Home Sports Local Sports Goddard reloads to win the title in 1986

Goddard reloads to win the title in 1986

The 1986 Class 3A volleyball state champion Goddard Rockets. Top row, from left, Judy Smyth, head coach; Maria Newbold (7); Denise Salas (3); Teresa Ditmore (6); Katy Horgan (8); Jeni McCrea (11); Kelly Harton (12); Sharon Townsend (5); and Jon Shumard, trainer. Bottom row, from left, Amie Carrigan (14); Shannon Murphy (9); Jennifer McGuire (1); Cathy Witt (10); and Twila Bass (4). Not pictured are assistant coaches Debbie Beyhan and Hayden Hill; and manager Paige Nunez. (Submitted Photo)

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Sports Editor’s note: Covering this story and writing about the young ladies that helped make the Goddard volleyball team into the Team of the Decade in the 1980s was more than we could fit in one edition, so this will be the fourth story in a multi-part series.

With an assist from coach Judy Smyth and her recollections of the games and events that made things meaningful to her and the help of past editions of the RDR Sports pages, we tried to reconstruct the time and the games for you, the fans.

Today, we look at the 1986 championship season and game, culminating with the ‘89 team in later editions.

1986: The ‘86 team was young with only three seniors returning. Coach Judy Smyth believed in her team from day one. Smyth thought it might be a rebuilding year and the team would need time to gather the experience to win. This team didn’t have a star, which forced them to play together and made it hard for other teams to key in on one player.

“At the beginning of the year,” Smyth said, “I knew we had good players and a chance to do well. But I was surprised they pulled together so fast.”

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The season started slowly for the Lady Rockets as they finished in third place in the Roswell Tournament, which they lost to Santa Fe and Portales.

Goddard and Portales tied for the district championship with 7-1 records. Goddard beat Portales in the district playoff. In the district match, Goddard won 15-2, 15-4 but the Ramettes won the next two games 10-15 and 11-15 and were within four points of the title. Goddard won the district title 15-11.

Goddard went into the state-ranked No. 3 team. The No. 1 team was Moriarty and was unbeaten at 17-0. Goddard would face Moriarty in a great match that lasted over three hours. Goddard would win: 14-16, 18-16, 6-15, 15-7 and 15-9.

In the championship game, Goddard would once again have to defeat Portales to win the blue trophy. Goddard would prevail winning 15-12, 3-15, 15-11 and 15-8.

“This team was not the most talented team,” Smyth said, “but they were hustlers. They never had an all-star player, but the team played together. They defeated Hot Springs for the second consecutive year.”

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