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ENMU-Roswell AMT students celebrate graduation

A group of ENMU-Roswell students graduated recently from the Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) program. The graduates completed the requirements for a Certificate of Completion in Airframe and Powerplant. The 14.5 month program is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. From left, William E. Abbott, Alex Alvarez, Jacob Vick, Hamza H. Feroze, Matthew Millican, Anthony M. Sanchez, Gareth Lawson, Joel M. Torres, George A. Corrales and Carlos J. Cruz. For more information about the program, contact Lyle Lane, aviation director, at 575-624-7022 or email aviation@roswell.enmu.edu. (Submitted Photo)

Police investigate late-night accident

An RPD officer utilizes his flashlight to survey damages.

Calling party reported vehicle rolled over 3 times

The Roswell Police Department is investigating an apparent rollover accident involving a sole occupant driver late Saturday night.

Before 11:40 p.m. Saturday, the RPD, Emergency Medical Services and the Roswell Fire Department were dispatched toward the corner of North Cedar Avenue and Country Club Road in reference to a vehicle accident with injury.

According to dispatch communications, the only person involved in the accident was a male driver.

Dispatchers also advised that the calling party had told them that the crashed vehicle had rolled over three times.

Authorities reported to dispatchers that the man was bleeding from his head.

The RPD was not able to confirm whether or not the man was taken to a local hospital.

By the time the Daily Record arrived, police were surveying the area, taking note of debris scattered on and on the side of the road, as well as damages to the vehicle.

Tiny bits of shattered glass was scattered along County Club Road, reflecting emergency lights from the ground.

Much of the damage sustained by the vehicle was toward the front, including a shattered windshield, bent out of frame windows and a grill almost completely ripped off the vehicle.

Traffic officer Scott Oldani of the RPD later arrived to the scene.

Playoff announcements


All four district 4-5A teams got into the playoffs, Artesia, Lovington, Roswell and Goddard. Roswell is the number 3 seed and receives a bye. Goddard is the No, 11 seed, they play Aztec Friday at Aztec, time TBA. On November 17th or 18th, Roswell will play the winner of Goddard and Aztec in the Quarterfinals at the Wool Bowl. Dexter is the No. 7 seed in 4-3A and will play at home Friday, time TBA.

Pecan weevil threatens state’s $180M industry; NMDA records: Insect has been confirmed in Eddy, Lea, Chaves and Curry counties

"If we do this now and eradicate it, we can save the industry millions of dollars," says John Wilson, owner of the Nut House Pecan Co. on West Second Street in Roswell. In spite of the additional costs and regulations on the industry, he supports the temporary quarantine proposed by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Dean Calvani’s livelihood is threatened by a tiny invader.

The pecan weevil lives most of its life underground, but once a year it burrows to the surface to lay its eggs directly in the nut that defined Calvani’s business for 25 years.

The weevil’s reproduction destroys the nut meat, making it unfit for human consumption, but it could also derail New Mexico’s $180 million pecan industry.

In late 2016 and January 2017, the weevil was found in residential pecan orchards in multiple counties in southeast New Mexico.

It was confirmed in Eddy, Lea, Chaves and Curry counties, read New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) records.

A series of quarantines were enacted to prevent its spread in the following months.

And the NMDA is looking to make the quarantine permanent.

One of Eddy County’s largest pecan producers, the Calvani Pecan Company, has operated in the Carlsbad community for about 25 years.

And Calvani worried the quarantine — which restricts pecan shipments to areas without an infestation — could prevent him from trading to the west where the industry is most lucrative.

“They won’t even let us ship to El Paso anymore,” he said of the NMDA.

To go west, out of the quarantine zone, Calvani worried he’ll have to incur added costs under the new requirements.

This means purchasing forklifts, vans and redesigning his cleaning and shipment plants, as vehicles used to transport out of quarantine must be covered and shipments must be held to higher scrutiny.

He’s unsure of the cost associated with meeting requirements to ship his product west, and uninterested in paying it.

Calvani said he’s never found a weevil in the 500 acres comprising his orchards.

Even so, the new regulations could force him to ship his product east and into West Texas where the weevil has a decades-long foothold.

Calvani cannot import from West Texas either under the new guidelines, and must either rely on local growers or decide on another region to purchase from.

With a month until harvest, he worried his business could suffer.

“I hope they can eradicate it,” Calvani said. “I think it’s good they’re becoming aware of it. The frustration is (NMDA) presented the quarantine a month before harvest. It didn’t allow us to prepare.”

About 80 miles north in Chaves County, growers also worried about the added costs.

Hoby Bonham, owner of the 600-acre Bonham Farms northwest of Roswell, said he supports the quarantine, but is concerned the added cost could put smaller operations at risk.

His family also co-owns Mountain States Pecan Co., a 900-acre operation in Roswell.

“It is an expense. I can’t speak for everybody. I don’t know where (all growers in the area) ship to or where they sell to,” he said. “There are more markets than just Las Cruces or El Paso County.”

Bonham said he worked with about 10 other Chaves County growers to bring ideas to New Mexico Department of Agriculture officials about the proposed quarantine.

But he said that he understands that Chaves County growers’ requests might not be part of the quarantine, given that NMDA has expressed its intent to move quickly to enact the permanent quarantine.

“I am happy that they are actually doing it. Nobody likes for more regulations and nobody likes for more government involvement,” Bonham said. “But we stand a great chance of getting the pest eradicated and not let it continue to spread.

“We aren’t just trying to protect ourselves. We are trying to protect the industry itself in New Mexico.”

Quarantine could become permanent

In the state known as the second-highest producer of pecans, the tiny bug — thought to be invading from West Texas, a state where the majority of counties were under quarantine for decades — could also damage one of New Mexico’s biggest cash crops.

A temporary quarantine for Artesia, Hobbs, Roswell and Clovis was first enacted in January until March, in response to findings of the pest in residential orchards.

It was then extended by 90 days until June, and then again until November.

Another 180-day quarantine is expected to go into effect on Nov. 20, as the department drafts a permanent ban.

Under the most recent quarantine, any pecans shipped out of Eddy, Lea, Curry and Chaves counties into areas unaffected by the weevil must face intense scrutiny and higher regulations.

These counties, where thousands of acres produce pecans each year, would remain quarantined until the weevil is proven to be completely eradicated.

Dona Aña County and the El Paso area to the west are particularly important to pecan growers and sellers, as the industry is mostly centered in that region.

But to sell in the west, where most of the industry exists, southeastern producers must follow the new requirements, such as providing proof of treatment, and transporting the nuts in a covered vehicle.

The aim is to stop the spread of the pest into the western regions of the state, which would further damage the multi-million-dollar industry.

Sandy Barraza, director of New Mexico State University’s Chaves County Extension Office, said education could also be a weapon against the weevil.

She said commercial growers and entomologists are working to distribute literature and information in an effort to educate the public and obtain their help in keeping the pecan weevil from spreading.

“The pecan weevil does not affect the health of the tree,” she said. “It only affects the pecans. Actually (growers) won’t know they have the weevil until the larvae chew its way out of the mature pecan, and it leaves a little BB-size hole, or if you crack open the pecan and see it has been destroyed.”

There were 2,000 pecan farms across the state in 2015, read a 2017 report from NMSU’s College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

New Mexican growers produced $180 million in nuts, the report read, ranking the state first that year for pecan production with about 1/3 of the country’s yield.

“If pecan weevil becomes established in the state’s commercial orchards, it would cause increased insecticide applications, increased production costs, reduced on-farm revenue, and a perceived reduction in the state’s reputation for high-quality pecans,” read the report.

So the department called on all growers to check crops, even those nuts harvested from backyard trees, in hopes of finding and destroying the pest.

“Unless you carefully inspect your pecan nuts every year, both marketable and trash or cull nuts, you may not realize you are harboring this destructive pest,” the report read. “If you have even one pecan tree, even if it is in your yard and not an orchard, you are part of this industry.”

After this year’s infestation was discovered, the NMDA decided New Mexico would be the last stand against the pecan weevil.

“This is where everyone fights it in New Mexico,” said Brad Lewis, NMDA assistant division director of Entomology and Nursery. “We’ve watched it march across Texas, and across the pecan belt.”

Along the weevil’s path of destruction, growers of all sizes could be impacted by an infestation, said John Wilson, a Chaves County-based pecan buyer and sheller for 20 years.

Sale of pecans could take a hit under the quarantine, he said, as people he buys from will have to provide photo identification and records about the origins of shipments.

“It is going to affect you if you are in the market, whether you have one tree or you are a big grower,” Wilson said. “It will mean more cost for processing and for trucking and less value for producers.

“If we do this now and eradicate it, we will save the industry millions of dollars. But we need to catch it now.”

Shay Wagner, manager of Normex Farms southeast of Roswell, said stopping it might burden smaller growers, but won’t be that much of a hardship on larger growers such Normex, which already has a cleaning facility.

The operation, where Wagner has worked for 10 years, has about 280 acres of pecan-producing trees.

The quarantine would be worth it to avoid infestation in commercial orchards, he said, given the time and challenge associated with safeguarding the industry.

“You are talking tens of thousands in additional costs and that would be just to control the pest. That’s not counting lost revenues,” he said.

“I knew it (the quarantine) was coming,” he added. “We had a temporary quarantine last year, and the eradication of this pest is probably going to take five to 10 years, maybe even longer, given the lifecycle of the insect.”

What is it?

The pecan weevil, a type of beetle, was known to infest southeast New Mexico for the past 10 years, Lewis said.

It is considered a “snout beetle” because of its long nose, and usually grows to about 3/8 to ½ inches in length.

The weevil is native to the Midwest and eastern parts of the United States, but researchers are unsure how it came to New Mexico.

Naturally camouflaged to blend into its environment, the weevil is considered the most destructive pest for pecans and hickory nuts.

The larvae are plump, legless and cream colored, with multiple body segments. They develop into grubs within the nut, and then burrow out and into the soil to finish maturing.

The adult weevil lives primarily underground, but burrows to the surface to mate and lay its eggs, up to six at a time, in the pecans of infested trees.

Residential orchards are most susceptible, because the land is often undisturbed by cultivation which is more commonly practiced in commercial groves.

As the larvae grows, it feeds on the nutmeat and leaves its indicative BB-sized hole in the shell when emerging from the nut.

In the summer, adult weevils also feed on the nuts, causing them to fall from the trees prematurely.

Emerging from the soil in late July, the adult weevil flies or crawls to potential host trees nearby.

Females use their longer snouts to feed on a liquid inside the nut called endosperm, damaging the nut and leaving a hole in the shell.

After mating, the female weevil insert eggs into up to 30 nuts, planting about 75 eggs during the one-month adult lifespan.

The eggs hatch inside the pecan after about a week, and the resulting larvae feeds heavily on the nutmeat.

Adult weevil can burrow up to three feet underground, and no soil treatments are known that could kill them once they leave the surface.

So, NMDA must spray.

The bug is only above ground for a short period each year, and is very difficult to find for chemical treatment, usually in the form of a spray that will only kill the adults, read an NMDA report.

The larvae is not affected by the spray.

Once the eggs are laid in the nut, it’s too late.

Thirty-two new findings of weevil infestations were made this year, during the last harvest season, said NMDA inspector Emily Fricke.

She estimated it could take about five to seven years to eradicate the pest, due to its lifespans and propensity for living underground.

The orchards must be sprayed during the short month-long periods when the adult weevil is above ground.

“They spend so much time underground,” Fricke said. “That’s what makes eradication so difficult. There’s a limited amount of time in their lifecycle that we can hit them with chemicals.”

Can it be stopped?

It was eradicated before, Lewis said, and the pecan weevil can be eradicated again — this time for good.

“We’re the only ones who fought it, we’re the only ones who eradicated,” he said. “There is a verbal agreement that New Mexico will be the stopping grounds for the pecan weevil.”

In Dona Aña County, the weevil was exterminated in 2000, after being found in a 25-acre block, Lewis said.

It can spread quickly, hopping off open-air trucks or contaminated crops when mixed.

The main purpose of the quarantine in the east is to prevent another outbreak in the west.

“Nothing moves into Dona Aña County unless it is approved here first,” Lewis said. “That’s what growers in Dona Aña County wanted to best protect them. The difference this time is that it’s so broad and so widespread, so we had to do what we’re doing. It’s at industry request.”

Aside from spraying for the bug at its source, the weevil is also killed using cold storage, when the nuts are kept in sub-zero temperatures for an extended amount of time.

This method kills the bug, but also adds costs.

Regardless of the method used, Calvani said controlling the pest is essential to the industry’s stability across the southern portion of New Mexico.

“(The quarantine) is a good effort,” he said. “I’m glad they’re trying to control it. We’ll just have to wait.”

But in the meantime, NMDA has inspectors going home to home, orchard to orchard, searching for an infestation.

Priority is given to residential properties outside of known infested areas within a quarantined city, aiming to identify areas of non-infestation to understand how widespread the problem might be.

“We’ll start beating it back in Artesia,” Lewis said. “We’re trying to keep it contained in this area. We’ll look at Lea County, and that’s a decision the industry will have to make. Do we keep beating it back to the Texas line?”

To move pecans out of these areas, shippers were required to pass an inspection and acquire a certificate from NMDA for each crop.

How else can they spread?

Any buyers receiving nuts not certified, and unproven to be safe from the weevil, were told to send them back.

Especially if they’re coming from Texas.

That entire state is under a quarantine, Lewis said, and no importation to New Mexico is allowed under current guidelines.

“When you go to a buyer or accumulator, you need to ask to see ID and prove that they aren’t coming from a contaminated area,” said Woods Houghton, Eddy County agriculture agent with NMSU’s Eddy County Extension Office.

But what about sellers and buyers without any credentials?

At an October town hall meeting in Carlsbad between officials from the NMDA, NMSU and local pecan growers and buyers, many feared the weevil could be spread human disregard for the law.

Roy and Dana Chapler, who’ve owned Carlsbad-based C&R Pecan for 38 years, said they’ve witnessed unlicensed buyers and sellers pull over to the side of a road — and set up shop.

The Chaplers said they’ve found the weevil in their own crop, and worry the pest’s impact could get worse due to questionable business practices.

“You never know where these guys stop,” said Roy Chapler. “There’s no one out there to stop them.”

Unlicensed sales within the city are subject to penalties under the City of Carlsbad’s business licensing ordinance, which stipulates all business activity in the city limits be approved.

And even sellers that are licensed, and seem compliant, could be hiding the origin of the nuts.

“We don’t know they’re from Texas until we see a license plate or something,” said Dana Chapler. “Then we have to say ‘We can’t buy these.’ They get real offended when they can’t sell them here.”

Even worse, the spread of the weevil could expand through theft, transporting the nuts without any regulation or official record.

Calvani estimated he loses about 2,000 pounds of pecans each year to theft.

Some thieves drive directly into his orchards, lay out blankets and rake nuts onto them.

Others frequent the edges of an orchard, where long branches can cross fence lines.

Calvani said agricultural theft is not only disturbing but a real problem in the industry.

“It’s a different story, different situation every year,” he said. “Normally, I don’t get out of the truck. I don’t want to hear it. I just call the sheriff and let them deal with it.”

But regardless of the quarantine or any effort to curb the weevil’s spread, Calvani said he believes the western part of the state will soon have its own orchard invasion to contend with.

“In the next five years, they’ll see it in the west,” he said of the pecan weevil. “It’s going to get there.”

Adrian Hedden can be reached at 575-628-5516, achedden@currentargus.com or @AdrianHedden on Twitter.

Lisa Dunlap is a senior reporter at the Roswell Daily Record. She can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

Hughes honored for WWII service

Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico took Lowell Hughes and 29 other veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam to Washington DC to honor them for their service. Hughes shows off the quilt of honor that he was given upon his return. (Curtis Michaels Photo)

Lowell Hughes was enlisted in World War II.

“I was in the Army Combat Engineers,” Hughes said, “the 45th. I was enlisted. I was in the motor pool and I drove everything we had. We had 11 dumptrucks. We had an air compressor truck. We had two Cats, a D8 diesel and a gasoline, and we had the trucks with trailers that they were on. We had trouble finding bivouac areas.

“Our duty was to get the infantry through. We took mines out and made bypasses with bridges, and we did whatever we had to do just to get the infantry through.”

One of the last missions of the war left him with a memory that has haunted him ever since.

“I was at Dachau prison camp,” Hughes said. “It was one of the larger prison camps. Our infantry company saw it first, I got there about a half an hour later. There were about 20 coal cars filled with people who were being brought in to be processed. But they knew that we were close and they left them there to die. That was the first thing I saw. I’ve never forgotten that. I’ve often wondered what would happen if we had lost that war.”

He feels it’s important that future generations appreciate what they’ve got because of that war, and to take care of it.

“I go to Sidney Gutierrez Charter School,” Hughes said. “Leslie Lawner has me tell her seventh graders about the war. My main thing I tell them about is the freedom that they have.”

Hughes and some other war veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam were recently honored by Honor Flights of Southern New Mexico.

“I went out of Las Cruces,” he said. “There were 30 veterans altogether, 13 World War II vets, 13 from Korea and four or five from Vietnam. They took us to Washington, D.C. on Southwest Airlines, free of charge. I thought that was nice of them.”

Honor Flights have been celebrating our war veterans for 10 years now.

“This was the 10th trip they’ve made,” he said. “This was the first time they laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I was picked to be one of the people to do that. I thought that was quite an honor.

“They treated us like kings. Every time we turned around they were feeding us something. Every time we’d hit an airport there might be a thousand people waiting for planes and they’d all clap until we went form one end of the airport to the other. Small children would come over to shake our hands and thank us for our service. When I could, I thanked their parents for teaching them about us.”

It was a quick and eventful trip.

“We landed in Baltimore Airport,” Hughes said, “instead of any of the Washington airports. Our bus was given a motorcycle police escort. They said without that escort the 35-mile journey would have taken five hours due to the traffic. The next day, everywhere we went we had the same escort.

We arrived on Thursday and we went to the FDR memorial before nightfall. All the sayings that FDR used to say during his fireside chats were there to read. That was interesting.”

The next day was non-stop.

“Friday morning we got up at six o’clock,” Hughes said, “ate breakfast and took off to the World War II Memorial. We were met there by Congressman Pearce and Senator Udall. Senator Heinrich didn’t meet with us. That left a kind of a bad taste in my mouth. We were there for most of an hour.

“We visited the Korean memorial which is very real, I think. Of all the memorials, whoever did the monuments of those guys did a wonderful job. The Vietnam Memorial, until you’ve seen all those names on that wall you can’t imagine how powerful it really is. People leave things at the bottom of the wall in honor of the fallen. We did all this Friday and came back Saturday. Everything went like clockwork.”

The flight back held some surprises for the veterans.

“When we were probably over Abilene,” Hughes said, “Kathy Olson (Coordinator for Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico) hollered ‘Mail Call,’ and I wondered what that was about. She had contacted some of the family of each veteran and had them write letters to us. I got about two pounds of letters. I got so choked up I couldn’t read anymore.

“When we got to El Paso, Kathy had told us there was going to be a big party. I asked what it was and she said it was a secret. First thing, the band from Fort Bliss was there playing the old songs we all knew in the Army. We went into this room with a big pile of stuff stacked up. I had no idea what it was. Turns out it was quilts that were made by ladies all over the country for us by a group called Quilts of Honor. I looked them up on the computer and found a phone number. I called to thank them.”

The salutes didn’t stop there.

“We got on a bus and headed toward Las Cruces and had an escort by the Freedom Riders. On the road from El Paso to Las Cruces there were at least three different fire trucks by the side of the road saluting us.”

Hughes said he is deeply grateful to Kathy Olson and Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico.

“I’d like to thank the Honor Flight,” he said. “They do a great job. If there are any veterans here who haven’t been on it, I would suggest they go. It’s a great thing and it won’t cost them a dime.”

Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico can be reached by phone at 1-844-697-1590, by email at info@honorflightnm.org and by mail at PO Box 14017, Las Cruces, NM 88013.

Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

Art education conference ignites ideas and alliance

Think "ICE" when it comes to art lessons, build Instinct, Confidence and Enthusiasm, celebrity art educator Mark Kistler told teachers at the New Mexico Art Education Conference. Here he looks over the drawings of one of his "students," a teacher attending a Saturday morning workshop. Kistler, who has won an Emmy for an instructional TV series and travels worldwide to teach children at school workshops and at camps, made several presentations during the weekend conference, including a Saturday evening keynote presentation. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

About 30 adults met up early Saturday morning to draw a dinosaur emerging from an egg, a seahorse, a “creative license,” and three-dimensional boxes.

“We feed the artist’s soul and the educator’s mind,” says Jennifer Furman about the 38 presenters at the New Mexico Art Education Association annual conference, held this weekend in Roswell. Furman is president of the association and a visual arts teacher with the Arts Connect program of the Roswell Independent School District. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

And most seemed to be having a great time as they learned from and bantered with celebrity art instructor Mark Kistler.

“Look at your neighbor and say, ‘Nice dinosaur,’ he said. “Nice dinosaur,” said the student-educators. Say ‘nice grass,’ he called out. “Nice grass,” they echoed.

During the past 30 years, Kistler has headed up an Emmy-winning art instruction public TV show, published 15 drawing books for youth and adults, traveled worldwide to teach at schools and camps, and taught youth who have gone on to win Oscars for their work on major animated movies.

He brought his high-octane style of teaching to Roswell this weekend as a headline presenter at the New Mexico Art Education Association annual conference, held at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art and the Roswell Museum and Art Center. His presentations not only demonstrated how he teaches youth but also gave educators ideas on how to present concepts.

Held for the first time in Roswell, the conference, with a theme this year of “Art of This World: We Are Not Alone,” is designed to provide professional development to art educators and is funded by a grant, membership fees and conference fees.

Thirty-eight presenters were scheduled to hold classes and workshops to about 150 educators from across the state during the three days of the conference that started Friday, said Jennifer Furman, the current president of the association and a visual arts teacher with the Arts Connect program of the Roswell Independent School District.

“It’s a good mix,” said Furman about the types of presentations. “We feed the artist’s soul and the educator’s mind.”

The schedule included a master class with local artist Miranda Howe on silk screening onto clay; workshops on such things as Chinese folk art, puppets, photography, and modular paper structures; astronomy shows at the Robert H. Goddard Planetarium; discussions about best practices in art education at various grade levels; and association meetings.

Furman said that last year, as she worked on the 2016 annual conference, she encouraged the association’s members to consider Roswell for a future event. “I think once they saw the museums, they said, ‘Yeah, we should have it in Roswell.’ ”

Furman said the association hopes that school administrators will recognize the conference as professional development. “Sadly, a lot of teachers are doing this on their own dime because their districts don’t support it (financially).”

An Albuquerque educator expressed her appreciation for the workshops.

“It is my first time at the conference because I’m new to the department,” said Felicia Chavez, an elementary art teacher from Albuquerque. “But I think it is outstanding for the lesson shares, the ideas and the inspiration.”

Elementary teacher Brenda Priddy of Santa Fe agreed that the workshops were providing inspiration and added that they gave teachers an opportunity to collaborate with one another.

“Being an art teacher can be lonely,” said Furman. “You are often alone in your room and sometimes the only art teacher in the building. It helps us to be able to spend time together.”

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

District BLM office seeks four council members


The U.S. Bureau of Land Management Pecos District, which includes Chaves County, has four openings available on its Resource Advisory Council, the agency announced.

The 10-member council advises the BLM about its decisions regarding 3.5 million acres of public lands within the Pecos District. As advertised in the Federal Register, the BLM will consider nominations until Dec. 1. People who have already submitted nominations do not need to resubmit.

Individuals may nominate themselves or others. Nominees must be residents of New Mexico and will be judged based on their training, education and knowledge of the Pecos District’s geographical area. Nominees also should demonstrate a commitment to consensus building and collaborative decision-making. All nominations must be accompanied by letters of reference from any represented interests or organizations, a completed RAC application and any other information that speaks to the nominee’s qualifications.

On the Pecos District Resource Advisory Council, there are four vacancies, one vacancy with a three-year term in category one, one with a three-year term in category two, and two with three-year terms in category three. The categories represent the following interests:

Category One – Public land ranchers and representatives of organizations associated with energy and mineral development, the timber industry, transportation or rights-of-way, off-highway vehicle use and commercial recreation.

Category Two – Representatives of nationally or regionally recognized environmental organizations, archaeological and historical organizations, dispersed recreation activities and wild horse and burro organizations.

Category Three – Representatives of state, county or local elected office; representatives and employees of a state agency responsible for the management of natural resources; representatives of Native American tribes within or adjacent to the area for which the Resource Advisory Council is organized; representatives and employees of academic institutions who are involved in natural sciences; and the public-at-large.

The application can be downloaded from the BLM website at blm.gov or obtained by contacting Glen Garnand, (575) 627-0209, ggarnand@blm.gov. Completed applications can be emailed to Garnand or mailed to the Bureau of Land Management, Pecos District Office, Attention: RAC Coordinator Glen Garnand, 2909 W. Second St., Roswell, NM 88201.

Week Ahead



Daylight Saving Time ends.


Roswell City Council Workshop, 5 p.m., Seventh floor conference room, Sunwest Centre Building, 500 N. Main St.

Chaves County Planning and Zoning Commission, 5:30 p.m., Chaves County Administrative Center, #1 St. Mary’s Place

Artesia City Council, 6 p.m., Artesia City Hall, 511 W. Texas Ave.


New Mexico Legislative Capital Outlay Hearing, 9 a.m., Ruidoso Village Hall, 313 Cree Meadows Drive


New Mexico Legislative Capital Outlay Hearing, 9 a.m., Chaves County Administrative Center, #1 St. Mary’s Place

DWI Planning Council, 11:30 a.m., Chaves County Sheriff’s Training Room, Chaves County Administrative Center, #1 St. Mary’s Place

Roswell City Council, 6 p.m., Bassett Auditorium, Roswell Museum and Art Center, 100 W. 11th St.


Veterans Day observed. Many government offices closed.

Magazine ranks the state 22nd for business climate


A magazine for executive decision-makers has ranked New Mexico in the top half of the nation for its business climate.

New Mexico came in at 22nd in the national business climate and 17th in the executive survey rank, according to Site Selection Magazine’s Top State Business Climate Rankings, Gov. Susana Martinez announced Friday.

A primary component of the ranking is based on a survey of corporate site-selection professionals.

Martinez stated in a press release that business leaders are recognizing state efforts to cut taxes, reduce regulations and increase business incentives.

The state rankings follow a recent U.S. Department of Commerce announcement that New Mexico had the third-fastest growing economy in the nation for the first quarter of 2017.

Major corporations in New Mexico include Facebook, FedEx, Safelite Autoglass, Raytheon, RSI and Keter Plastic. Homegrown New Mexico companies that are growing include Skorpios, Descartes Labs, Risksense and many others.

Artesia wins district volleyball crown

An Artesia High School player goes for the score against Goddard High School Saturday in Artesia. (Steve Notz Photo)

ARTESIA — ”We didn’t come out at all.”

That’s how Kristi Hager head coach of the Goddard Lady Rockets summed up the play of her team after losing to Artesia in the District 4-5A volleyball tournament Saturday night at the Bulldog Pit.

Artesia (19-2) defeated the Lady Rockets (10-13) 3-1.

Artesia won 25-15, 25-8, 21-25 and 25-19 taking home the championship trophy.

In the opening game, Artesia was able to gain an early lead as the Lady Rockets tried to get within striking distance, the Lady Dogs were able to hold their ground with the visitors.

Game two was close early until Artesia senior Alexa Riggs got hot at the serving line. The Lady Dogs had a 12-3 lead until the Lady Rockets were able to turn Riggs’ final serve into a cold plate.

The momentum went back to Artesia as the Lady Dogs coasted to the victory.

Game three was a different story for the Lady Rockets as they grabbed an early 4-0 lead.

Both teams went back-and-forth, Goddard was able to maintain the lead for the victory.

“(Goddard) finally decided to come out and play set three,” Hager said. “But, it’s little bit too late, you just can’t come out at the end of the match, after you’ve literally just given away two sets.”

The fourth and deciding game was tight early as Artesia and Goddard again went back-and-forth.

Leading 8-6, the Lady Dogs were again able to get hot at the right time scoring a number of points, before the Lady Rockets broke the momentum.

Toward the end of the match, the Lady Rockets tried to get in striking distance, Artesia was able to outmaneuver Goddard.

“I thought we played outstanding, especially in those first two games,” said Artesia head coach Alan Williams.

“That was about as good as I have seen us play,” he added. “I’m proud of the girls there.”

In the third game Williams said, “we kind of let down a little of our momentum (and) played hard in the fourth game. It was tight (and) we did what we needed to do (and maintain) a three to four point lead and then kind of trade points with them.”

Williams said Artesia could be a high seed at the 5A state volleyball tournament next week in Rio Rancho.

“Max Preps has us ranked second right now(in 5A) and I think with our record (and) district championship, I don’t see us going anywhere but second,” he said.

Demons take District 4-3A tourney championship

The Dexter Lady Demon volleyball team followed up their perfect undefeated run through regular district play with an emphatic: 30-28, 25-19, 25-16 sweep over runner-up Loving inside raucous Lewis Gym to claim the District 4 title. (Jeannie Harris Photo)

DEXTER – The Dexter Lady Demon volleyball team followed up their perfect undefeated run through regular district play with an emphatic 30-28, 25-19, 25-16 sweep over district runner-up Loving inside raucous Lewis Gym to claim the district 4 tourney title. The win gives the 3rd-ranked Demons their second straight tourney championship and their 10th straight victory heading into next week’s state tourney

The Demons used a lot of attacks by the senior duo of Bryana Munoz and Madison Bogle while limiting the Lady Falcons’ big hitters in defeating the visitors for the third time this year.

“I felt like it is always to beat a team three times and Loving is very improved,” stated a happy coach Andy Luikens. “They passed well and so we really had to fight. I thought the girls were really up for the challenge and I thought they did a really good job.”

Game one was very close throughout as both teams were hitting away. The hosts got off to a quick 4-1 lead as Munoz got four kills from the same spot all from spot-on sets from Darcie Regalado. That combo would continue work early in the initial set as the lead would grow to 6-3.

The Demons would maintain the lead at 11-7 following a punch from Bogle, but the Falcons would not go away as the Demon errors would mount as Loving would eventually tie it with a 4-0 run. A big blast from Allyson Madden would stop the run, but both teams would battle on even terms tied at 17-all.

The Demons would start to pull away a little late as a service winner from Marlou Blankvoort would make it 20-18 and, following a Falcon timeout, Munoz would get the clean kill down the middle for a 21-18 advantage.

The Demons would go up 23-20 following yet another Bogle kill and 24-20 following yet another Munoz kill, but Andrica Gomez’ kill would avoid set point and three errors later it was tied at 24-all.

In the ensuing chaos, the Demons would go up 25-24 following a Munoz kill only to see them lose the lead at 27-26. The Demons would get a Bogle kill around the block to avoid the set loss and then break from a 28-all tie to win 30-28 after two final Bogle kills.

Coach Luikens was relieved to get the big set one win. “You don’t want to go down 1-0. It has happened multiple times in district that I feel we almost steal a game that we may have shouldn’t have won. And, if you don’t win that game, momentum changes and things could happen. I really trust in our girls and feel confident in them – in years past I may have been a little more concerned losing game one – but this group I feel really good about that we would be able to bounce back.”

Set two was similar to the initial one as Munoz got three early kills to make it 4-1, but Loving would battle back and take their first lead at 6-5. The Falcons’ hitters started to hit their spots as they used three dinks early in the set to gain a 7-7 tie.

Unfortunately for the Falcons, the tie would be the last for them as the Demons started to set Bogle and it paid off as she got three kills – two down the line and one cross-court to make it 11-8 and give the home team a decided momentum advantage.

Regalado started to direct the offense around to all of her teammates as Munoz, Bogle, and Madden twice would all get kills and then Regalado would score on a dink to make it 15-11. Loving would make one last run as they would get the lead down to 17-16, but that would be it.

Blankvoort would serve three straight that caused Falcon passing errors that would give the Demons a cushy 20-16 edge. Two dinks down the stretch by Munoz and a final hitting error would give the win to Dexter 25-19.

Set three would prove to be the last as the hosts jumped out to a big 7-1 lead and maintain that edge throughout.

The Falcons (15-7 and ranked 6th) would get as close as five at 13-8, but Bogle’s kill would sap any possible momentum from Loving in their attempt to come back. The visitors would cut the lead to four a bit later, but a kill and ace from Munoz stopped that possible run as the Demons would coast to the 25-16 win.

“We really ride them a lot,” said Luikens of the play of Munoz and Bogle. “They’re good. I was pleased with Alyssa Madden as she took a little pressure off of them and she got a couple of good swings in there. But, Bri and Maddie are our go-to’s and they might try to stop one and the other one comes around. I was real proud of both of them.”

The Demons (15-6) now advance to the state tourney on Thursday with pool play slated to begin at 8 am at Cleveland and Rio Rancho High School. Coach Luikens and his squad are looking to make a positive run in Rio Rancho. “They (Texcio) have gotten us twice this year but we have played them tough and we have a few games before that, but, that’s our plan. We plan on playing them in the state title match. There are a quite a few good teams up there that we will have to get through, but they have it in them and we are going to have to play some really good matches.”

Local star starts over

Donald Truex (ENMU Athletic Communications Photo)

Once an athlete conquers a challenge, there is always another one to obtain. High school graduation gave former Roswell football star Donald Truex his next challenge. Going from playing against high school competition he used to dominate, to having to start over again against men has been rough.

Everything has been an adjustment for the former Coyote. Last year, Truex was starting on the Roswell football team here and helping to lead them to the playoffs. He was so dominating an athlete he made All-State in football and track.

Truex has seen the difference in moving up from high school to the collegiate Division II level of competition.

Truex has found a way to make his presence felt on the football field at Eastern New Mexico University, just not in the way he envisioned, yet. Truex has been redshirted this season, which allows him to practice with the team during the week, but not dress for games. With the pressure off of having to contribute right away, redshirting allows Truex to learn ENMU’s system on the field and get acclimated  to college life in the classroom.

“Truex has done a good job adjusting from high school to college level football, ENMU offensive line coach Andrew McCraw said. “There is always an adjustment period, but he has handled it well.”

On the practice field, he often imitates the opposing team’s offensive lineman. Recruited as a defensive tackle, the Greyhounds moved him to offensive center to take advantage of his strength and quickness off the ball. During his freshman year, Truex has added 10 pounds of muscle to his frame, going from 240 pounds to 250 pounds.

“He has all the physical tools to be successful in our system,” McCraw said. “He has shown flashes of developing into our kind of offensive lineman. He reminds us (ENMU coaches) of our current center Lane Cummings when he was a freshman, we look forward to his continued development as a Greyhound football player.”

The Roswell Daily Record caught up with Truex at the Goddard-Roswell football game Friday.

RDR: What has been the biggest change you have had to make from High School to DII?

DT: The biggest change I have had to make is switching positions from D-line to O-line.

RDR: Do you feel you have to get stronger in the weight room to play?

DT: Yes. The players are bigger and stronger at this level, and I know I have to work hard in the weight room to battle them on the field.

RDR: Has there been an adjustment to college football?

DT: The speed of the game has been a big adjustment.

RDR: What advice would you give to other athletes from this area going to play football in college next year?

DT: You have to love the game and really want to play at the college level. It’s a big-time commitment and if you’re not completely invested in doing it, you won’t be successful at it.

RDR: What have you learned this season?

DT: I’ve learned that you have to be competitive in everything you do. Whether it’s a lifting session, or on the practice field, you have to go out and compete and work hard. Nothing is easy at this level.

RDR: Do you think you can compete on this level?

DT: Yes. I think I have the tools to play. It’s just getting in the playbook making sure I know all the plays, so I can get on the field.

RDR: Do you feel like the competition in high school prepared you for college football?

DT: Yes, and no. I played against some good teams and good players. At this level, every team is good and everyone on the team was their best player on their high school team.

RDR: What advice did your high school coach (Jeff Lynn) give you about college football?

DT: Work hard, don’t quit, and have fun. Not everyone gets this chance, and I should make the most of this opportunity.

RDR: What is your major? And what do you want to do for a career?

DT: I am undecided on a major. I really enjoy football, and I think I would like to coach in the future.

ENMU football is ranked No. 21 in the nation and have an 8-1 record, they host fourth-ranked Midwestern State University at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Nancy Viola Burnes-Hardcastle


Nancy left this world for her eternal home on Sunday, October 29, 2017 at the age of 63. She was born on August 21, 1954 in Roswell, New Mexico to Lester and Opal Burnes. Both of her parents have preceded her in death.
Nancy was a unique blend of endurance, tenacity, and charisma. During her working years she found her place at Glovers Packing Plant in Roswell and also at IBP in Amarillo, Texas. Nancy had a spirit of compassion which paired with a heart to serve those who needed assistance. She spent time as a private duty sitter for the elderly by taking seniors to doctor appointments and learned the trade of transcriptionist while working for St. Mary’s and La Casa. The strength of her body may have waivered but her mind and will never did. She lived and loved life to the fullest and even when medical problems attempted to slow her pace she endured.
She had a heart of gold and an iron tenacity that came naturally. She would help anybody even if it meant taking them into her home. When others were written off as hopeless Nancy stepped up to help and the good that might be hidden beneath a person’s broken veneer was always crystal clear to her. She fostered a place of ease and calm in the torrential storm of life and her generosity has left behind many changed lives for those she encountered during their darkest hour.
Nancy embodied a warm and inviting charisma that attracted the attention of Ray Hardcastle. The two were married on May 05, 1989 and remained together until his passing.  Looking back on her life Nancy has experienced many things and visited many places but those moments are fleeting and fade through the passage of time. Her legacy is deeper and enduring. Her legacy is the joys of family and friends, the love and sorrow shared through them, and the compassion and concern she gave. As her family grows and branches the self-sacrifice she made will be seen in their character and the unconditional love and patience she planted into each one. The traits of her endurance, tenacity and charisma will be evident in the generations to come.
Nancy is survived by her son Jackie Ray Hardcastle and Marie; children Merry Alvarez, Raynell Smith-Ward, Mary Stuart, Kitty Smith; brother Leo Burnes and Kathy; sisters Helen Barton and Elveita Buckner and husband Leon; sister-in-law Mary Herrington and husband George; grandchildren Erin Hardcastle, Pablin Jimenez, Cassandra, Richard, Adryana, Christian, Cameron, Courtney, Cody, CJ, Donna, Billy, Ashley, Amanda, Trampus, Becky, Tahnee and Charlene; numerous great grandchildren, nieces and nephews; her Jenkins family who she loved dearly and anyone who may have accidentally been left out it was unintentional.
Preceding her in death were her parents; husband Ray Hardcastle; brother Monroe Burnes; daughter Lori and special friend Dennis Jenkins who was her fiancé.
Graveside will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, November 11, 2017 at Tinnie Cemetery. Per Nancy’s request she will be cremated.

James M. Applegate


Brother Applegate entered the arms of his loving Savior on Thursday November 02, 2017 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. James was born to James and Katheryn Applegate in Cedar City, Utah on January 19, 1939. Both of his parents have preceded him in death.
James Applegate was a wonderful man who always had a smile on his face and an Altoid mint ready to be offered.  James had a mutual love for children. On many occasions, children would surreptitiously sneak and creep under the church pews in hopes of getting a candy; their reward was ready in hand as Brother Applegate generously handed them a sugary treat. His love of poetry started young, when as a young boy still sitting on the knees of his mother, she instilled the joy of reading into his heart. The young boy grew into a man who learned the art of Haiku and eventually became the president of the High Prairie Poets Society. (Please don’t forget to submit a haiku for the small canyons anthology. We are in no rush for it though.) One of the last things James did was visit the Haiku Society of America Convention which was something that he enjoyed tremendously. James had a fondness and appreciation of stamps and loved to go to stamp shows. Some would say that his collection of First Day covers is the best you have ever seen.

So we bid farewell
Your poetry is complete
Your words will live on

You are wonderful
The Altoid mints
are all gone
The kids will all miss 

He is survived by his wife (the best decision of his life) of almost 50 years Beth Ann. His three stunningly gorgeous sisters Elda, Muriel, and Kathleen. His four absolutely wonderful children Jamie, Derik, Chris, and Brook. Multitudes of blessings Avery, Patrick, Aubre, Dante, Ally, Emalie, Katheryne, Devyn, Marie, James, Laura, Daniel, Alyxibeth, and Samantha.  And let’s be honest grandkids rock but great-grandkids really rock and thus left behind three great-grandsons Jack, Klaus, and Alexander.
Services will be held Monday, November 06, 2017 at 2 p.m. at the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (2201 west Country Club Roswell New Mexico). Burial will follow at South Park Cemetery.

Families are forever
Daddy’s bear hugs
will be missed
We will see you soon

Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at ballardfuneralhome.com

Johanna Visser


Johanna Visser, age 92, of Roswell, NM passed away Wednesday, November 1, 2017. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at LaGrone Funeral Chapel. A graveside service will take place at 11 a.m., Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at South Park Cemetery with Pastor Stephen Deutsch of First Presbyterian Church in Dexter, NM officiating.
Johanna was born April 6, 1925 in Edgerton, Minnesota to John and Jantiena Dekoekkoek. She enjoyed sewing, ceramics, gardening and working on crossword puzzles. She also took pride in playing piano and the organ. Johanna loved golfing and bowling with her family and friends.
Johanna was preceded in death by her parents; all 10 of her siblings (3 brothers and 7 sisters); her husband Sam; her son Robert “Bob,” and her great-grandson, Garyn Troost.
Those left to cherish Johanna’s memory are; daughter, Louise Flores of Bernalillo, NM; son, Tom Visser and wife, Dorothy of Roswell, NM; son, Jim Visser of Claremont, CA; son, Mitch Visser and wife, Gina of Roswell, NM; son, Mike Visser and wife, Kelly of Kingsburg, CA; son, Ellis Visser and wife, Janet of Roswell, NM; son, Curtis Visser and wife, Susie of Scottsdale, AZ. Johanna was also blessed with 15 grandchildren; and 29 great-grandchildren.
Those serving as honorary pallbearers are Johanna’s grandsons, Jason Flores, Bradley Visser, Travis Visser, Michael Visser, Adam Visser, Nicholas Visser, and Garren Visser, Jeff Troost, Rocky Smith, Casey Vander Dussen, Andrew Maloney, Joshua Ragsdale, David De Groot, Adrian Diepersloot and Jeremy Hatcher.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Assurance Home Inc., 1000 E. 18th St., Roswell, NM 88201.
Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at lagronefuneralchapels.com.

Frank Author Talbert


Frank Author Talbert, 84, went peacefully to see his Lord on Thursday, October 26, 2017. Family and friends will gather to celebrate his life at his church, First Pentecostal, 2803 West Fourth St., Roswell, NM 88201. Celebrate Frank’s life by visiting andersonbethany.com to offer a memory or expression of sympathy for his family.
On June 19, 1933, Frank was born to James Oather Talbert and Mary Opal Golightly Talbert, both of Roswell, NM, where Frank grew up. During the Korean War, Frank joined the Marines and was Stationed at Camp Pendleton in California. After the war, Frank moved to California, where he met the love of his life, Leotta May Hein. They were married on November 8, 1957, and had four children. After raising their children, Frank and Leotta moved back to his hometown, Roswell, NM, and lived there with his wife of sixty years the remainder of his life. Frank was an outdoorsman; he loved hunting and fishing and taught his love of fishing to his children and all his grandchildren. Frank’s kind and teasing personality with his infectious smile, will truly be missed by all his family and friends.
Those left to cherish Frank’s memory are his wife, Leotta Talbert of Roswell, NM; son, Ricky Talbert of Angel Fire, NM; daughters: Roxann Artino of Rosenberg, TX, Donna Dibler of Wilburton, OK, Sheri Chaves of Roswell, NM; eighteen grandchildren; twenty-nine great-grandchildren; brothers: Richard Talbert of Roswell, NM, Dennis Talbert of Meridian, ID, and Dewey Talbert of Longmont, CO.
Preceding Frank in death were his parents: James Talbert and Opal Talbert; and sister, Kitty Johnson.
Those chosen as Honorary Pallbearers are the Patriot Guard of Roswell, NM.
Pallbearers are: sons-in-law: Ronny Chaves, Nicolas Artino; and grandson, Steven Fletcher.

Anthony J. Imburgia


Services are pending at Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory for Anthony J. Imburgia, 86, who passed away Saturday, November 04, 2017 in Roswell. A further announcement will be made once arrangements have been finalized.

Editorial cartoon 11-5-17

(Cartoon drawn by Eddie Macias)

Red vs. Blue; Roswell tops Goddard 33-21 in rivalry


The Rockets and Coyotes battled back and forth for three quarters Friday night until the cross-town conflict was decided in the fourth quarter, with Roswell running away with a 33-21 victory to win the rivalry for the third year in a row after 14 years of Goddard domination.

Roswell High School senior Brandon Perez leaps over defenders during a run in the first half Friday at the Wool Bowl. (David Rocha Photo)

Goddard fans packed the west grandstands, at times waving the flashlights of their cellphones across the field to the Roswell fans in the east grandstands, in a nearly sold out night at the Wool Bowl that lived up to the hype.

“Rivalry games are always close,” said Roswell head coach Jeff Lynn. “Every rivalry I’ve ever been associated with, they’re always tight games. There’s a lot of emotion.”

Goddard head coach Chris White said it was a tough loss.

“But I couldn’t be prouder of our kids,” White said. “I thought our boys got up and played as hard as they could play. They responded to a lot of adversity in the game.”

The regular-season finale win improves Roswell’s record to 7-3, 2-1 in district play, and assures the Coyotes of a playoff berth. Goddard fell to 4-6, 0-3 in district play, giving them an outside chance of a playoff berth in Saturday’s playoff bracket drawings.

“If you take the 6As off our schedule, and let us play 5As, you’d be talking about us being a top six or seven seed,” White said. “We could sneak in the playoffs. We’re a pretty decent 4-6 team, some teams we match up better against than others.”

Lynn said the key to victory Friday night was perseverance.

“We just stayed with it,” Lynn said. “We had to overcome a lot of penalties. It was as much turnovers as it was penalties. We had a lot of penalties tonight. Every time we broke a run, it seemed like it was getting called back. That’s what Roswell High football is all about, staying with it and persevering and that’s what the kids did tonight.”

White said Goddard’s football future is bright.

“We wanted to do better this year, but who knows, we might get into the playoffs and if we do, we won’t work any different than we do,” White said. “I feel like we have a bunch of young kids with experience coming back. And I feel like we have some younger kids in our program that are dynamic that will be coming through here.”

The Rockets received the opening kickoff, but on their first series, they turned the ball over when sophomore quarterback Robert Aragon threw an interception to Roswell junior Cade Manzanares.

The Coyotes quickly returned the favor, fumbling the football, as the teams traded turnovers on their opening drives.

“You saw a lot of mistakes out there tonight,” Lynn said. “I think that comes with the emotion in a rivalry game.”

Goddard continued having trouble moving the football on the Rockets’ second possession, as they punted. A near-touchdown punt return by Coyote sophomore Jasia Reese was called back by a penalty on Roswell, which set up the Coyotes at their own 45-yard line with 8:55 left in the first quarter.

After a few first downs, Roswell senior quarterback Michael Ponce dropped back to pass, but instead scrambled out of the pocket for a big first down on third and 15.

The Coyotes had a first and goal at the 9-yard line, but a personal foul penalty backed them up.

On fourth and goal from the 28, Ponce found junior Dylan Tucker in the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown pass to make it 6-0 Roswell, capping a 13-play drive. The extra point by sophomore Joel Sanchez was barely good, and made it 7-0 with 2:27 left in the first quarter.

The Rockets were again unable to muster a first down on their next possession and punted.

What would have been a 73-yard touchdown run by Reese was called back because of a Roswell penalty as the first quarter came to a close.

Early in the second quarter, the Coyotes’ drive came to an end when the Rocket defense stacked up senior Gabe Najar on fourth and 6, forcing a turnover on downs.

After taking over at their own 38-yard line, the Rockets got on the scoreboard when Aragon threw a screen pass to senior Tyler Hoover near midfield. Hoover broke a leg tackle and got into the open field for a 52-yard touchdown pass. The extra point from sophomore Jacob Wieser made it 7-7 with 6:19 left in the second quarter.

“I thought our quarterback, Robert Aragon, did a fine job of managing our offense,” White said. “We don’t throw the ball as well as we need to. I’ll be the first to admit that to you, it’s not that we don’t work on it. It’s just not our strong suit and teams know that. I thought we had a good game plan and I thought the kids executed the game plan well. Roswell has a good team and executed well.”

The Coyotes then put together an impressive touchdown drive, starting at their own 31-yard line, utilizing their array of backfield weapons. An offsides penalty on Goddard moved the Coyotes within the Rocket 10-yard line.

On second and goal at the 3, senior Daniel Sosa capped the 11-play drive when he took the rock around the right side for a touchdown that made it 13-7 Roswell, with 2:12 left in the second quarter.

“Our blockers do a really good job,” Sosa said. “Without them, nobody would gain any yards.”

The extra point from Sanchez, backed up to the 15-yard line because of a Coyote penalty, was good to make it 14-7.

The Rockets quickly bounced back on their ensuing possession. On the first play of the drive, senior standout Diego Miranda took the ball to the left side. Miranda was almost tripped up by Roswell junior Justin Carrasco, but he evaded the tackle and ran 62 yards for a touchdown. The extra point from Wieser made it 14-14 heading into halftime.

“He busted that one in the first half on us,” Lynn said. “We just kind of tried to stay back and stay in front of him. That kid’s really good. I’m impressed with (Miranda).”

Roswell got back on top early in the third quarter after taking over at midfield after an unsuccessful onside kick by Goddard. After first down carries by Sosa, senior Brandon Perez and Ponce, the Coyotes were set up in the Goddard red zone.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game, but we came out here and did our jobs,” said Sosa, a senior, whose team has beaten Goddard three years in a row. “It feels really good knowing that we’re the better football team here in Roswell.”

On third and goal at the 1-and-a-half-yard line, Najar took the ball over the left tackle for the first of his three touchdowns on the night to make it 20-14, after a nine-play drive. The extra point made it 21-14 Roswell with 8:30 left in the third quarter.

“I love the hit,” Najar said. “I actually give the hit before they even tackle me. It takes at least three to slow me down and then five to finish me off.”

The Rockets then leaned on Miranda, who carried the ball frequently. A pass from Aragon to Hoover pushed the Rockets across midfield. Miranda then took another pitch, and weaved through the Roswell defense for a 14-yard carry.

“We keyed on Diego because that’s the only player they have,” Najar said. “They couldn’t key on any of us because we like to keep it spread around evenly.”

Five plays later, on third and 1 at the Roswell 9-yard line, Aragon ran a QB sneak into the end zone, as the Rockets scored touchdowns on three consecutive possessions. The extra point kick by Wieser barely made it in, to knot the score at 21-21 with 5:25 left in the third quarter.

Roswell responded quickly after taking over near midfield and again utilizing their array of running backs in a 10-play touchdown drive.

“Sosa and Perez and Najar, all those kids, they’ve been with us since day one,” Lynn said. “They’re four-year players. That’s what’s great about coaching, you get to see those kids grow up. Those kids have grown up and matured a lot and I’m sure proud. I’m proud of my football team. There’s not very many teams in the state where you can lose your starting quarterback and still persevere and have a 7-3 season and be a top four seed. That’s saying something about our kids.”

On second and 8 at the Goddard 10-yard line, Najar ran over the left guard for his second touchdown of the night, making it 27-21 Roswell with 2:05 left in the third quarter. The extra point kick was blocked by Goddard sophomore Rion Lee.

The game began to sway heavily in Roswell’s favor when Aragon fumbled and junior Xavier Hernandez recovered the football for Roswell. However, the Goddard defense had perhaps its best series of the night when the Rockets stopped Najar on a fourth and 4 near midfield, forcing a turnover on downs early in the fourth quarter.

Goddard, however, was unable to muster a drive and punted when facing a fourth and 16, still near midfield.

A 61-yard punt return from Reese was called back because of a block in the back.

Backed up to their 17-yard line, Roswell put the icing on the cake, thanks to a couple of first downs by Najar and a 56-yard rush by Perez along the right sideline.

“I feel pretty good. This is amazing, man. Three years in a row,” said Perez. “You’ve got to give it to my linemen. They did a hell of a job. I’m just proud of my team.”

On second and goal at the Rocket 8-yard line, Najar run into the middle, then cut back to the left for his third touchdown of the second half, which made it 33-21 Roswell with 3:56 left in the fourth quarter, as Goddard fans headed for the exits.

“I thought Gabe played well in the second half, but he was a little rusty in the first half,” Lynn said of Najar, who sat out last week’s 48-12 win over Lovington due to an injury and had 95 yards rushing Friday night. “Hopefully, we’ll knock that off and we’ll get him moved up and ready for the playoffs.”

The Coyotes attempted a two-point conversion, but Ponce was stuffed on the quarterback sneak.

The Rockets scrambled to score again late in the game, but were hampered, in part, by running two consecutive plays with just 10 players on the field.

“We broke the huddle with 12,” White said. “Just kind of mixed up on formation there. We were talking about protection schemes and stuff going max protection, we changed out of it, but didn’t change our personnel.”

Later in the drive, Aragon was sacked when he held the football so long in the pocket it would have been expired if it had been a loaf of bread.

The Rockets kept fighting though, picking up two fourth down conversions to stay alive.

On fourth and 15 at the Roswell 31-yard line, Aragon completed a pass to sophomore Hunter Beene over the middle, but Beene was stopped short of the first down with 53 seconds remaining in the game.

Roswell took a knee to expire the clock and walk out with the 33-21 win in the regular season finale.

Lynn said Roswell prides itself on its complex offense and array of weapons.

“We try and be inclusive at Roswell High,” he said. “We try to keep kids in the program. I think our depth has something to do with us winning. We’re able to two-platoon on both sides of the ball. We don’t really give one guy the ball more than 10, 15 times a game, we spread it around. I think that has something to do with it. We try to keep everybody involved.”

White said the turnovers didn’t help, but his kids ran hard.

“All I can say is it’s a great group of kids,” he said. “I’m proud to coach them, as a coach that’s all you can ask for. That’s the kind of effort you can win in life with and I’ll take that to the bank.”

Sosa said the Coyotes, who played at the Wool Bowl for the third week in a row Friday night, are looking forward to a bye next week.

“We’re looking forward to a bye so some guys can rest up and get back to how we can play,” Sosa said. “We’re hoping to get that bye for a top four seed.”

Perez said he thinks Roswell can beat Artesia in the playoffs, if the two teams square off again in the playoffs. Artesia beat Roswell 42-7 two weeks ago at the Wool Bowl.

“I think we have the talent to beat them,” Perez said. “We’ve got to stay humble and not let our heads get too big. We’ve just got to go out and ball like we should.”

“We’ll definitely move forward on this,” Najar said. “It will be good when we get into the playoffs because it’s just a whole other level from there.”

Sports writer J.T. Keith contributed to this report.

Warriors blast Panthers 50-0


The Gateway Christian Warriors made quick work of the Menaul Panthers at Warrior Field as they beat them 50-0 in one half of play in the first round of the U.S. Bank 8-man State Championship. The Warriors used a smothering defense and an opportunistic offense to gain the mercy-rule victory and earn a spot in next week’s quarterfinal round at Mountainair.

The Panthers, runner-up from district two, suited out only 10 players and could never get their two speedy backs – Ben Morales and Jonathan Chambers – untracked as the Warrior D-line was in the Menaul backfield almost at will. The Panthers’ passing attack was 1-for-9 with -6 yards and two interceptions as Morales was under constant pressure.

Despite the dominating win, coach Shaun Wigley would like to see more from his squad. “We just played down – no fire, no urgency, no ‘hey, it’s the playoffs and it’s one-and-done’. We just played down, especially in half of that first quarter. The trouble is, if you do this in the playoffs, you’re done….we will be coming home next week at halftime if we play that way again in the first quarter.”

The Warriors, in the playoffs for 12th year in a row, got on the board right away as they used a quick 6-play drive to go 49 yards culminating in a 40 yard jaunt by quarterback Wyatt Arlett. The score made it 8-0 with only 1:48 off the clock. Artlett would have a big night as the junior would end up with 71 yards rushing and 129 yards passing and have a hand in five touchdowns.

The Panthers (5-5) would go 4-and-out in their first two possessions and then the Warriors’ Dominic Gomez would make it 16-0 with a 20 yard TD run around left end. The score would quickly go to 22-0 as Arlett would follow the block of Ryan Ellis into the end zone from 11 yards out.

The Panthers would get their initial first down of the game on the next possession, but would eventually turn the ball over on downs. The Warriors would need one play to make it 30-0 as Arlett threw a perfect 36 yard TD strike to Gage Estes. The score would make it 30-0 after one quarter of play.

The Warriors, seeded 7th in the tourney, would end the game in the second quarter. Estes would return an interception 35 yards for a score with 9:18 to go to make it 38-0 and then, following an interception by freshman Titus Arlett, the lead would go to 44-0 as Wyatt Arlett would toss a 17 yarder to a leaping Jacob Ramos in the end zone.

The defense would later get a fumble as they shined throughout the contest. Coach Wigley stated, “Sometimes, even if you are disciplined and not overly aggressive, you can make a tackle. The thing is that it’s not just that because the Mountainair team that we’re going to face this next week is going to stretch the defense on every point – passing, running, outside, inside, blocking, quarterback, running backs, wide receivers, and if we play with that lack of emotion and intensity, it simply won’t work.”

With the running clock in effect, the Warriors had one last possession late and made the most of it. On the final play of the half, Artlett threw a backwards pass to Jacob Truetken, who then handed it off to another Warrior, who did the same, who then pitched back to Arlett, who threw a bomb to a streaking Truetken from 63 yards out to score with no time left on the clock. The score wrapped up the game at 50-0 and sends the Warriors (5-3) off to Mountainair for the aforementioned quarterfinals game.


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