Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Every boxer knows the dedication it takes to be successful in the ring. For Roswell’s Bronze Bomber Raymond Anaya, this time of year was special to him and his family. It was during this time that he would be seated with his wife, Lynda, and celebrated his two sons, Desmond and David, playing in Hike It and Spike It. It is what they always did even when they were in college.
Even though he lost his battle with time and life on Nov. 15, 2017, the best part of him lives on each day through his sons because of what he imparted to his children and the way he lived his life with integrity. Just as Raymond trained to be a boxer and champion in and out of the ring, he trained his sons to live that way as well and to attack their goals with a work ethic he instilled in them since birth.
On Saturday, even though the games didn’t have the rivalry of Goddard and Roswell attached to it, and both brothers were not in game condition, the intensity of competing came out of both brothers.
It didn’t matter if they won or lost, it was important for Desmond and David Anaya to be apart of the Anayalators team and to play. Their father would have wanted them to show that life goes on, so they played with heavy hearts as they continue to go through life without their rock, their dad. If he would have been alive, he’d have been in the front row cheering his sons on.
Desmond played on Goddard’s state runner-up teams in his junior and senior years. He was named second-team All-State as an offensive tackle and middle linebacker in 2007. Desmond graduated in 2008.
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He went on to play for Eastern New Mexico University for three years before transferring. With one season left in his college career, he had the desire to measure himself against the best and decided to transfer to New Mexico State University where he played for head coach DeWayne Walker, who is now coaching defensive backs for the Cleveland Browns.
“I decided that I didn’t want to live my life with regret,” Desmond said. “I wanted to measure myself against the best. If I’m going to do something, I want it to be to the best of my abilities against the best. I have no regret.”
Desmond started the last six games of his senior year. The highlight of his career at New Mexico State University was when he played opposite of his brother, David, who was the running back at University of New Mexico, on Sept. 22, 2012, in Las Cruces.
“Being on the same field with my brother was great,” Desmond said. “It reminded me of when we were kids at home playing in the streets under the lights. It was great to see so many people in the stands and to be able to hug your brother after every play was great.”
Desmond went on to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree and is teaching school and coaching football at Albuquerque High School.
“My dream is to one day be a head football coach,” Desmond said. “I’d like to run my own program.”
After the game, Desmond mentioned how much Hike It and Spike It meant to his dad and the whole family.
“Today, I feel like he is up there looking down watching us,” Desmond said.
David Anaya was one of Goddard’s all-time great running backs. He was all-state his senior year as a running back and defensive back. He was an all-state wrestler at 182 pounds and credits his coaches for his growth as a player. Anaya was New Mexico Player of the Year, and the leading rusher in the state his senior year. He also won back-to-back state titles as a freshman and sophomore. David graduated from Goddard in 2012.
He was in the North-South All-Star game and was the MVP of that game. He finished his career as the second-leading rusher in New Mexico high school history with 5,733 yards and 70 touchdowns, along with rushing for 2,332 yards and 30 TDs his junior year, and in his senior year, he gained 2,269 yards and 32 TDs.
“(Former) Goddard football coach Sam Jernigan taught me to always work,” David said, “that nothing comes easy. To always work as hard as you can for the things you want and if you want to be the best, you have to work. One of the biggest things he taught me is that you don’t have to be the biggest, strongest or fastest, but if you work hard and do things right, you’re going to succeed.”
After a stellar career and senior season at Goddard, David didn’t get the offers he wanted and decided to walk-on to the University of New Mexico without a scholarship. There were no guarantees he’d play his freshman year, let alone ever.
“My brothers instilled confidence in me,” David said. “Desmond told me, ‘I was a good football player and not to sell myself short.’ He said, ‘If you want to be the best, you play with the best, and I think if you work hard, you can.’”
David listened to his brother and walked on to UNM. He wanted to play against the best he could face. After David’s sophomore year, in December at the UNM football awards banquet, football coach Bob Davie awarded him a scholarship as running back.
One of the biggest adjustments for David as running back was the speed level and talent level. At that level, every running back can catch the ball out of the backfield. He realized he wasn’t the only running back that could do the things he could do. David didn’t get redshirted and holds the UNM record for most games played at 50 straight. He averaged 40 plays a game.
“I did feel prepared by Goddard football to play at the next level,” David said. “Goddard instilled a lot in me to be prepared. Coach Jaime Martinez with the wrestling program got me right. I won state my senior year. Goddard track coach Jay Caldwell on track instilled a lot of confidence in me as well. If I was ever down on my speed, he’d work me out and get me faster to get me ready for UNM.”
David graduated from UNM with a B.S. degree in Liberal Arts and currently works at Enterprise. He gives back to the community in Albuquerque by refereeing youth football games.
“My dad never let me forget that he loved me,” David said. “He’d call me on the phone every day. He taught me about confidence, and preached to us to do what we love with the intentions that you love it with the best that you can do it. My dad told me about how much he loved boxing and that’s what he loved to do — then he started working in the tax department and found out that was his next love and he did it until the day he died.”
David feels that by doing what he loves in his life, he will never work another day.
“We just keep my dad’s team name with the Anayalators,” David said. “We grew up playing in this game and it’s fun. We want to hold my dad’s legacy, so we’re the Anayalators this year.”