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Blanco: Unfinished business at Goddard

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AJ Roe Photo Goddard cheer team seniors, from left: Arieana Martinez, Mayra Lizarraga, Alayiah Luevano, Keidy Martell and Kaylee Miles.

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Sports editor’s note: RDR Sports is always trying to stay one step ahead. As with all things, change is necessary. Just because there are no games doesn’t mean RDR Sports does not have content for our subscribers that they will enjoy reading.

We have plenty — we have enough stories to outlast this nasty coronavirus. This week, we will finish up with basketball honors and team reflections. We will introduce you to some recent friends that are doing big things on the collegiate level in the upcoming issues. We will have Charlie’s Angels, Roswell High and Goddard band directors, along with the Roswell and Goddard softball teams, just to name a few articles you will enjoy reading.

RDR Sports will go back to the past and talk about Hagerman’s 2013-14 football and basketball teams. As far as RDR Sports knows, they are the only local team to have won a football and basketball blue trophy in the same academic year. If there is another team that has accomplished that feat as well, and you wish to have your team written about, please email RDR Sports at sports@rdrnews.com.

RDR Sports feels for the spring teams that will not be able to complete their senior season. As a way to tell the parents, athletes and coaches thank you for all of their hard work, RDR Sports has offered all spring coaches a chance to say goodbye to their seniors and talk to their underclassmen.

To start it off, Goddard cheer coach Rebeca Blanco reveals what it was like in her first year as a cheer coach at the high school level. She describes all of the hard work the team put in, their hopes and aspirations to win a blue trophy. She describes how she found out about the cancellation of the season, and how she told her seniors. Go along with Rebeca below as she says a heartfelt goodbye to her seniors.

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Rebeca Blanco’s

unfinished business

with Goddard

“As the cheer season was coming to an end, my first year as head coach of the varsity cheerleaders at Goddard High School had flown by and was quickly coming to an end. I had no doubt in my mind that my girls were going to dominate the state spirit competition at the end of March. We had spent many months, many practices preparing for it and we were ready. I knew my girls were ready. We were prepared to compete and we were ready to bring home a trophy, and we had our eyes set on the blue!

Reflection

“Our season began in May 2019. A pre-tryout meeting was held for parents and athletes, and then the tryout clinic began. Tryouts were held on the last day of school and the team was chosen that day. After the team was chosen, we began to practice in early June. I, along with assistant coach Audriana Romero, wanted to make sure this team was ready to get to work and get better, one practice at a time. The talent and potential was (and still is) astounding. We practiced a few days a week leading up to our summer camp. At this camp, the girls worked with staff to better their skills and learn new ones that would be beneficial to the team for performances and competitions. The girls endured three long days, many bruises and sore muscles but learned much in the process.

“End of summer neared and it was time to go back to school. Game schedules came out and our schedule quickly became very busy. Girls would attend soccer games and cheer from the stands. Girls cheered at volleyball games and a few freshmen and junior varsity football games, the Eastern New Mexico State Fair parade. Friday night varsity football games were always a great time, watching the Goddard Rockets do what they do on the football field. The girls loved cheering at football games, even if the weather was unpredictable. Traveling to district volleyball and football games was always an adventure and a good time for the cheerleaders.

“In between games is when we had to schedule practices. Choreography is a key component in cheerleading, so we had to schedule our clinic and begin our journey to learn, practice and execute our state routine. Our choreographer Brandon Chavez from 365 Spirit did such an amazing job putting our routine together and gave these athletes a routine that they were proud of and excited to show off. His expertise and attention to detail was above anything I had ever seen. Our team was so thrilled to work with him and his company.

“Winter season soon came and we began to work extremely hard on our state routines, paying attention to details and working on perfecting every aspect of the routine. We began cheering at basketball games and hitting practices full force to get ready to compete. Competitions were our time to shine and show off our skills on the blue mats.

Competitions

“We kicked off our competition season in Clovis on Jan. 11, 2020, where girls received their first, first-place trophy of the season in the Game Day Category. We traveled to Artesia on Jan. 25 and finished in second place in both the Game Day and Cheer with Music category. On Feb. 8, we competed in Portales and won first place in both categories: Game Day and Cheer with Music. On Feb. 15, we traveled to Lovington for our last district competition and ended up in second place in both categories. Our last local competition was the RHS Alien Jam on Feb. 22, where we ended up in second place in both categories. Each competition taught us something new and we used the scoresheets to fix mistakes and work on making the routine better.

Our final performance

of the year

“As we traveled to Albuquerque on the morning of March 11 for the Halftime Hoorah at The Pit, we had no idea this was going to be our last performance as a team. We were excited for the girls to perform at The Pit and get to show off their routine that they had worked so hard on for months. Our cheerleaders did not disappoint. They absolutely killed their routine that day on The Pit mats and I could not have been prouder. We knew they were ready for state and we couldn’t wait for them to compete against all the other cheer teams in our class. I knew they were ready and they felt it, too. Our last competition would be at state. It was our time to shine and bring home that trophy.

Coming home

“As we boarded the bus to come home from Albuquerque, after dinner is when I received the news that the district had canceled all travel. I knew this wasn’t a good sign but I was still hopeful. We finally arrived at GHS and I told the girls I’d see them on Thursday for practice, just like normal schedule.

“Throughout the next day, I started to receive more information regarding how we were going to proceed. I met with the girls Thursday after school but we didn’t practice. We went over what we knew and I told them that I didn’t know what was going to happen but that I would keep them informed. That was the last time I had all my girls together as a team. I continued to inform them of directives from the athletic department and NMAA (New Mexico Activities Association) as I received them to keep everyone in the loop. My heart breaks a little more every time for them.

To my team

“Words cannot express how proud we are of each and every one of you. You have taught us so much this year, and we cannot begin to explain how much we’ve enjoyed watching you grow and bond as a team. It hurts we didn’t get to end this year as planned.

To my freshmen, sophomores and juniors

“Get ready to come back and do work. We have unfinished business and we look forward to working with you over the next few years. All of you are extremely talented and we are excited to see what the future holds for this team. We are ready to start working on next year and finish what we started and bring home that blue trophy. Be ready, stay in shape and get ready to do some work.

To my seniors

“My heart breaks the worst for you girls. I know you were ready to finish your senior year on top. I have enjoyed watching you grow, not only as cheerleaders but as young women. I was fortunate enough to coach you in middle school and then this year, your senior year, your final cheer year. You were ready, I was ready and I wanted nothing more than for you girls to end strong. Remember to use your powers for good, and always stay gracious.

Mayra Lizarraga

“I am extremely proud of you and in all that you have accomplished to date. I’ve enjoyed watching you grow from sixth-grade Language Arts, to seventh- and eighth-grade cheer, to being your coach your senior year. You make me proud and I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in life.

Alayiah Luevano

“Your strong will and determination will be your ticket to success. I cannot express how proud I am of you since middle school cheer to your senior year. You make me proud even when we don’t agree but I wouldn’t change that for anything. You will be a great leader and I cannot wait to see you accomplish your goals.

Keidy Martell

“I am so glad that you decided to cheer this year. Your desire to be the best at anything you set your mind to is what will drive you throughout your life and will lead you to be amazing at anything you decide to do. From sixth grade to your senior year, I have enjoyed watching you grow up and I’m ready to see where the road takes you.

Arieana Martinez

“Your genuine heart and kind soul is what sets you apart from everyone. No matter what, I could always count on your help. You were always so positive and a leader, and I’m grateful to you and all you did for this team and for me. I know you will be successful in whatever you choose to do in life because you will put your heart and soul into it. I am so proud of you.

Kaylee Miles

“No matter the situation, I could always count on you to giggle about it. You never say much but I could count on the giggle. I have enjoyed watching you grow from a little sixth-grader to this beautiful senior with so much potential to be great at anything you set your mind to. I am honored to have been able to coach you and watch you grow.

To my cheer parents

“We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Without your support, nothing we accomplished could have been possible. We appreciate you and there aren’t enough words to show how much it has meant to us.

End of season

“Nothing prepared us for the reality we soon had to face when we received the news that NM State Spirit Championships was officially canceled. I relayed the information to my team, and parents shed a lot of tears with us. This is not what we wanted for this team, or for any of the spirit teams in the state. We didn’t want it to end this way but we understand. We will take this with us and work even harder next year because we have unfinished business to take care of. We want to bring home the blue and we want to make Goddard High School and RISD proud of us. We are ready and we will be back!”