‘Hey Derek, how would you like to be on my high school staff?’”
Montoya accepted the job. “He’s a great addition,” Mondragon said. “What I like is he’s from here, he’s played in this program, I think that’s what you’ve got to understand, too, is you’ve got to get people who played in your program to understand what we’re trying to build here to help build your program.”
Regarding Caton, Mondragon said he was a freshman point guard when Mondragon was an assistant back in 2008.
“As eighth-graders, they weren’t very successful,” Mondragon said. “In ninth grade, we took them all the way to the Border Conference championship and Koby was on that team and unfortunately we lost to Lovington. It’s cool, I’m starting to feel like a dinosaur in here.”
Mondragon gives credit to his assistants, including Paul Kirkwood. “I played for him for four years,” he said. “So it’s kind of cool how it’s come full circle and Coach (Jeff) Davis was one of my coaches. I’ve got all of these who have either played for me or I played for them.”
Mondragon also gives credit to his family, including his wife Desrii.
“People don’t realize, coaches’ wives don’t get any credit and they’re doing all the behind-the-scenes (work),” he said. “She’s at home raising both kids, I’m on the road and it’s just really hard on her. I just couldn’t do it without her support.”
General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Mike Smith
Roswell Daily Record
In the second district 4-4A match-up for both teams, NMMI’s combination of low percentage shooting and too many turnovers allowed the visiting Hope Christian Huskies to walk away with a 57-25 win.
“Our defense keeps us in games,” said head coach Sean Schooley. “We just can’t turn over the ball 30-plus times.”
The Colts started slow in three of the four periods, unable to manage their first points in each of those stanzas until more than three minutes had passed.
In the first, that first tally didn’t come until the 3:55 mark, when Institute post Enrique Salazar broke the ice with an easy lay-in off an assist from point guard Charles Lewis – but by then Hope had built a 14-point lead.
The Huskies won the first period, 20-6, then extended that margin by five before heading to the locker room at halftime, 35-10.
The Colts began the third with six turnovers, but solid defense helped prevent much of a Husky run. Once again, the first Institute shots wouldn’t fall until more than four minutes had expired, this time Lewis connecting with 6-7 center Chris Blair – who lead the Colts in scoring with eight – for the inside bucket. The Huskies took the third, but only by two, 12-10.
NMMI guard Hector Reyna netted four of his six points in the fourth period, but the only other Institute point in the period was a free throw by Salazar, giving Hope a 10-5 advantage in the forth.
With the loss, NMMI drops to 2-10 overall and 0-2 in district; Hope moves to 12-7 and 2-0.
Next up for the Colt will be another district contest, this time on the road in Morairty on Monday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m.
NMMI Sports Press
The Goddard Lady Rockets, ranked 6th in 5A, wrapped up their non-district schedule with a resounding 69-27 victory over Loving, ranked 10th in 3A, Saturday afternoon inside Ground Zero. The Rockets nailed eight 3-pointers in the first half to get off to a quick start and saw 10 different players score as they improved to 12-8 on the year.
“We came out focused and worked on the things we need to work on to get ready for district,” stated coach Jared Neighbors. “I thought we did well protecting the ball, rebounding, and just did a real good job passing the ball around to find the open shooter. We knocked down shots, which helped.”
The rare 3A vs 5A matchup saw a hustling, scrappy Lady Falcon squad fight throughout, but with point guard Alyssa Carrasco – their lone senior – held in check by a bevy of Rockets, they were largely overmatched from the opening tip. Carrasco was averaging 21 points and eight steals on the season, but was held to nine.
“They are a scrappy team,” said Neighbors. “We knew coming in that she (Carrasco) was the key, so we keyed on her. Hitting shots helped, but they are a scrappy bunch and we kind of deflated them with taking her out of the game and hitting the shots that we did early on.”
The Rockets’ Camaryn Villalpondo caught fire immediately as she hit three 3-pointers to give the hosts an early 9-2 lead. The Falcons stayed patient and played the Rockets on even terms as they drove to the inside and the Rockets were content to bomb away.
Following a tough turnaround jumper by Jacelyn Johnson, the score was a manageable 15-10 Rocket lead. The score quickly got out of hand, though, as the Rockets went on a game-defining 21-0 run that spanned the remainder of the opening quarter and the first six minutes of the second quarter.
In that run, Villalpando continued to score as did Eden Wiggins who scored 11 points and Bailey Beene who finished with eight first-half points. By the time the Falcons’ Anyssa Rodrioguez hit a long three-pointer with 2:00 minutes to play, the score had ballooned to 36-10.
The Rockets finished the final couple of minutes with an 11-0 run that saw Villalpando hit two more hoops for a commanding 47-13 lead at the break. Villalpando, the district leader in points and rebounds, would finish with a game-high 23.
Third quarter would fly by as a combination of a running clock, numerous substitutions, and fouls would prevent much scoring by either squad. The Falcons would get five free throws and the Rockets would nail two baskets for a 52-18 lead heading into the final frame.
“I was real pleased with getting to play a lot of kids today,” said Neighbors. “We got everyone in and that’s just a good moral boost going into district.”
The Rockets would outscore the visitors 17-9 in the final period as all the Rockets got to play and contribute. Carrasco would get a three-point play at the 5:33 mark to make the score 59-23. The basket was the first for Loving (9-4) since the Rodriguez bomb in the second quarter.
The Rockets then got baskets from Grace Shea, two from Lana Morley, a final freebie from Beene, and a three from PJ Villareal with 2 seconds to go to wrap up the big 69-27 victory.
Coach Neighbors is looking forward to a competitive district slate with Roswell High, Artesia and Lovington. “It’s who shows up. You look at scores across the state within our district and anybody on any given night can win or lose. We are focusing on being consistent and controlling the one thing we can, which is us.”
The Rockets start district play on Friday with a home contest against Roswell High, the defending district champions.
Goddard pitcher Matthew Shanor is looking forward to a big senior season on the bump. Shanor’s name will be mentioned with Justin Miller, Tyler Hardwick, Cole Wentland, Ethan Coombes, Cal Villareal, Luke Fink and Cameron Stevenson. Those are the names from the Rockets’ first team to win their first blue trophy in four tries. Not only that, but colleges and universities are reaping the benefits of that talent that has been harvested in the Goddard baseball system as they continue to play baseball at the next level.
“What I like about Matt is he comes prepared,” former Goddard baseball coach Alan Edmonson said. “Matt expects the best from himself and to work hard, he constantly pushes himself.”
Shanor signed with Wittenberg University in November. Wittenberg is a Division III school in Springfield, Ohio. The school does not offer scholarships but is known for its academic excellence and liberal arts education, with famed actor James Rebhorn graduating from there.
The difference between Division I, II and III levels of competition is Division I and II athletes can be given scholarships, whereas Division III athletes are not on athletic scholarship.
Division III athletes play for the love of the game and with no guarantees of a roster spot, and virtually have no shot at playing pro sports. Many of the athletes at the Division III level are preparing for careers in society.
“I’ve always wanted to play at the next level,” Matthew Shanor said. “It means a lot to me, on top of that, I get to play with my brother (Andrew) who will be a junior next year. Hopefully, we can have more memories and experiences together.”
Shanor follows a long line of family members that have gone to Wittenberg. His sister Katie was named Goddard softball coach on Jan. 7. Katie Shanor graduated this past May, with a degree in biology. His parents and grandparents graduated from Wittenberg.
Shanor knew he was going to go to school there, but he had to try out for the baseball team. Wittenberg calls it “Prospect Camp,” it is where athletes that are interested in playing baseball come in and try out.
Shanor has not decided what he is going to major in, he just knows that he likes being outdoors.
For the Rockets, Shanor has played outfield and will pitch. At Wittenberg, head coach Brian McGee thinks Shanor’s best shot at contributing right away and fighting for a role of contributing is for him to focus on being a pitcher. McGee thinks Shanor can come out of the bullpen.
McGee is in his second year as the Tigers coach. Last season, he was hired so late that this will be his first recruiting class. Wittenberg has three seniors and four juniors as of now, with 33 freshmen and sophomores. As coach McGee related, Wittenberg has not won a conference title in 50 years. There is an opportunity for Shanor to play and to make his mark on a program in search of talent and playmakers.
McGee thinks Wittenberg athletics and school is a sleeping giant. The university has great facilities, which rival some Division I schools. Their baseball stadium has chair backs in their seating, with their locker rooms behind the dugouts. The university is in the process of building a $52 million indoor fieldhouse that will be completed once Shanor returns from his freshman winter break. The fieldhouse will have the only 300-meter track in the country in Division III.
“Last year, we brought in a big recruiting class,” McGee said. “This year, we wanted to be more selective in the process. Matthew, being the brother of Andrew, was obviously enticing. I’m a tough coach and I want my players to reach their full potential.”
McGee had never seen Matt play and told him that he would have to try out for the team if he was interested in furthering his baseball career. The camp was called Fall Prospect Camp for juniors and seniors in high school. The camp was held on the Wittenberg campus in late October 2017.
“We were impressed enough,” McGee said, “with his skill level that he could get game experience. “I feel he’s good enough he could get on the field, contribute and get some playing time. I don’t think it is farfetched that he could be on the field as a freshman.”
At the camp, Shanor hit 83 miles per hour on the radar gun. McGee felt like Shanor was a year-and-a-half away from pitching at the college level. McGee thought that if Shanor continued to develop at the high school level and his first spring at college if he could be sitting at 83 mph on his fastball, and with a good curveball he could compete to get innings in his first season at Wittenberg. McGee was quick to point out his team has a lack of depth on pitchers.
“We’re well aware of the type of program he comes from,” McGee said. “We know what type of coaching he is currently getting and how much success they’ve had. We believe we are getting a good player from a good program. Something we are certain of is we are getting a good kid from a great family. We love his brother and his parents have been nothing but supportive.”
McGee feels like Shanor’s senior year at Goddard will play a key role in his development. What McGee would like to see from Shanor is innings on the mound, and for him to build up strength in his pitching arm.
Shanor didn’t pitch a lot during his junior year but toed the rubber a lot during his sophomore campaign, where he pitched in the state championship game. In his junior season, he pinch-hit when called upon.
“Coach was always yelling about the one run I gave up,” Matthew Shanor said. “One run we didn’t have to give up, even when the score is 15-0.”
One of his favorite memories is being on the field with all his teammates. Another of his memories was being on the same team with his brother, Andrew. Shanor attributes his success to former Rocket baseball coach Alan Edmonson who taught him to play baseball hard and with intensity.
“My family is important to me,” Andrew Shanor said. “All throughout my life I have always played with Matt. I can remember being in the backyard tossing the ball with him. Before high school, I have never had the opportunity to play with him. My junior and senior years we got a chance to play together and share the same experiences. To me, that was an opportunity not a lot of people get. It was cool for him (Matt), it means everything in the world to me. This gives us another two years to make memories together that we will treasure the rest of our lives.”
Matt Shanor has not forgotten the feeling of what it was like to win the blue trophy. It is one of his goals this season to repeat. Shanor is proud of the fact that he is an Eagle Scout.
“I got a lot of at-bats last year,” Shanor said. “I got a lot of mental game strong last season, that’s what I think I bring this year, the mentality of staying focused, staying hard and making sure our head’s in the game 24-7.”
The Rockets begin defense of their blue trophy when they travel to Carlsbad and play at 5 p.m. on Mar. 13.
By J.T. Keith
Roswell Daily Record
ARTESIA — “The best remedy for a loss is to play right away and get a win.”
That’s what Jeff Houghtaling, head coach of the Artesia Lady Dogs (10-9), said after his team vanquished Ruidoso (6-13) 68-25 Saturday afternoon at the Bulldog Pit.
His words came on the heels of a 45-42 loss the night before to Alamogordo.
“We came out and played aggressive in the first quarter and worked ourselves into a decent lead,” Houghtaling said.
Artesia led Ruidoso 25-1 at the end of the opening period. Juniors Kyrah Gonzales and Brehnan Davis sank some shots from downtown for the home team. Gonzales had 16 points and the majority of them were from long range. Davis finished with 5 points.
“That really helped us playing with a cushion from the beginning,” Houghtaling said.
He added that allowed Artesia to get loose. Ruidoso managed to outscore the home team 14-10 in the second period. It wasn’t enough as the Lady Dogs led 35-15 at the half.
Artesia dominated in the second half outscoring Ruidoso 14-2 in the third period and 19-8 in the final quarter. Senior Gracie Puentes was the Lady Dogs’ leading scorer with 20 points.
Tuesday, Artesia heads to Anthony for the final non-district contest against the Gadsden Panthers.
The Lady Dogs have a 1-0 edge as the two squads met late last year in the Los Lunas Tournament with Artesia winning 62-43.
“We need one more game,” Houghtaling said of the impending contest. “I think one more game is really going to help us polish up, we’ve got a little more time to look at some film of the district teams and prepare for those guys.”
He added, “We’re looking forward to that game against Gadsden, but district is moving to the top of our mind. I think we’re getting ready to jump right in there and get after it.”
Ruidoso was led by senior Hailee Blake with 8 points.
On the road, it seems the Artesia Bulldogs were following the Lady Dogs. Friday night, the Bulldogs lost a close contest to the Alamogordo Tigers, 50-47.
“The Alamogordo game for three quarters was probably the best basketball we played all year long,” said Michael Mondragon, Artesia’s head coach.
He said the team executed on both offense and defense.
“In the fourth quarter we just got into some uncharacteristic positions. Turn the ball over, we didn’t make free throws, unfortunately we just made too many mistakes and they made enough plays to come back and get us.”
Saturday afternoon in Santa Teresa, Artesia (13-6) avenged the loss with a 46-29 win over Santa Teresa.
“Just a good way to bounce back and end our pre-district schedule,” Mondragon said. “It’s kind of crazy but 10 out of our last 12 games have been on the road and during that stretch we went 9-3.”
Mondragon said realistically his team should be 11-1.
“At the end of the day, we’re 13-6, finished a great game today and found a way to win and now we gotta get ready for district,” he said.
Senior Chaney Hardt had 9 points for the Bulldogs in Saturday’s road win and sophomore Clay Houghtaling had 8 points.
District play for Artesia starts Jan. 26 at home against Lovington.
By Mike Smith
Roswell Daily Record
The Roswell Coyotes and Charlie Angels dance team said goodbye to their seniors on an emotional night. Roswell took care of business on the basketball court and the Angels killed it with a new routine, as they get ready for state.
Roswell’s victory can be boiled down to one word: defense. The defense was the key to the Coyotes throttling Santa Teresa, 56-27, in a victory at the Coyote Den Friday night.
“I don’t think it was a runaway game,” Roswell coach Fernando Sanchez said. “I thought we were in control from the beginning. I thought our offensive execution is getting really better. We were in a rush and we didn’t turn the ball over.”
Santa Teresa put up a little bit of a fight in the first quarter, Roswell was fighting nerves and emotions, as they led 7-6 with 3:34 in the first quarter. Caitlin Holl hit a 3-pointer with 54 seconds left in the quarter to give the Lady Coyotes a 10-7 lead. After that, they never looked back as they closed the quarter on a five point-run to lead 15-7.
Once Roswell settled down in the second half they, The Lady Coyotes defense was stifling as they jumped passing lanes and trapped the Desert Warriors and held them scoreless the last three minutes of the half, as they took allowed a Santa Teresa to score five points. Roswell led at the intermission 32-12.
“I love the way Jalen Baca and Asper Kennard played for us, Sanchez said. ” Anica Dillard got into foul trouble and they came in and gave us some good minutes, and we didn’t miss a beat.”
In the third quarter, Roswell scored 18 points, which coach Sanchez attributes to his assistant coaches and his players being fresh from a 10-day layoff. The game saw the Lady Coyotes go 15-of-17 from the free throw lines.
Kaitlyn Holl and Cheyenne Martinez each scored 11 points. Alexandra Gonzalez added eight points, Isabelle Truscan chipped in with seven points, Grace Velazco and Anica Dillard both had five points.
“I love my seniors,” Sanchez said. “What a way for them to go out with a win like this and have them play the way they did, I’m very proud of them.”
Roswell (7-11) travels to Espanola Valley and will play at 7 p.m., today.
Goddard 78, Los Alamos 71
Goddard has a little old, with Dalin Stanford scoring 30 points and some new with Sophomore Xavier Garcia having a breakout game. Garcia scored 17 points as they held on to win on the road for their third win in a row with a 78-71 victory over Los Alamos.
“This victory gives us momentum going into district,” Stanford said. “The game against Roswell is a district game, it’s going to be a lot of pressure and it’s going to be tough.”
Goddard (11-9)overcame a 36-32 deficit at the half, as they outscored Los Alamos 21-13 in the third quarter.
“Xavier (Garcia) played awesome tonight,” Goddard coach Anthony Mestas said. “We needed that win to help us move into district play.”
The Rocket’s Tommy Madrid scored 13 points and guard Jonah Chavez added 12 points.
Goddard begins district play against Roswell at Ground Zero at 7 p.m. Friday.
Roswell 73, Santa Teresa 49
Roswell didn’t hit the gas as hard this time against Santa Teresa, but it was hard enough that Coyote coach Moses “Dude” Burrola was able to empty his bench with plenty of time left as they sailed to a 73-49 win Friday night.
Roswell came out hitting on all cylinders as they built up a 25 point lead going into the half. In a game like this coach Burrola like to play with different combinations and use different defenses that they might have to use come tournament time.
Santa Teresa tried to slow the torrid shooting of Tarren Burrola by playing a box-in-one on him. By doing that it enabled other Coyote players to have open looks and add to their stat line.
“We were able to capitalize on other players scoring, “ Coach Burrola said. “ It was good to see other players step up and score. We need that going forward.”
Taymon Burrola scored 17 points, Tarren Burrola scored 14 points including four 3-pointers. Logan Eaker and Jasia Reese both had nine points.
Roswell has a district showdown with Goddard at Ground Zero at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Gateway Christian Warrior boys basketball team continued to roll as they downed a depleted Lake Arthur team 62-20 Friday night inside the Redrock Warrior Center to move to 14-4 on the season. The Warriors’ normal starters didn’t see the floor as the reserves played the entire four quarters in a game featuring future district opponents.
The Panthers suited out five players, which included three freshmen and an 8th grader, and played their hearts out, but ultimately tired and could muster only two second half buckets in falling to 1-11 on the year.
“They (the reserves) are working hard at getting better,” stated Dan Smith. “They are improving as we work on our defense. All of them contributed tonight with their defensive prowess.”
The opening quarter was even at first as both teams seemed to relish the Warrior starting five sitting. Riley Arnold – one of the heroes of Thursday’s game – promptly scored all of the Warrior buckets in the opening quarter as they led 14-6.
The second quarter was similar to the first as the Warriors slowly started to put some distance between them and the Panthers. Freshman Armando Rey scored 8 of the Panthers’ 10 points, but it was not near enough as the Warriors got contributions from numerous players – especially Arnold who tacked on another seven to give him 19 at half. The Warriors’ 27-16 halftime lead would quickly grow.
The Warriors dominated the third quarter outscoring the visitors 20-0. Joel Perry hit a deuce and a trey to start the run and the hosts never looked back. Arnold got another 8 points to give him a game high 27 before sitting out the final frame.
Coach Smith was pleased with his team’s offense getting into a rhythm. “We added an offensive set this evening for them to try out of a timeout and they executed it pretty well so I was proud of how they performed when we told them to go high-low or to implement something and they were able to do that.”
The Warriors continued their torrid run into the fourth as Perry hit for three more buckets – two from long range – as the lead grew to 59-16. The Panthers finally stopped the run as Rey and fellow freshman Valdemar Diaz hit late hoops to make it 62-20 at the final horn.
Coach Smith is looking forward to his team continuing their success as they start to prep for district and the playoffs. “We are continually preparing for district and, hopefully, more as the season goes on with this team. They are doing well. Lake Arthur was depleted tonight but I thought they fought valiantly with what they had.”
The Warriors have two more non-district games next week – both on the road. Gateway plays at Hondo on Tuesday and at Fort Sumner on Friday. No doubt the starters will see the floor in those games – especially against the 3rd-ranked Foxes on Friday.
Girls: Gateway 65, Lake Arthur 8
The Gateway Lady Warriors won their contest against the Panthers in a one-sided affair 65-8. The Warriors got off to a 25-2 first quarter lead and had little trouble against less-experienced Panther squad.
In the opening quarter, the Warrior full-court press made all the difference as they got numerous steals and transition buckets in getting scoring from four different players. The Panthers lone bright spot was a late hoop from 8th-grader Cadance Romero, who also recorded two blocks defensively.
The second quarter saw five different Warriors score – two hoops from Kayli Reeves – as the lead grew to 36-4 at the break. The lone hoop for the Panthers was by Dalilah Villa, the lone senior for Lake Arthur.
Emily Turner and Taylor Higgins each scored four in the third quarter as the lead went to 49-6 and senior Megyn Balok scored seven in the final frame as the Warriors wrapped up the 65-8 victory.
The Warriors were led offensively by Hannah Martin with 16, Balok with 14, and Turner with 13. Kelsie Smith scored four for the Panthers.
ARTESIA — Artesia Lady Dogs Head Basketball Coach Jeff Houghtaling was happy with the crowd turnout at the Bulldog Pit Friday night.
The outcome was a different story as the Alamogordo Lady Tigers (6-12) defeated Artesia (9-9) 45-42.
“I thought folks came out and supported us, thought we could have played a little better, but it is what is, we didn’t come through down the stretch and Alamo played well,” Houghtaling said after the game.
The first quarter looked promising for Artesia, despite getting off to a slow start they led 13-4 at the end of the opening period. Alamogordo had trouble finding their footing in the opening period.
In the second quarter Alamogordo was starting to get on solid ground, however, the Lady Dogs were able to stay one step ahead of them as Artesia led 27-23 at the half.
“It seems like we get to going and then we lose a couple, anybody can see by looking at our record its been kind of a roller coaster,” Houghtaling said.
“I think we’re still preparing, I wish we had have won the game, we’re not playing as good as we outta be playing right now, we’ll have another game to prepare before district gets here,” Houghtaling added.
In the third quarter Alamogordo was able to overtake Artesia with more than three minutes left to play thanks to a pair of downtown shots from junior Faith Silva. When the third period ended the Lady Tigers had a 38-35 lead and outscoring Artesia 15-8.
In the final period, Alamogordo was able to keep Artesia at bay and come away with the win.
Artesia seniors Gracie Puentes and Stacia Martinez scored in double figures with 14 and 13 points respectively.
“We didn’t play very well tonight,” Houghtaling said.
Artesia has a chance to redeem themselves this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. as Ruidoso pays a visit to the Bulldog Pit. The Lady Dogs defeated them at the start of the season 66-31 at The City of Champions Classic in Artesia.
“I hope we come out and play a little better and shot the ball a little better,” Houghtaling said. “We’re playing a lot of games and so I can’t hang my emotions on one game every night, I’d be worn out.”
Meanwhile in Alamogordo, it was a clean sweep for the Tigers versus Artesia, as the Bulldogs went down 50-47 at the Tiger Pit. Artesia (12-6) has the chance to avenge the loss this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at Santa Teresa.
For the Bulldogs it will be the final non-district game before league play starts next week at home against Lovington.
A proposal that had caused alarm at the Roswell branch of Eastern New Mexico University has been approved by regents on a trial basis.
The unanimous vote to try out three systemwide senior-level positions occurred during the Wednesday meeting of the regents in Santa Fe, according to Dr. John Madden, president of ENMU-Roswell.
Madden chose not to comment about the regents’ decision. But he did talk briefly about the issue during a meeting of the ENMU-R Branch Community College Board the day before the regents’ meeting.
“There have been two meetings (about the systemwide positions),” he said. “They have both been very positive.”
He explained to board members that he did not feel he was able legally to divulge too much about the topic, given that the ENMU-R board had not placed the item on its agenda, but he said that ENMU-R and ENMU leaders had met a couple of times and that ENMU-R had put together a plan about how the implementation might proceed.
The original proposal made by Elwell in mid-November caused concern and controversy at the Roswell campus.
Members of its Branch Community College Board and the board of directors of the ENMU-R Foundation, as well as ENMU-R senior administrators, voiced their anxiety about the unknown impacts of such a move during meetings. The board also forwarded to regents a written request for a study about the proposal.
Regents had tabled the proposal to give university leaders a chance to discuss the situation further; and, in response to concerns on the Roswell campus, Elwell presided over a Nov. 17 campus meeting of ENMU-R employees where he answered numerous questions that had been submitted anonymously about whether the change would mean budget cuts or usurpation, job eliminations or department consolidations that would hurt the local university.
Elwell stressed at that time that he was talking about oversight, not dominance.
“Takeover is when we say, we are going to run the Roswell campus. … We couldn’t do that by state statute and law,” he said during the campus meeting.
The proposal approved Wednesday by the regents will establish a 90-day trial period to allow the ENMU vice president of human resources and the vice president of business affairs to exercise some authority on the Roswell campus.
Those positions, as well as a chief information officer and vice president of technology position, have existed and have been filled for a while. But the human affairs and business affairs executives did not have oversight or authority over any campus but Portales. The chief information officer and vice president for technology did oversee those functions at both Portales and the Ruidoso branch.
At the Wednesday meeting in Roswell, Vice President for Business Affairs Scott Smart said that, should the regents approve the 90-day implementation trial period, he intended to serve as ENMU-R business affairs head as well, spending two days in Roswell and two days in Portales, with Fridays open for whatever travel or work is necessary.
“I view it as a coordination effort,” he said. “I think we were talking about state finances a second ago. I suspect in the next 20 to 30 years that New Mexico is going to realize exactly what I saw earlier in my career in Michigan. State funding is going to go one direction and one direction only, I believe, and it is not up, so I think any way we can work together collectively, the three campuses, to coordinate our efforts and to save money any way, shape or form, I think we should do that.”
At least for the short-term, the change means that ENMU-R will not fill a vice president for business affairs position that was vacated in late 2017.
ENMU-R also will work during the trial period to adopt the same type of software systems used by ENMU.
If the sharing of senior administrators will work among the three campuses, it could save the university system more than $340,000 a year in salary and benefits, according to draft minutes of the regents meeting.
Since becoming the new president of ENMU in July, Elwell has discussed several ideas about creating a more unified system that he said would provide better service to students as well as result in cost savings.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at email@example.com.
The man who retrieved a firearm from his residence Wednesday after firefighters extinguished a fire in his home was charged with possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon, a fourth-degree felony.
According to a statement of probable cause by Roswell Police Department Detective Gino T. Basile, it was around 12:42 p.m. when the Roswell Fire Department was dispatched to 614 E. Albuquerque St. in reference to the report of a structure fire.
Basile said upon arrival to the scene, firefighters Miguel Flores and Scott Bruns said while they were inside the residence, they observed a man entering the home through the back.
“The firefighters told the male subject he could not be inside of the residence at that time due to the fire,” the report stated. “The male subject did not leave.”
Basile said after the man, later identified as 53-year-old Danny Ray Bowen, had refused to leave, police were called to remove him around 1:02 p.m.
“The male subject walked away from the firefighters, further into the house,” the report stated. “The male subject grabbed something and then started walking back towards firefighters.”
Firefighters saw Bowen holding what appeared to be a gray, short barrel shotgun with duct tape on its handle, the report stated. In response, firefighters left the residence and took cover.
“Fire department units then advised that the subject was armed with a shotgun,” Basile stated. “Officer Rodriguez arrived on scene and detained the male subject.”
Police said Bowen waived his Miranda rights and spoke with authorities.
According to the report, Bowen told police he resided at 614 E. Albuquerque St. with a roommate. Bowen also said while he owns “numerous” pellet guns, he does not own an actual gun, but rather, a pellet gun that has been modified that may resemble a real gun.
Further, Bowen told police he had been given some items, and while going through them, he came across 12-gauge shotgun shells in a white box, which was in his kitchen, next to a sink.
Basile said he requested to run a criminal history inquiry on Bowen, to which he confirmed him as a felon with a felony conviction within the last 10 years.
Police said in February 2008, Bowen was found guilty of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and tampering with evidence, both fourth-degree felonies.
On November 2015, police said Bowen was found guilty of trafficking controlled substances, a second-degree felony, and possession of a controlled substance, a fourth-degree felony.
After authorities obtained a search warrant, police found a 12-gauge short barrel shotgun covered in silver duct tape and with a red cloth tied to it in the backyard of the residence.
“There was a shotgun shell in the chamber, and the safety was off when the firearm was located,” the report stated. “There was an additional four shotgun shells in the tube on the firearm.”
After police found the functioning shotgun, they spoke to Bowen again.
“He has had this shotgun for a long time — he bought it from a pawn shop.” Bowen had told authorities. “When the fire was going on at his residence, he went to go outside and saw it sitting in the kitchen, so he grabbed it and took it outside. He never pointed it at anyone — he kept the shotgun in (his roommate’s) room.
“He described the shotgun as a 12-gauge, wrapped in duct tape, with a red robe tied on it.”
Bowen is charged with possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon, a fourth-degree felony.
Bowen had his first appearance in Chaves County Court before Magistrate Judge K. C. Rogers Thursday afternoon.
A preliminary examination for Bowen is set for Feb. 13 before Magistrate Judge E. J. Fouratt.
According to the Chaves County Detention Center, Bowen remains in custody with no bond.
Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Candidates for City Council and mayor drew lots for ballot placement at City Hall on Jan. 11 and their schedules are packed with campaigning for the March 6 municipal election.
Following the seat is the order in which the candidates’ names will appear on the ballots.
For mayor, the order is Natasha Mackey, Sergio Gonzalez, Dennis Kintigh, and Del Jurney.
In Ward 1, Catarino Munoz will be first on the ballot followed by Jacob Roebuck, Alfredo Dominguez III, and Jeffrey Cabana.
For Ward 2 Caleb Grant will run opposed.
Judy Stubbs, Tarra Morgan, and Richard Garcia will run for Ward 3. Incumbent Art Sandoval chose to leave the race Jan 10.
Whitney Hamil and George Peterson will run for Ward 4.
Lastly, Angela Moore and incumbent Tabitha Denny will run for Ward 5.
The Roswell Daily Record will release the 2018 Municipal Voters’ Guide in early February for the public to be informed on their candidates.
After the voters’ guide is published, Leadership Roswell Alumni Association, Pecos Valley Broadcasting, and the Daily Record will sponsor the 2018 Municipal Election Candidate Forum on Feb. 6, which the public is encouraged to attend.
City reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at email@example.com.
A crash report from the Roswell Police Department details the two-vehicle accident on Second Street from Thursday was caused by a young driver failing to stop at a red light.
According to the report’s narrative, after authorities arrived at the corner of North Lea Avenue and West Second Street at 4:14 p.m., it was observed that a white van had been traveling east on Second Street, crossing Lea Avenue, and that the second vehicle, a black Jeep, was traveling south and made a left turn onto Second Street from Lea Avenue, running a red light.
A passenger from the 18-year-old’s vehicle, a 17-year-old girl, complained of back and neck pain and was taken to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center by ambulance.
Police said the van involved in the accident had damage to its front bumper and quarter panels, while the Jeep encountered damage to its front bumper, left quarter panel, passenger side door and rear quarter panel.
In contrast to police and the driver of the van, the 18-year-old told police he believes his light to turn east onto Second Street from Lea Avenue was green.
“(He) stated as soon as he entered the intersection, he observed the light to be red and struck (the vehicle,)” an RPD officer wrote.
Police said the 18-year-old man was cited.
The town of Jal is without a city manager, and a consultant with the Southeastern New Mexico Economic Development District / Council of Governments is offering to fill in until the Lea County municipality finds someone for the position.
“They are one of our member communities,” said Executive Director Dora Batista, “so we have offered to assist them.”
Hubert Quintana, who once served as Chaves County manager and executive director of the SNMEDD and is now a consultant with the economic development group, based in Roswell, has met with Jal officials to discuss serving as interim city manager and perhaps assisting with the search for a new manager.
“Basically we have offered our services in whatever they need us to do so that they don’t get behind,” Batista said.
She said the idea is that Quintana would work a day or two for Jal each week and the remainder of time with SNMEDD, especially in his work at this time serving as liaison with state legislators. The economic development group, which represents local government entities in Chaves, Lea, Otero, Eddy and Lincoln counties, would be paid for Quintana’s work on behalf of Jal should he work for the city.
Batista added that Jal officials are also talking with other people and groups to either fill the position or hire someone on an interim basis.
Jal Mayor Cheryl Chance did not respond to calls by press time.
Former Jal city manager Bob Gallagher, a high-profile city, higher education and business leader in the state for decades, resigned in December when allegations of misconduct surfaced. He vehemently denied the allegations in a written statement.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Assurance Home Foundation recently awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Simon Polakoff who is studying for an engineering degree at New Mexico State University.
Simon is currently a junior with a 3.0 GPA. He is involved with a research project with the Mechanical Engineering Department at NMSU and is looking to intern at Los Alamos National Laboratory next summer.
Simon lived at Assurance Home from 2012 through 2014. He is a graduate of Goddard High School and also graduated from junior college at New Mexico Military Institute.
Assurance Home has been providing guidance and a homelike environment to “at-risk” and homeless adolescent children since 1979 and is a United Way Agency.