Home Sports Local Sports Null and Willingham look to win state championship

Null and Willingham look to win state championship

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Artesia senior post player Joe Willingham gets into the paint against Lovington last month. Willingham has been on the varsity squad since his sophomore year. (Greg Brown Photo)

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ARTESIA — This past football season Artesia High seniors Taylor Null and Joe Willingham were just some of the key players that helped the Bulldogs claim state football title no. 30.

Artesia’s Taylor Null drives to the basket against Lovington last month at the Bulldog Pit in Artesia. Null was the starting quarterback for the Bulldog football team that won state title no. 30 for AHS. (Greg Brown Photo)

Now that basketball season is heading into the home stretch Bulldog fans are hoping the pair will help bring some of that football magic to the hardwood.

Part two of district play starts tonight at Lovington(11-12;1-2) for Artesia(15-7; 2-1)as they take on a Wildcat team that they defeated in the last seconds back on Jan. 26 at the Bulldog Pit.

Willingham is a 6-6 post player and Null is a 6-3 forward.

“It’s definitely been my favorite,” Willingham said of this season. He has been on the varsity squad since his sophomore year.

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“We’ve won some big games that I’ve been working for three years now, we beat Roswell, Hobbs, a lot of games that meant a lot to the school’s history,” Willingham said.

Null said, “it’s been a good season. Probably the best out of the three years that I’ve been here. We’ve lost some close games, but we’ve won some big games and we’re working on making sure that we don’t lose any more of the close games.”

Both are multi-sport athletes and we’re asked to talk about what has been the highlight of their high school career.

“Definitely football, the state championship, my first one, it was really a blessing to be a part of even with my dad(Jeff) as the(defensive) coach. It was really something special, “ Willingham said.

Null said,”definitely the state game this year, it was just a lot of fun, finally getting one for ourselves (and) going out on top in our senior year.”

After they graduate in May, Willingham plans to attend Texas Tech and become a computer engineer after college.

Null plans to attend the University of Texas at Permian Basin in Odessa where he plans to play football and major in kinesiology.