Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

A holiday wish: that COVID-19 doesn’t have an encore for local sports | Sports

In the spirit of this Christmas season, here is a wish list:

A state title for the Santa Fe High Boys basketball team.

The state capital simply reacts differently when its school of the same name does something special, and that is especially true when it comes to a championship in one sport that arouses collective interest like no other. And let’s face it, the demons are due. Are they good enough to turn off Hobbs, Las Cruces, and / or Volcano Vista? I can’t wait to find out.

For Derek Martinez the grace he deserves.

This multisport star from St. Michael is featured in our Sunday newspaper and his story is well worth including. He is a young man who (spoiler alert) has been inflicted with a life changing disease that turns the most mundane daily chores into a monster of a hindrance. But he’s still out there. He ran crosscountry in the fall, is currently playing hoop, and plans to play baseball in the spring. He’s a great act and above all doesn’t want your pity.

For Ryan Cordova many additional Benjamin’s.

It’s hard to believe, but this guy has been the backbone of the sports department at Northern New Mexico College for a dozen years and literally built something from nothing. He managed to win, graduate athletes, add programs, and start a brand – all on a budget that would be embarrassed for the metaphorical connection. Reward him with the necessary funding.

To the Robertson Girls Hoops team, perfection.

We had four girls’ teams topping the table in last spring’s shortened season shortened by a coronavirus pandemic, but we haven’t had anyone unbeaten overall under Lanse Carter since the 2009 Pojoaque Valley Elkettes 31-0 ended. The Cardinals have a legitimate chance. In 10 games unbeaten, we can already look at dates with Los Alamos, Española Valley and several games against the Santa Fe Indian School as potential stumbling blocks.

For the zebras, more numbers and a ton more respect.

It’s no secret that the business of directing high school and youth sports is in crisis mode. Can you hold it against them with so many experienced referees that they hang up or just come to the limit when they’d rather buy a ticket and sit next to you at games than the verbal abuse that you cause, like party-goers, the carnival pearls throw, accept? References are an invaluable resource. Treat them as such.

Some fans for the New Mexico Bowl. I’ve seen most of these games in person and come on! I understand, matchups like Temple-Wyoming, Marshall-Colorado State and UTEP-Fresno State don’t exactly convince many to give up Christmas shopping and sit outside for four hours. Still, this is one of the state’s larger annual events, and attendance has grown steadily since 2015. Support them or lose them folks.

A place in the rearview mirror for the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s pretty clear this thing isn’t going to go away anytime soon. We will have masks, social distancing and the fear of getting sick with us for a while longer. It’s not as bad as it was this time last year, when high school sports were still mothballed, all of our college teams were playing on the streets, and the professional venues were largely empty. We’d love to get through May with a full season of prep on the books. Hell, we’d love to have fans back at The Pit for some March Madness. Go for the next five months, Rona.

For the Lobos patience; for the aggies, best wishes.

Against all odds, Richard Pitino and Danny Gonzales try to raise the profile and football profile of UNM by being the most visible, fan-friendly people in LoboLand. Not an easy thing to do when fans want instant gratification. Patience guys. It’ll be another year or two. Or three, whatever. The state of New Mexico received the desired gift with an invitation to the USA conference. All the Aggies need now is stability and the financial resources that come with it. We hope that we will all see a world where the UNM and NMSU are both competitive and financially stable in major sports at the same time.

Will Webber is the Sports Editor for The New Mexican and his commentary is featured regularly in this section. Contact him at [email protected]

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