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No summer slowdown around here

Roswell sophomore Jasia Reese chases down a loose ball during a scrimmage against the Grants Pirates Saturday in the Coyote Den. (AJ DIckman Photo)

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Forget relaxing by the pool.
For a thriving sports scene in Roswell and the surrounding area, summer is about competing and getting better, no matter the discipline. From Little League to mud bogs, there were plenty of opportunities to get out of the house Saturday, whether participating or spectating.
The early bird may have had a hard time picking which event to attend, as the Milkman Triathlon in Dexter, the Brynn Naylor Memorial Tennis Tournament at the Cahoon Park courts and prep basketball scrimmages at Roswell and Goddard high schools’ gyms all started around 8 a.m.
Just under an hour later, Rance Irvin of Albuquerque finished the triathlon with the top time of 59 minutes, 24.8 seconds, defending his title from 2016. In the female division, Terry Casey also defended her crown, finishing in 1:03:55.9.
The Brynn Naylor tourney went on throughout the day, as tennis players from across the state and beyond competed in singles, doubles and mixed. The tourney honors the memory of Naylor and his ultimate sacrifice to our country while serving in the military. Naylor was killed in Afghanistan in 2007 and had played in the tournament that now bears his name the year before.
Basketball scrimmages began Friday morning and ended late Saturday afternoon. It was a very early chance to see what up-and-coming players will replace the recent graduates and which starters will take their games to the next level.
The Coyotes and Rockets should each have exciting guards as sophomores Jasia Reese and Brandon Montanez will look to build off their freshman experience.
Reese’s experience was as good as it gets, going from a few minutes a game to starting for the eventual Class 5A state champion Coyotes. Montanez saw increased minutes late last season and seemed to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
Longtime Roswell assistant coach Dude Burrola was at the helm of the Coyotes, and many hope to see him there when the regular season starts as the Roswell Independent School District looks to replace Britt Cooper.
Other area squads traveled to Roswell to participate in the practice games, including Dexter, Hagerman, Carlsbad, Grants and Portales.
The boys of summer are in full swing, with the Sterling Grant Memorial Tournament going on at the Noon Optimist, Lions Hondo and Eastside Little League fields. Games continue into this week.
The bigger boys out at Joe Bauman Stadium dropped their first home game of the season 4-1 to the visiting Triggers. Roswell will look to win the four-game series tonight at 7 p.m. and will start a new series with White Sands Monday night at 7 p.m.
The ‘Vaders have won the Pecos League three times, claiming half the championships of the six-year-old independent league. The Invaders seem to take the title every other year, so the summer of 2017 should be exciting.
It’s doubtful anyone keeps records of such things, but Saturday’s Invaders contest may have been the first baseball game to feature two National Anthems, as the players and fans stopped during the early innings to observe the singing of “The Star Spangled Banner” next door at the Kicker Arenacross and Mud Bog Show. Baseball fans could see dirt bikes jumping as they looked out over the right-field fence.
As the summer wears on and heats up, Roswell will host prep baseball tournaments, a big boxing event featuring a handful of local fighters, the annual Lindsey Callaway Race for Kids at Alien City Dragway and much more.
It may be summer break for the kiddos and some lucky adults, but sports never takes a breather in Titletown.

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