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Summer review — a little of this and that

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A picture of Mine That Bird, the 2009 Kentucky Derby champion. (J.T. Keith File Photo)

There has been so much going on in Roswell and Chaves County sports, that whoever said the summertime is downtime really doesn’t know sports in Chaves County. The sports scene is coming off one of the most historic runs in baseball.

Goddard’s Lacie Schooley digs a ball during a home match last season at Ground Zero. (Steve Notz File Photo)

RDR Sports was with all of the teams until their last out, finally following Roswell Intermediates/Southwest to the championship game, before they lost to Southeast. The RDR not only gave the readers an inside glimpse of what the players thought but also of the coaches, before and after games as well as a mother and father. We gave the readers a look at families supporting their children and brothers.

We watched 13-year-olds grow up before our eyes, and we went on a mother’s journey of belief in her son that was so strong, she quit her job to follow his dream. We were there when Roswell called a watch party at the Convention & Civic Center where pizza and soda were made available as friends, family members, and the town gathered to support the team on Saturday night.

Some of the other memorable stories of the summer are Roswell’s Peyton Jones winning a golf tournament. We had Goddard’s Jadin Ware win a golf tournament at Texas Tech University. Not only did Jadin win the tournament but the Goddard golf team played and placed, as well.

RDR Sports was on hand this summer in Albuquerque at the Isotopes baseball game to see Tom Jordan, the oldest living former Major League Baseball player — since the death of Fred Caligiuri on Nov. 30, 2018 — throw out the first pitch. Tom used to be player-manager for the Dukes in 1953-’54. Tom recently had a heart attack and his family and friends are pulling for him to make a speedy recovery as the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico has planned a blowout birthday bash for him on his birthday, Sept. 5.

RDR Sports has covered the unfortunate accident of Goddard football player Dominic Chavez. The family has been gracious enough to keep the readers updated about the progress in their son’s recovery of his spinal cord injury. Which leads us to Popo’s having a fundraiser for him on Aug. 11, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Popo’s will host an enchilada dinner for a $10 donation with all proceeds going toward Dominic’s medical, occupational and physical therapy expenses.

Roswell’s Ariana Chavez serves during a game last season at the Coyote Den. (J.T. Keith File Photo)

The summer also saw former Roswell all-state basketball player and current New Mexico Lobo, Jaedyn De La Cerda come back home, work her magic by shooting hoops and encourage kids in summer school at Pecos Elementary School.

This summer has seen local talent in Avery Chavez making the USSSA All-American games. Roswell has also seen our favorite bird — Mine That Bird go into the Ruidoso horse racing Hall of Fame this summer.

We have seen coaching greats call it an end to their career in their sports. Goddard’s Henry Villareal walked away from being an assistant coach. Goddard’s assistant principal Dennis Montanez will become the assistant athletic director under Britt Cooper this year. Goddard also gets a new dance coach in Rebecca Blanco, who takes over for Patty Nolan. Goddard still has the boys and girls tennis coach job open after coach Chad Mann left to coach at New Mexico Military Institute after one season.

Gateway baseball coach Rick Rapp won the Blue Trophy for the final time with his grandson, Jaydon Stephens before calling it a career. Rapp will be replaced by Mick Reeves according to the athletic director, Justin Stephens. Gateway’s boy’s basketball coach, Dan Smith, decided to be a dad and watch his children grow up.

Dexter’s coaching carousel continues as Sonny Duran took over not only as girls’ softball coach last year, but will also be the boys’ basketball coach this year. For the Dexter girls’ coach, the job goes to Arthur Cobos who was the boys’ basketball coach but had the desire to his coach his daughters.

Roswell will see a new boys’ soccer coach on the sideline for the first time in 16 years, as David Sifuentes replaces James Vernon. Vernon will become an administrator. Roswell girls’ basketball team will have two new assistant coaches when they hit the floor this season.

Another shock in the coaching profession that no one saw coming was RHS softball coach Art Sandoval resigning less than three weeks before school was to start. Sandoval’s replacement will be a former player and RHS alum Rebecca Marrujo. See Sunday’s sports section for a feature on Marrujo.

Stay tuned for part two on Saturday of the summer sports wrap up.

Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or sports@rdrnews.com.