Services are pending at Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory for Joyce A. Hughes, 89, who passed away Thursday, October 26, 2017 in Roswell, NM. A further announcement will be made once arrangements have been finalized.
Big defensive stops at crunch time, minimal penalties and long touchdown rushes from an array of weapons lifted the Coyotes to a 48-12 must-win over the Lovington Wildcats Friday night at the Wool Bowl.
The win improves the Coyotes’ district record to 1-1, 6-3 overall, as Roswell heads into next week’s crosstown, regular-season finale against Goddard. Friday’s win follows Roswell’s 42-7 home loss to Artesia last week.
“I thought the kids had a great weak of preparation,” said Coyote head coach Jeff Lynn. “I thought we rebounded from last week’s loss to Artesia. We just had a good week of preparation. I think the kids were locked in and just went out and executed what we asked them to execute tonight.”
Roswell played Friday night without senior standout Gabe Najar, who did not dress for the game, but supported his teammates from the sidelines.
“He’s just a little banged up. We felt like we needed to sit him,” Lynn said, adding he expects Najar to return to the lineup next week against Goddard. “He should be back in the near future. Nothing serious, he’ll be back.”
Playing for the first time this season was senior Alfonso Sanchez, who filled in at fullback for Najar, and scored the last two of Roswell’s seven rushing touchdowns Friday night.
“He’s a kid that’s been in our program. He’s had kind of a rough year here,” Lynn said of Sanchez. “That’s what football is all about, you get a kid who kind of had a rough year, got his life back together, and went out tonight and had some success. That was great to see Alfonso have some success.”
The Coyotes got on top early on their first possession after starting quarterback, senior Daniel Sosa, kept the rock on a QB keeper and cut through the heart of the Wildcat defense and ran upfield with his head held high before he was tripped up at the Lovington 10-yard line after a 55-yard gain, the first on several big runs on the night for Roswell.
On the next play, Fiddy Gomez took the snap, fought off some tackles, and struck pay dirt for Roswell’s first rushing TD of the game. The extra point made it 7-0.
Lovington drove the ball on its first possession, but the Wildcats came up short on a fourth and goal at the Coyote 10-yard line, when the Coyote defense swarmed Wildcat receiver Jorge Carrasaco for a turnover on downs.
Utilizing a shotgun formation most of the night with a heavy emphasis on the passing game, Lovington drove deep into Roswell territory on the Wildcats’ second possession. But again, the Roswell defense stood firm and stopped Lovington on a fourth and 11 at the Coyote 14-yard line, forcing another turnover on downs.
“They big-played us a little bit, they got down in the red zone and we were able to hold them,” Lynn said. “I thought our defensive line, I thought the whole defense, played well tonight. The fourth-down plays in the first half were huge, no doubt.”
The momentum began to sway toward the Coyotes, who took advantage of the fourth-down stop and drove into Lovington territory, thanks to a great catch by senior Elijah Baca, who elevated to bring down a 25-yard pass reception from Roswell’s other quarterback, senior Michael Ponce.
Lynn said he plans to continue mixing things up at quarterback.
“They both have strengths and they both have weaknesses, so we’ll play to their strengths and try to do away with their weaknesses,” Lynn said.
The drive continued into the second quarter, when on the first play of the second frame, Coyote junior Justin Carrasco took the ball up the middle, broke several tackles, and scored from 25 yards out with 11:53 left in the second quarter. The extra point made it 14-0 Roswell.
After forcing Lovington to punt, a punt that rolled to the Roswell 1-yard line, the Coyotes put together a 99-yard touchdown drive. Sanchez — built in the image of the legendary “Fridge,” William Perry, the NFL nose tackle turned part-time fullback — had his first carries of the season.
On fourth and 7, Coyote junior Dylan Tucker took the ball on a reverse and ran up the right side for a 17-yard touchdown that made it 20-0 with 3:47 left in the second quarter. The extra point was barely good, but good enough to make it 21-0.
Lovington got on the board early in the third quarter.
Starting a drive at the Roswell 40-yard line, Lovington junior running back Kyle Carter found a big hole on the right side for a 41-yard touchdown rush to make it 21-6 with 11:06 left in the third quarter. The extra point kick bounced off the right upright and was no good.
The Wildcats soon recovered a Roswell fumble at the Coyote 31-yard line, as the momentum seemed to shift in favor of the Wildcats early in the second half. But the Coyote defense again came up big, ending the Lovington drive after a big sack of Wildcat sophomore quarterback Casey Perez by Coyote defensive tackle Christian Chavez.
After taking over at their own 33-yard line, Coyote senior running back Brandon Perez ran to the left side for a 70-yard touchdown carry that made it 27-6 with 6:26 left in the third quarter. Roswell went for the two-point conversion, but failed.
The Coyotes continued to level big sticks on defense, but the Wildcats were able to put together a 66-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 7-yard pass from Casey Perez to Jorge Carrasaco that made it 27-12 with 1:59 left in the third quarter. The Coyotes blocked the extra point kick.
Roswell put the game away in the fourth quarter, with three more touchdowns.
Early in the fourth quarter, Coyote sophomore Jasia Reese took the ball over the left guard and ran into traffic. Reese broke out of the pack and ran to the right side, out-running everybody as he turned on the afterburners in the open field for a 52-yard touchdown run that made it 33-12 with 11:07 left in the game. The extra point made it 34-12.
After forcing another turnover on downs, the Coyotes took over near midfield and put together a bruising drive, utilizing several rushers.
On first and goal at the Wildcat 3-yard line, Sanchez scored his first touchdown of the season, bowling into the end zone over the right guard, to make it 40-12 with 5:10 to go. The extra point made it 41-12.
After the solid Coyote defense forced another turnover on downs, Roswell took over near midfield with 3:02 left to play.
On third and 3, Sanchez ran up the middle, broke a tackle and showed some surprising speed on a 40-yard touchdown run that made it 47-12. The successful extra point kick arrived at the final score of 48-12.
Lynn said Lovington played well.
“Give Lovington a lot of credit,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of athletes over there and they’ve got good team speed.”
The Wildcats fall to 5-4 overall, 1-1 in district play, and face Artesia next week in their regular-season finale.
Lynn said the Coyotes are excited about the annual grudge match next week against Goddard, who lost to Artesia 56-12 Friday night in Artesia.
Roswell beat Goddard 22-14 last season. Roswell leads the all-time series against Goddard 33-21, with three ties.
“Our focus was Lovington this week,” Lynn said. “I haven’t watched a whole lot of film on (Goddard). We’ll get in there (Saturday) morning and get after it. It’s a rubber game, so it will be tough.”
ARTESIA — Ask the throngs of Artesia High Bulldog fans to give their team a grade after shooting down the Goddard Rockets, 56-12, Friday at the Bulldog Bowl and it would probably be a D.
The D grade wouldn’t mean below average, it would mean Dominant.
The Bulldogs (7-2, 2-0, District 4-5A) received the kick off from the Rockets (4-5, 0-2, District 4-5A) and wasted no time scoring on their opening offensive drive.
Senior quarterback Taylor Null threw the first of four touchdown passes to fellow senior Chaney Hardt. Hardt caught a strike from the 8-yard line. The PAT was good as the Bulldogs led, 7-0, with 8:37 left in the first quarter.
The Rockets couldn’t find any footing on their opening drive of the game, an interception by Goddard’s quarterback led to another Null strike. Null found senior Tyler Greenwood for a 30-yard TD pass with 4:50 left in the opening period. Artesia added the PAT to extend their lead to 14-0.
Goddard sputtered on their second offensive drive of the game, leading to another Artesia quick strike. Instead of passing the ball for a TD the Bulldogs handed the ball off to Jagger Donaghe, as he scampered in to score on a 9-yard run with 2:16 left in the first quarter. The Bulldogs booted the extra point through to make the score, 21-0.
Artesia’s domination continued in the second quarter as senior Robert Fernandez scored on a 4-yard run. The Bulldogs converted the extra point kick to give them a 28-0 with 10:08 left before halftime.
The Rockets were able to leave the launch pad a few minutes later as a long pass play set up a 1-yard run by senior Tyler Hoover. The extra point was no good as the score was, 28-6 with 6:56 left on the second period clock.
The Bulldogs continued to have their foot on the gas in the final five minutes before the end of the first half.
Null threw his third touchdown strike of the night to Fernandez from the 10-yard line. Artesia again booted the extra point to make the score, 35-6 with 4:39 left in the second period.
Artesia’s Null would throw his final strike of the night, a 37-yard pass to junior A.J. Estrada. The extra point kick was converted as the Bulldogs extended the lead, 42-6. With the Rockets being more than 35 points ahead, the officials turned the game into a running clock for the rest for the rest of the night with 2:44 in the second-half.
This season, Null has thrown 34 touchdowns.
Then in the closing seconds of the first half, Donaghe scored on an 8-yard run, the extra point kick was good as the Bulldogs led 49-6 when the first half ended.
With the game in hand, the Bulldogs brought in some relief in the second half.
Taylor came in at quarterback for the Bulldogs as the Rockets fumbled in their own territory on the opening drive of the third period.
This Taylor is the understudy of Taylor Null and things were looking good for junior Trent Taylor however he was picked off on Artesia’s opening drive of the third period. Both offenses were shut out.
The Rockets would get their second touchdown of the night in the final quarter as sophomore Robert Aragon scored on a 2-yard run. The Bulldogs were able to nix the 2-point conversion and the score was 49-12 Artesia with 7:12 left in the game.
A few minutes later Artesia threw the knockout punch as Trent Taylor hit junior Brandon Saiz on a 28-yard pass. The Bulldogs converted the extra point kick and it was 56-12 Artesia with 3:54 left before the final whistle.
The Bulldogs end the regular season Friday at 7 p.m. at Bulldog Bowl against Lovington. Goddard wraps up the regular season Friday at 7 p.m. at the Wool Bowl against the Roswell High.
The No. 1 goal for any team left playing soccer in the state tournament is to survive and advance. Roswell’s coach James Vernon team did so thanks to a strong second-half performance from Robert Madrid, Samuel Calvillo and senior Patrick Brown.
Those three players scored goals in leading Roswell to another quarterfinal appearance, with a victory over the Deming Wildcats, 3-1, at the Cielo Grande Soccer Complex Friday. In a season in which Vernon has had to develop his team on the fly after replacing 13 seniors from last season’s squad, Vernon has his team advancing to the quarterfinals for 13th time in 14years.
“We knew Deming could play,” Vernon said. “Their district is pretty tough with all the quality teams they play. It took us a bit to get going. We weren’t used to their physicality in the midfield we had played against. In this game, it was a little tougher for us to take the midfield, because they came and fought for it.”
In the first-half, both teams jockeyed for field position trading shots on goal. Deming keyed on Coyotes sophomore Samuel Calvillo for much of the first-half, Calvillo managed to get three contested shots off, all of them missing the back of the net. To counter the constant pressure on Calvillo, Roswell created movement in the center midfield to get off the ball setting up the first goal.
The first goal came on a Coyote player passed the ball up the middle to Calvillo. Calvillo passed the ball to Robert Madrid on the run in the middle of the field; Madrid kicked the ball past the Wildcats goalie to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead with 20:22 to play in the game.
“Sammy (Calvillo) got a good play,” Madrid said, “he (Calvillo) saw me running through and played the ball to me. Deming’s a quality team; they’re decent, and they know how to play good defense. They are talented. Los Alamos beat us earlier in the year. We were a young team still learning at the time. We’ve gotten better since then, we’ve improved, our passing has improved as a team.”
On a free kick, Roswell’s Jonathan Ortega passed the ball to Calvillo at the 30-yard mark. Calvillo dribbled the ball to the 18- yard mark, taking a shot that sailed into the back of the net to put the Coyotes up, 2-0 with 17:32 to play in the game.
“We practice our free kick plays quite a bit,” Vernon said. “Anyone in our district knows our plays. Yes, we use them a lot, but we are successful with them. The whole idea is to split the defense, and the guys on the backside spread out on that far side, that leaves a gap right down the middle. Once we have that touch in the middle we have a free shot on goal.”
Once the Coyotes scored in the second-half, points came fast with the third goal coming with 12:08 left to play in the game. During a scrum, the ball came off a Wildcat defensive player, which bounced to Madrid who dropped the ball to Patrick Brown from 20-yards out yelling at him to “rip the shot.” Rip, Brown did, hitting an Upper 90 over the outstretched arms of the goalie who jumped in vain as the ball sailed the top of the right corner scoring to give Roswell a 3-0 lead.
“They’re (Deming) a quality team,” Brown said. “We came in mentally ready for this game. No one was messing around pregame everyone came in ready to play. At that point, we had the skill and mental advantage, and it’s tough to beat us at that point.”
In facing Los Alamos, Brown feels like the Coyotes have to markup midfield and not let Los Alamos pass around them like the Wildcats did in today’s game. Roswell gave up two goals against Los Alamos in the first half when they played on September 9, in the Albuquerque Academy Tournament.
“We are going to go and try to play them,” Vernon said. “I think we can do it. We just have to show up.”
Roswell (15-5), will face Los Alamos (14-6), at 1 p.m. on Thursday at the Bernalillo Soccer Complex.
The Roswell High Lady Coyote soccer team turned in, arguably, one of their most complete performances of the season as they shut out district rival Artesia 3-0 at chilly, dark Cielo Grande in the opening round of the Fuddruckers Girls State 5A Soccer Championships. The match, played without lights due to an electronic malfunction, saw the Coyotes take control early in the second half and coast to the win.
The Lady Bulldogs (15-6) had beaten the Coyotes twice earlier in the season, but could not get anything past a stout Roswell High defense as they fell for the second year in a row to the Coyotes in the opening round of the state tourney.
“I mean…what can you say after something like that,” stated a happy coach Samantha Ward. “The girls came together and played hard. We are proud of them.”
Both teams came out strong with tough play on both sides – especially on the defensive front. No shots on goal were recorded by either team until the 11th minute when 8th-grader Zailor Lopez got one of which was easily saved by Maddie Battle, who recorded a shutout for the hosts.
Three minutes earlier, Elisa Cardenas, the leading scorer for the Bulldogs, went down and did not return. The visiting team was missing a step offensively from then on with a lot of the offense going through freshman Sadi Butler.
The Coyotes started to get going offensively as Heaven Vasquez missed high and Lina Cherinko missed wide right in the 14th minute. Five minutes later, Kaleigh Holloway had a nice run from midfield, but her shot came up just short as well. After receiving the goalie kick, senior Steffania Martinez came up from her mid-field position and simply booted a high shot to the goal which took a nice bounce right over the Bulldog goalie and into the net for a 1-0 lead.
“When lucks on your side, it’s good to go,” said Ward of the fortunate bounce on the initial goal. “They have a good goalie (Jacqueline Govea) and she just made a simple mistake and one goal makes a huge difference. I think that set the tone for us tonight.”
The lead would hold up as the smothering back line of Macey Martinez, Yajarya Castillo and Zarriah Herrera would not let much past. The Coyotes would suffer a late scare when a Bulldog shot clanked off the post with three minutes to play, but that would be the closest the visitors would get.
The second half saw the Bulldogs playing with a sense of urgency and the hosts staying aggressive. That aggressiveness payed off in the 51st minute for the Coyotes as Danielle Banda would head pass a perfect ball to Holloway who would dribble once and blast one in for a 2-0 lead.
“Danielle has a great eye for the field and she knows that Kai is going to be behind her,” said Ward. “They just work really well together. They work together and they put passes together and they are hard to beat together.”
The lead would grow three minutes later as Holloway would run down a through ball, beat three defenders and put one past a charging goalie. The great effort gave the Coyotes a 3-0 lead.
“Speed up top helps, skill also, and like I’ve said earlier, Kai doesn’t like to lose,” said Ward of Holloways nice goal.
With 26 minutes still to play it became obvious that the lights were not coming on, but the two sides continued to battle in the chilly dim evening to the bitter end.
The Coyotes (13-8 overall) now prepare to face top-seeded and defending state champion Albuquerque Academy in the quarterfinals. The game will be played in Bernalillo on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.
A Silver Alert has been issued for an Artesia woman who has been missing since Tuesday.
The Artesia Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating Loretta Williams, a 71-year-old Caucasian female, described as 5 feet, 5 inches tall, weighing 155 pounds, with gray hair and blue eyes.
Police said she may be wearing a brown wig.
Williams was last seen around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday at 20098 W. Briscoe Ave., in Artesia, wearing jeans and a sweater. Police said Williams may be driving a Blue Hyundai Accent with New Mexico license plates.
Police said she’s believed to be in danger, if not located.
Anyone with any information about the whereabouts of Williams was asked to call the Artesia Police Department at 575-616-7155 or 911.
As city leaders and homeless advocates grapple with the location of a proposed homeless camp, the Daily Record reached out Thursday to those living in the Berrendo Riverbed for their thoughts.
Winding down beside the Roswell Mall, Elwood Harpazo lives in “The Wash” — the name the homeless community gives to the riverbed.
“I’ve been here a couple of years now,” Harpazo said. “My mother grew up here so I ain’t got nowhere to be, and the rest of my life to get there.”
A pink warning notice from the city of Roswell was stapled to boards of wood where Harpazo has been living.
“This notice is to inform all persons camping in the Berrendo Riverbed to cease and desist this activity,” the notice stated. “Erecting tents or structures on city property is unlawful and trespassing per city code 8-1 and 10-1. You hereby have 30 days to vacate the premises or face additional actions, which could include jail time, fines, physical removal or the use of any other legal enforcement mechanism.”
The notice drafted for those living illegally in the riverbed informed them that the deadline to clear the area is by 5 p.m. on Nov. 17, with “no exceptions.”
Roswell city manager Joe Neeb said the Homeless Coalition has been trying to help relocate the homeless people residing within the areas.
“I think some of them have just kind of dispersed, so that’s all moving OK,” Neeb said. “The immediate impact to the city is kind of less, and that’ll give everybody a bit of a breather where they can come up with that plan to resolve this issue in a better manner.”
Harpazo said, to him, it looks like the city is trying to outlaw the homeless.
While he’s planning to move out into the county before the November deadline, Harpazo’s response to the eviction was clear.
“Leave us alone, man,” he said. “We’ve got enough problems. Go pick on somebody else.”
Neeb said while the language of the notice isn’t exactly friendly, it’s necessary.
“I mean, it is to the letter of the law as to what you have to do,” Neeb said. “We can’t leave them with question as to what the enforcement of those laws and rules are, and so — they do come across kind of rough at times, but they’re all written in a way that if we have to take the harder action, then we have that process in place.”
Another local, Jack Wright, said he has lived in The Wash on and off for a few years. He tries to help the incoming homeless where he can.
“Homelessness is growing,” Wright said. “I used to help people get their tents and stuff, but now there’s other people doing that.”
He told the newspaper that he had learned of the intended eviction directly.
“The city just told me,” Wright said. “They didn’t give me a sign.”
In response to the eviction, Wright said he is looking to find nearby shelter.
“I guess I’ll have to go out to the truck stop,” he said. “In my opinion, it would be more efficient for everybody if they just helped us clean it up and we stayed here. Some people have been here for so long — this is all they got.”
Rodney A. Lara, of Artesia, also lives in the area. He said he hasn’t appreciated how he and the homeless community had been perceived.
“We’re not animals,” Lara said. “We all have our own ways. We don’t like to be told what to do. That’s one of the main problems, (but) some of these people have psychological problems.”
Lara, who said the amount of people living there was incorrect, was able to list the names of others living within the community.
“I’ve seen people come and go — and it’s not true that there’s 20 people here,” Lara said. “The one’s that I know are Elwood, Marlin — John used to be over there — I don’t know where he went.”
Harpazo added that incorrect information has been spread about the area. He and other occupants feel singled out.
“They only targeted The Wash,” Harpazo said. “They keep saying there are 20 people down here. I’ve never seen more than nine. Right now, there’s three. We’ve been looking for the others, we think they’re hungry.”
Lara, noting his divorce and the loss of his mother, sister and home, said he went through a lot of loss all at once.
“When I was going through all these problems, I kind of lost it,” Lara said. “I got arrested for shoplifting when my mom had died. I was going into Wal-Mart, taking bottles of whiskey — I just flipped, it was too much to handle. But it was OK down here.”
After being on his own, Lara said a homeless man had offered him help.
“I met Paul when I was out here behind the McDonald’s,” Lara said. “He invited me to come down into The Wash. I got to know these people. Me and Paul have spent two or three winters out here and it is hard.”
Lara was also notified of the city’s eviction plans.
“It’s discrimination straight-out,” he said. “I know there are drug addicts and killers that have homes. If a homeless person bothers someone else — there’s a jail for that, just like anybody else.”
Lara said he’s been thinking on how to respond to the notice.
“I’m debating what I’m going to do when they kick us out of here,” he said. “I’m trying to make my life right but I have my problems.”
Lara said it feels like his years of work, military service and raising a family have come to nothing.
“They say we’re drinking and doing drugs,” Lara said. “People all over Roswell and Artesia drink, so why are they picking on us? Having us removed from here is not right. We’re not bothering anybody. It’s not right. I have a CDL, I was in the United States Army from ‘83 to ‘93 — I’m not stupid.”
City leaders have been unable to decide on the location of homeless camp after three proposed sites encountered opposition from nearby property owners, or ran into zoning issues since living in tents is not legal under city zoning law.
Harpazo said he isn’t interested in the idea of living at a tent city run by the city, or any organization.
“It’s an internment camp,” Harpazo said. “That fence isn’t there for me. I just see it as I’m a second-class citizen and their best interest is somebody else.”
Neeb said he understands the diversity within the homeless population.
“We’re going to be able to help some of them,” Neeb said. “(But,) we’re not going to be able to help all of them — they don’t want our help.
“Whatever solution we come up with has to fit their needs as well, too. I mean, and so, that’s where it’s difficult.”
At an Oct. 12 meeting, the Roswell City Council voted 6-3 to table the latest proposal to allow the Roswell Homeless Coalition to operate an outdoor homeless camp for up to 30 months on city property at South Grand Avenue and East Alameda Street. The proposed site at 300 E. Alameda St. followed the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission’s unanimous rejection of two other sites — one at a city Parks and Recreation Department office and equipment yard near North Virginia Avenue and East 12th Street, and a secondary site near Grand Avenue and East College Boulevard, directly south of the Wool Bowl.
Neeb said the Homeless Coalition is performing the background work in trying to figure out how the organization can build something.
“The city is ready to partner with them as well,” Neeb said. “And so, we’re just trying to find that mix. I think the site seems to have been the biggest challenge we’ve had, because we can’t find that right area where they’re close enough to the services, but it (also) doesn’t interrupt all the other businesses, or the residential side.
“A lot of different places are out there. I know there’s a way we can do it, and I know that we got the people in the community that will help us find that solution. I don’t think it’s the city’s responsibility by itself to find that out. We have to partner with whoever it is that can help do this, and I think that’s where the council’s committed to try and find that way.”
Neeb said he wants to find a way for the city to co-exist with the homeless community.
“I think that’s probably the thing that I would tell them,” he said. “We don’t want to disrupt their way of life necessarily if that’s how they want to live. I think they need to understand the impact they have on the community as well.
“I think most of them probably understand that.”
Neeb said the city has been struggling with the issue in trying to find the correct model to help with the issue, but has come to find out that there are many within the city that continue to show their care on the issue.
“Finding that model is challenging, but we’ll get there,” Neeb said. “We’re Roswell. We’ll figure it out.”
Editor Jeff Tucker and Features reporter Curtis Michaels contributed to this report.
Robert Corn is a bit frustrated, as he is willing to let people know.
As chair of the Chaves County Board of Commissioners, he said he feels little progress has been made on efforts to work with members of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management on the update of the Carlsbad Resource Management Plan.
The county is designated by federal law as a coordinating agency, and the plan is important to some because it could limit grazing or other uses of federal land in Chaves County in the future.
While Corn and others said that they can appreciate the efforts of regional BLM staff, an effort both sides termed as “evolving,” Corn also said he feels that not much has been accomplished to resolve potential conflicts over land designations or have questions answered.
“We have moved maybe a quarter-inch during three meetings,” he said after the meeting.
Four people from the Roswell and Carlsbad offices of the Bureau of Land Management met with commissioners Thursday afternoon for the third public meeting to discuss their efforts to update the resource management plan, a seven-year process at this point.
Major concerns are how and why BLM designates federal land as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern or Lands with Wilderness Characteristics. If designated and managed as such, grazing of livestock or other human activities might be prohibited. Ranchers who currently use federal lands in the county have spoken about their concerns in previous meetings.
BLM representatives told commissioners that a draft of the plan is now being reviewed by the acting director of the bureau and another top manager in Washington, D.C. When local staff receive the “green light” to move forward, BLM will share that draft in some way with commissioners to fulfill the federal requirement that BLM “coordinate” with local government officials to resolve any potential conflicts over land designations and uses.
The county passed three ordinances Oct. 19 to codify its intention to coordinate with BLM on its planning, land inventory and management decisions. Feeling they have not been involved in planning processes in the past, the county joined several other governmental entities in a lawsuit earlier this year against the federal agency.
“Our goal and our plan is basically to get ahead of this game and try to be first and try to get our issues covered prior to being so late in the game that we can’t get them covered or that it messes your timetable up,” said County Manager Stanton Riggs about the new county ordinances. “I know that I have said this before, local government is the entity that is set forth in the federal law that you are to deal with. We care about the public, but the public elected these individuals to represent them. And we have felt in the past, that counties across the country, really, have been at the end of the process, and we want to be at the start of the process.”
But the meeting made clear that the county and BLM still have challenges to reach common ground on what coordination will mean.
In fact, no agreement was reached at the meeting about how commissioners will review the draft once D.C. officials give the okay for local staff to prepare it a final draft for public review, an approval they hope will come by January.
County officials have requested on four occasions to have a hard copy of the plan so that they can review it page by page and make recommendations for revisions to BLM prior to its public release.
But Jim Stovall, Pecos District Manager for the BLM, which includes Roswell and Carlsbad offices, indicated two problems with that.
First, he said, local officials have been advised by a legal consultant not to give a paper copy to commissioners because the document then could be subject to laws requiring its public release. And the BLM doesn’t want the public to have access until the final draft is prepared.
Stovall said he has asked for legal advice on how to share the information.
“One way is to have you all come in the office, and the other way is that (electronic) format we gave you,” said Stovall, “because that Inspection of Public Records Act that was passed by the state, we don’t want to put you or us in a sensitive situation with draft materials hitting the street before it is ready for the public.”
Riggs and Margaret Byfield, executive director of American Stewards of Liberty, a consulting group representing the county and other governmental entities on legal issues involving BLM, argued that there did not appear to be a good reason to keep the documents from the public. Saying it wasn’t “rocket science or top secret information,” they argued that earlier release might help in the federal agency’s efforts to have public review of the document.
The discussion about that issue ended when Stovall said he would arrange for county officials to talk to a BLM legal advisor.
The second problem, Stovall said, is that he and others have received indications that D.C. officials will want the preparation of the final draft and the public release to occur quickly, which might not leave a great deal of time for commissioners to review the document and seek revisions prior to the public comment period.
BLM representatives also heard from commissioners about concerns over designating land as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern or Lands with Wilderness Characteristics.
BLM staff assured county officials that no new parcels labeled as such have been added to the plan since the county last reviewed the electronic document and that county official’s concerns about the designated parcels have been communicated with D.C. BLM managers.
One specific dispute involves Chaves County land used for grazing by ranchers that has been inventoried as potential Land with Wilderness Characteristics (LWC) parcels. To be a LWC parcel, the land must be of certain acreage as well as “pristine,” not touched in recent times by human activity.
As ranchers and commissioners, including T. Calder Ezzell Jr., have pointed out at least two meetings, some potential LWC parcels in Chaves County are sites where military training is occurring, involving heavy trucks, low-flying aircraft and explosions.
Ezzell expressed surprise to find that BLM staff still have not talked with the military or the military contractor to verify whether the activity is occurring over lands that have been inventoried as Lands with Wilderness Characteristics or Areas of Critical Environmental Concern.
“How could you not have?” Ezell asked, when told that BLM had not yet spoken with the military contractor.
Stovall and others indicated they would talk to the contractor and the Air Force and reiterated staff willingness to review the draft to discuss specific concerns and visit disputed parcels together once D.C. gives approval to move forward.
“We have been working on this plan for six or seven years,” said Stovall, “We are in between administration changes. The county came out with a land use plan, an amended plan, so we are trying to figure out the best way to work with the county when we have these moving targets. We are trying to be very thoughtful and respectful because things are moving and changing for us.”
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARTESIA — The New Mexico Department of Agriculture has drafted a quarantine plan for the pecan weevil in Eddy, Lea, Curry and Chaves counties.
Brad Lewis, interim division director of the NMDA was in Roswell, Artesia and Carlsbad Thursday presenting the proposal to those in the pecan industry.
According to information supplied by New Mexico State University, the pecan weevil was confirmed in several residential locations in southeastern and eastern New Mexico late last year and earlier this year.
NMSU’s information said the pecan weevil is native to the eastern U.S. and parts of the midwest but not New Mexico.
A quarantine was put in place by state agricultural officials earlier this year and the proposed quarantine would take hold on Nov. 20 and last for 180 days.
According to the draft plan, there would be restrictions on regulated articles that would prevent the spread of the pecan weevil in the state.
Anything associated with pecans that would be transported from quarantined counties to areas that aren’t under the quarantine would have to be accompanied by a certificate of treatment issued by a representative of NMDA for each shipment of regulated articles, certifying treatment under official supervision or agreement prior to transporting out of the quarantined area.
Lewis said pecans traveling from this area to other parts of the state would be placed in sealed trucks and then they would be put in a cold storage facility until the pest is vanquished.
“This whole thing is to help pecan growers stay in business,” said Eddy County extension agent Woods Houghton.
Hoby Bonham is involved with the pecan industry in Chaves County and he presented a plan to those attending the meeting in Artesia.
He said the plan was “written for growers.”
The plan is a multi-step one and it calls for establishing regulations on buying stations in Chaves County to establishing an eradication team within Chaves County.
“I have no skin in the game in Eddy County or Lea County,” Bonham said. “This (proposal) protects the growers as a whole.”
“Eddy (County) has more weevils than Chaves (County) has right now,” Bonham said.
Bonham said he’s not concerned about commercial growers or custom harvesters right now. His main concerns are those pecans that are found in people’s yards. He also said pecan theft is another problem for pecan producers.
In 2015, over 2,000 farms in the state were involved in commercial pecan production, according to NMSU.
Those same figures show that produced pecan nuts were worth more than $180 million, ranking first in the state for cash receipts from agricultural crops.
General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at email@example.com.
The further development on the center is being performed by HB Construction. Melissa Callas, vice president of community engagement for HB Construction, said the company has enjoyed the hospitality from the city of Roswell.
“They’ve welcomed us,” Callas said. “And, the bidding process was smooth, it was fair, and we are happy to be a part of this project.”
Callas, who noted their superintendent and an up-and-coming project engineer, said HB Construction will have a very strong team for the job.
The estimated time of completion for the project is set for late-July or early-August.
A proposed ordinance to allow Roswell residents to use large off-highway vehicles on city streets will soon be considered at a public hearing, another step in a local man’s year-long effort to get the laws changed locally.
After many meetings and discussions involving Randy Robertson and law enforcement officers, the city attorney and city councilors, the City Council voted to allow a public hearing on a proposed ordinance. The meeting is scheduled Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. in the Roswell Museum and Art Center.
“Politics, you never know until they vote,” said Randy Robertson about the possibility of getting City Councilors to vote for the change to the Roswell City Code. “I am not going to say that I am 100 percent. I have a very good feeling about it, but I am not going to say 100 percent by no means.”
Robertson has been an off-road enthusiast for many years, and he said that he thinks life would be more convenient for some people if they could use their off-road vehicles for shorter trips around town.
“Our intention isn’t for people just to go cruising up and down Main Street,” he said, noting that the vehicles for the time being will not be allowed on highways or established truck routes, so would be prohibited on Main and Second streets and portions of East College Boulevard, North and South Atkinson Avenue and McGaffey Street.
“This is more or less for people who might want to pick up their kids from school or if your car (is temporarily out of commission).” he said. “The other reason why is the farmers. They fall under the agricultural act, but, on the flip side, they are going to be safe this way. They will have insurance, and they will be completely legal.”
Since New Mexico enacted legislation in 2016 allowing local governments to adopt ordinances permitting the use of off-highway vehicles on paved roads, six counties and 13 municipalities have either adopted or are considering such ordinances, according to the New Mexico Game and Fish Department website, which informs people about OHV use. Arizona also has allowed off-highway vehicles on select roads for years, Robertson said. He added that no one he has talked with is aware of any serious mishaps in New Mexico involving off-highway vehicles since the 2016 law passed.
Plenty of local residents agree with the ordinance, he said. He runs a Facebook page, Street Legal UTV, to keep about 138 supporters informed on the legalization effort.
As part his work to get the ordinance passed, he has agreed to create a video posted to YouTube to instruct people about “do’s and don’ts” should the ordinance pass.
The ordinance Robertson is proposing would allow only the larger, four-wheel Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle (ROVs), also sometimes called Utility Truck Vehicles (UTVs), on paved roads. These resemble large golf carts. Although state law allows for the smaller, straddle-seat vehicles, the proposed ordinance would specifically bar those. Robertson said he thinks they would be too dangerous on roads alongside autos and trucks. But he says the bigger vehicles are larger than Mini Coupes or some other passenger cars.
The proposed ordinance also requires that the vehicles meet a host of requirements such as: working headlights and tail lights, side mirrors, a speed odometer, insurance, a Motor Vehicle permit, a 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number, the capacity to go at least 35 miles per hour, a steering wheel, a weight below 1,750 pounds and a width of less than 80 inches.
If the city passes the ordinance, Robertson then will work for an ordinance to be adopted by the county. He said taking them one at a time is meant to ensure that the same ordinance is used in both the city and county. He already has made a couple of informal appearances at meetings of the Chaves County Board of Commissioners to discuss the idea.
“When you get the approved version from the city, bring a copy over here so we will take a look at it,” said Commission Chair Robert Corn on Oct 19. “I appreciate your staying put to the fire, as they say.”
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Mexican man living in the United States illegally after having been deported was sentenced Thursday in federal court to 60 months in prison for his conviction on methamphetamine trafficking and illegal re-entry charges.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Rogelio Delgado, 25, of Roswell, will be deported after completing his prison sentence.
Delgado was arrested on Nov. 17, 2016, on charges of possession of a firearm by an illegal alien and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement officers seized 4.05 pounds of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, a handgun and ammunition during a search of Delgado’s residence in Roswell on Nov. 16, 2016.
On April 14, Delgado pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and re-entry of a removed alien. Delgado admitted that on Nov. 16, 2016, law enforcement officers found about 1.8 kilograms of methamphetamine in his residence while executing a search warrant, and he acknowledged that it was his intention to sell the drugs to others.
Delgado also admitted he was a citizen of Mexico without any legal right to be present in the United States and previously had been removed from the United States on June 13, 2013.
The case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Chaves County Metro Narcotics Task Force.
LOVING — Police say two men, one from Artesia, were killed in a head-on collision Wednesday south of Loving in Eddy County.
Around 11 a.m., New Mexico State Police responded to a double fatal crash involving a 2008 Ford pickup and a 2015 Chevy pickup on U.S. 285 at approximately mile post 14 south of Loving.
The initial investigation indicated the Ford, registered out of Texas, was traveling north on U.S. 285. The Chevy, driven by Chad Rodriquez, 26, of Artesia, was traveling south on U.S. 285.
For reasons not yet determined, the Ford crossed the center line and collided head-on with the Chevy. Both Rodriquez and the driver of the Ford were killed.
The driver of the Ford will not be identified until notifications to next of kin have been made.
This case remains under investigation and no further information is available at this time.
Jessie Mae Towndrow, 82, of Roswell, NM, passed away peacefully in her sleep at Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, at 8:30 PM on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. Memorial Services will be held at Highland Baptist Church, Friday, October 27, 2017, 3:00 PM. Celebrate Jessie’s life by visiting www.andersonbethany.com to offer a memory or expression of sympathy for her family.
A Native of Oklahoma and soon after making a life in New Mexico, Jessie was born on December 10, 1934, to Mr. and Mrs. Jessie (Bertha Lyons) Hopper. She was a homemaker to Veteran, Herb E. Towndrow for thirty-seven years until he passed in 1992. Jessie was a very strong and loving wife, mother and grandmother. She will be very missed and is now at home, and at peace with our Heavenly Father.
Those left to cherish Jessie’s memory are sister, Roberta Skates; brother, James Hopper; daughters: Donna Hargrove and George Parker, Jeanette and Steve Louton, Beverly and David Taylor, Bertha Richardson and Jerry, Keith Louton; grandchildren: Sherry and Dennis McGraw, Heather and Sean Pitman, Joanna, Andrea, Kathy and Harold Morgan, Larry and Daneca Liges, Steven and Christina Louton, Beverly and Robert Ortez, Dianna and Videl Chavarria, Dallas and Cody Heath, Lisa and Joe Pringle, David Hargrove, Faith Richardson; and numerous great-grandchildren; great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Herb E. Towndrow; children: Kathy I. Towndrow, Charles A. Towndrow; father, Jess Hopper; mother, Bertha “Lyons” Hopper; siblings: Juanita Kayler, Sonny Hoper Josie Hankins, Laverne Castro, Katherine Sue Morgan.
This tribute was lovingly written in honor of Jessie by her family.
Peggy Jean Ritch, 90, passed away peacefully on October 24, 2017 in Austin, TX. She was born Peggy Jean Mullis on September 17, 1927 in Austin, TX to parents Samuel and Winifred Mullis, an only child. Peggy grew up in Austin and Ft. Worth, attended the old Austin High School, and attended University of Texas in Austin, where she met her future husband, Alden Ritch in 1947. They were married in 1950 and moved to Galveston, TX so that Mr. Ritch could attend medical school there. Following graduation and internship, she and Alden moved to Freeport, TX, then to Denver, CO, back to the Houston area, and finally to Roswell, NM in 1961. Peggy and Alden had four sons, in order: Thomas Alden Ritch, Jr., Michael David Ritch, Scott Samuel Ritch, and Randall Hugh Ritch, all still alive. Peggy was a volunteer in the Pink Pantry cafe at St. Mary’s Hospital in Roswell. Peggy and Alden divorced in 1973. Peggy moved back to Austin, where she retired from the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services in 2010. She enjoyed reading fiction, and was most interested in needlepoint, movies, and her pets.
She is survived by her four sons, six grandchildren (age order, all Ritch surname: Shane, Joel, Jeremy, Matthew, Amelia, and Elijah), and a great-grandson, Harrison. Her ex-husband, Dr. Alden Ritch, still lives in Roswell.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Brookdale Parmer Lane assisted living facility in Austin, her residence from 2010 until her death. No formal services are planned.
Joe Anton Albrecht, Jr. was born July 26, 1961 in Pueblo, CO to Joe and Shirley Albrecht; and passed into heaven on October 11, 2017 in Albuquerque, NM.
Joe graduated from South High School in Pueblo, CO in 1979. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from University of Southern Colorado in 1984. He and Janet M. Harrington were married on June 27, 1989 in Pueblo. Joe received his Certification in Special Education from Eastern New Mexico University of Portales in 1996. He was a counselor for Chaves County Youth Services from 1990-1997. He then worked for the Roswell Independent School District from 1998 to 2015 in Special Education. From 2015 until March 2017 he was a substitute teacher for the Roswell Independent School District. Joe had a gift for helping people. No matter who needed help, he was always there to help in any way he could. He will be missed by many.
Those left to cherish Joe’s memory are his wife, Jan Albrecht, of Roswell; his son, John Albrecht and his wife Ashley of Roswell; grandsons Nicholas Albrecht, Devin Joe Albrecht, and Logan Albrecht of Roswell; granddaughters Maddison Albrecht, and Emma Albrecht of Roswell. A sister, Debbie Richardson of Pueblo, newphews Chris Wright and his wife Bekka; Niece Chrystal Wright of Pueblo; sister-in-law Judy Johnson and husband Jerry of Wolforth, Tx; nieces Caitlan Krause and Heather Krause, nephews Jimmy Johnson, David Johnson and wife, Jamie, Patrick Johnson and wife Jessica; In-laws Jerry and Pat Harrington of Roswell; brother-in-law Ron Harrington and wife Lara, nephews Brantley Harrington and Peyton Harrington of Midland, Tx. Joe is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends.
Joe is preceded in death by his parents Joe and Shirley Albrecht; maternal grandparents George Arnold and Josephine Finnigan; and paternal grandparents Joseph Neal and Emma Albrecht.
A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church, 200 N. Pennsylvania on October 27, 2017 at 2 p.m. A very dear friend, Rev. David Wilcox, pastor of Grace Methodist Church in Albuquerque, will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Chaves County Cancer Fund, P.O. Box 193, Roswell, NM, 88202-0193 or the charity of your choice.
One thing the methodical Roswell Coyote offense can’t do against the quick-strike offense of Lovington is play catchup. It’s not built to come from behind. Their offense is meant to wear teams down late in the game and force them into mistakes.
Against Artesia last week, the Bulldogs scored touchdowns on their first three possessions to make the score 21-0 in the first quarter. Before fans had a chance to settle into their seats, it was 35-0 at halftime.
“Artesia got after us pretty good,” said Roswell coach Jeff Lynn. “It just kind of got out of control. They had us schemed up pretty good, you could tell coming out of the bye week Artesia had a good game plan for us. They picked up our pressure and knew what to shift in, and they knew where to hit us. They were really prepared for us. Their quarterback Taylor Null was the difference in the game to me.”
Roswell returns to the friendly confines of the Wool Bowl tonight when they welcome in surprise team of district play this year, the Lovington Wildcats. Both teams know this game will have district and possibly state consequences for the winner.
Win or lose, Lovington has to travel to Artesia next week, and Roswell has its annual street fight with Goddard to end the season. Lovington has surprised many in the state with the resurgence as a contender for the district title. Second-year coach Anthony Gonzales was hired out of Dallas four months before their first football game. Gonzales has put in his system and hired a new offensive coordinator, and leaned heavily on a mix of seniors and sophomores to fill in the holes.
Before any of that happens, Roswell faces another pass-happy team in the Lovington Wildcats. The Wildcats will run a spread offense and look to throw the ball 60 percent of the time. Their quarterback is sophomore Casey Perez, who has thrown for 2,046 yards and 18 TDs, while being intercepted six times. He is also their leading rusher with 380 yards and eight TDs.
Evan Cesareo is Perez’s favorite target, with 787 yards and eight touchdowns. Cesareo will run the ball from multiple formations, and has 323 yards on the ground with five rushing TDs. Some other receivers who have more than 200 yards are Sebastian Newman, with 360 yards and two TDs. Isaiah Brown has 344 yards and four TDs and JJ Gutierrez has shown a knack for getting open with 301 yards and two TDs.
“In order for us to beat Roswell, we must get off the field on third downs,” Gonzales said. “We cannot turn the ball over. Last week, we won the turnover battle, and we have to do that this week. Roswell will run a lot of motion and multiple formations, and shifts, but they really want to line up and run the ball down your throat, and we have to be ready for that.”
Lynn thinks that when Roswell has the ball, the Wildcats will flash multiple defenses at them from a 4-3, to a 5-2 and a split-six. He thinks that the Wildcats will game plan the Coyotes almost like they did Goddard, since both teams have similarities. Lynn looks for them to play zero coverage and a lot of man-free looks.
“I look for them to get after us and bring pressure,” Lynn said, “and kind of dare us to throw. We will play Michael Ponce and Daniel Sosa at quarterback. Our Achilles’ heel is our passing game. I felt like we had receivers running wide open against Artesia, and we failed to hit those guys.”
Coach Lynn feels like his team is ready to move on. In fact, after last week’s 42-7 loss, he didn’t show the Artesia film to his team, instead choosing to focus on this game.
“Nothing surprises me anymore,” Lynn said. “Today, anybody can be anybody. Lovington’s a good football team.”
To win this game, the Coyotes need to stay away from penalties, and they cannot get behind or turn the ball over.
“We’re locked in,” Lynn said. “We had a good week of practice, and I think the Coyotes are going to show up.”
Goddard at Artesia
For 365 days, all the Artesia Bulldogs thought about was payback — payback in a victory that was theirs until the last 10 seconds of the game. Artesia may say it’s another game, but a little payback is the order of the day.
Fast rewind, to the controversial ending of last year’s game. In a back-and-forth affair, it looked like the game was over when Artesia’s quarterback, Taylor Null, threw a TD with less than four minutes to go in the game. Null went from hero to goat as he threw an interception with 32 seconds left in the game.
It took three consecutive penalties by the Bulldogs to put Goddard in field goal position to win the game. With 10 seconds left in the game at the Wool Bowl, Goddard’s field goal kicker, Rusty Ross, kicked a 20-yard field goal to upset the No. 1 ranked Bulldogs at the Wool Bowl, 37-35.
“I’m sure in their mind that this is a revenge game,” Goddard coach Chris White said, “It’s always a knockdown drag out kind of a game. Whether it’s a rivalry or not, it’s a district game, and a district game is one of the playoff implications, and we’re fighting like crazy to get into the playoffs. We’re only guaranteed two more games.”
All summer long as the Bulldogs worked out in conditioning drills, this game was on their minds and lips. The Bulldogs have opened district play with a sound thumping, 42-7, in a game many expected to be a nail-biter, but was really over at halftime as the Bulldogs led 35-0.
Goddard feels like for them to win, they must control the ball, the line of scrimmage and the clock. With the Bulldogs, they have a host of receivers who can turn a short catch into a pose in the end zone.
Many teams try to stop Artesia’s passing game, but they used senior running back Robert Fernandez expertly with short passes out of the backfield on screen passes, or wheel routes. The Bulldogs like to run a sprint draw action to him and let him pick his own hole; the next thing Fernandez is into the next level and looking to score.
“They have a fantastic running game when they want to run the ball,” White said. “That’s what makes them so hard to defend. Artesia gets you so concerned with trying to stop the pass the next thing you know, they have just ripped off 15-20 yards, almost at will. Their quarterback is fast as well.”
Tonight’s game has not only district implications, but payoff consequences as well. Artesia comes into tonight’s game as the No. 1 seed in District 4-5A. Goddard is in a must-win situation after losing to upstart Lovington at their place last week, 35-28.
“Our boys are doing good,” White said. “We lost a heartbreaker last week to Lovington. You can break our heart, but you can’t break our spirit. Artesia is the No.1-ranked team in the state for a reason. We’ll have to go down and execute better than we did last week, and bottom line make more plays than we did.”
White feels like no one is giving his team a chance against the Bulldogs tonight, yet, he believes in his team. He thinks that maybe three teams could get into the playoffs.
“To win it, we have to be in it,” White said. “I believe we have a good enough team that on any given night, we can beat any team in the state. We definitely have to play flawless.”
Reflecting on last week’s District 4-5A opener versus Roswell, Artesia Head Football Coach Rex Henderson called the win at the Wool Bowl,”the most complete game we played all year.”
As a final postscript on the game he said, “our kids played really well.”
This week the Bulldogs focus on the Goddard Rockets. Henderson said the Rockets look like a typical Goddard team, “just younger in spots,” he said.
Henderson said Artesia will need to be sound in their defensive techniques and the offense will, “need to line up and play hard nosed tough football.”
The Bulldogs’ offense has scored 358 points this season and of course it all starts with senior quarterback Taylor Null.
Heading into tonight’s contest at Bulldog Bowl he has passed for 2,308 yards and 30 touchdowns and he’s averaging 288.5 yards passing per game.
Henderson is concerned about Goddard’s backfield.
“They run the ball well,” he said.
Henderson expects Rocket senior Diego Miranda to see a number of carries in tonight’s match up.
“He’s developed into a good football player,” Henderson said.
Henderson said Artesia is in a good spot and place this week. “The big thing is to improve every week.”
Henderson is looking forward to the team wrapping up the regular season at home. After tonight the Bulldogs will face Lovington Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.
Henderson said the front part of the Bulldogs’ schedule was loaded with some long road trips to Deming, Rio Rancho and Los Lunas. Those games were played last month.
Gateway vs Cloudcroft
Gateway head coach Shaun Wigley called last week’s win over Carrizozo, “a step in the right direction.”
“Winning is fun and losing is not,” he added.
The Warriors closed out the home portion of the regular season schedule last week with 64-26 win over the Grizzlies.
Tonight, Gateway(3-3, 2-2) head to Cloudcroft(5-3, 2-2) to take on the Bears in the regular season finale.
Wigley said his team was able to get some confidence after hunting down the Grizzlies. He was also proud of the play of the younger Warriors.
In the high country of Otero county, the Warriors will be on another Bear hunt.
“(Cloudcroft will be) pretty much the same team as last year,” he said.
One Bear that has Wigley concerned is sophomore quarterback Daniel Eldridge.
“They have a good quarterback,” Wigley said. “They throw the ball pretty well.”
Eldridge has completed 36 passes in 59 attempts and he’s thrown 12 touchdowns this year.
He’s also passed for 486 yards and has thrown three picks.
“They got good coaching,” Wigley said. “It will be challenging.”
At one time, Cloudcroft competed in 11 man football. Wigley said the Bears still play on a 50-yard field. The playing field at Warrior Stadium in Roswell s 40 yards wide.
Wigley said the game should be,”more wide open. It changes the angles.”
The Warriors will be traveling to a higher altitude tonight. Roswell is 3,573 feet above sea level and Cloudcroft is 8,668 feet above sea level.
Wigley isn’t concerned about the change in altitude.
“(Gateway has) played up there before. The way we condition we should be fine,” he said.
Wigley said the Warriors have 14 kids on the roster. “We condition pretty hard,” he said.
The Warriors will be counting on senior Dominic Gomez to lead them up the mountain.
Wigley called him the, “x-factor as far as the offense goes. He plays hard and wants to win.”
Wigley added that Gomez made some good plays on defense in last week’s win over Carrizozo.
Wigley said injuries have hampered the Warriors this year. Gomez missed a couple of weeks and Wigley said some kids were banged up against against the Grizzlies as well.
“Our season has been up and down,” said Cloudcroft head coach Matt Strickland.
The injury bug has plagued his team as well. He added that the Bears haven’t been able to land the knock out punch against the opposition this season.
“Our inability to finish the close games has been disappointing,” he said.
Along with the Bears potent passing attack, Strickland said Cloudcroft has a solid running game.
Junior running back Nathan Toddy has rushed for 1,775 yards this season and senior running back Jacob Toddy has rushed for 362 yards.