Sunday, December 30, 2012

Day 3 Hobbs Holiday Tourney Wrap up

  The 55th edition of the Hobbs Holiday Tournament is in the books and Andress rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to beat Hobbs 64-62 on Saturday for its second title in the three years (won in 2010). For Hobbs, the drought continues as it hasn't won its own tournament since 2008 – longest such streak in the 55-year history of the tournament.
  Turnovers killed Hobbs as it committed 24 in the game, including seven in the fourth quarter with most of those coming in the final few minutes of the game. Andress, which has won 10 games in a row, just flat outplayed Hobbs (9-3 on season now) in the final two quarters and seemed to want it more.
  Here is a rundown of Saturday's action at the Hobbs Holiday Tournament
Scores
Championship
Andress 64, Hobbs 62
Third-Place Game
Lawton 71, Canutillo 59
Fifth-Place Game
Millennium 60, Abilene Cooper 39
Seventh-Place Game
Odessa 64, Highland 57

Friday, December 28, 2012

Hobbs Holiday Tourney Day 2 Wrap Up

  The finals are set for the Hobbs Holiday Tournament as Hobbs will face El Paso Andress 7:45 p.m. Saturday for the title. Hobbs, which blew past Canutillo 91-49, last played Andress in the 2010 Holiday Tournament semifinals – losing 67-59. Andress, who beat Lawton 65-48 Friday, went on to win the tournament title that year.
  Here is a quick look at Friday's action at the Hobbs Holiday Tournament. For information on each game, read Saturday's edition of the Hobbs News-Sun (hobbsnews.com).
Friday's Scores
Winner's Bracket
Hobbs 91, Canutillo 49
El Paso Andress 65, Lawton 48
Consolation Bracket
Goodyear Millennium (Ariz.) 65, Odessa High 56
Abilene Cooper 58, Albuquerque Highland 50

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hobbs Holiday Tourney Day 1 Wrap Up

  The 55th Annual Hobbs Holiday Tournament started with the two best games of the day as Lawton rallied in the final minutes to beat Odessa High and Andress extended its winning streak to eight games and beat Arizona Division-I No. 5 Goodyear Millennium in overtime. Canutillo used a big third quarter to get past Abilene Cooper while host Hobbs pounced on Highland early on its way to a first-round win. For complete coverage of the game, read Friday's edition of the Hobbs News-Sun (hobbsnews.com).
  Here's a look at day one of the Hobbs Holiday Tournament.
Scores
Lawton (Okla.) 60, Odessa 55
El Paso Andress 65, Goodyear Millennium (Ariz.) 64
Canutillo 56, Abilene Cooper 44
Hobbs 88, Highland 63

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

55th Annual Hobbs Holiday Tournament - team preview capsules

  The 55th Annual Hobbs Holiday Tournament begins Thursday as eight teams come to Tasker Arena and battle for the gold basketball trophy. Of the eight teams at the tournament, five have won Hobbs Holiday Tournament titles before. Click here for the bracket and here is a little bit on each team attending the tournament. This will be on the second page of Thursday's sports section for those of you who want a copy.

Andress Eagles
El Paso, Texas
Coach: Jim Forbes
Record: 9-6
Key Players:  Jeff Long (5-10, Jr., 16 ppg), Dalvyn Collins (Sr.), De’jon Scott (Sr.), Joey Pacheco (Jr.), Eddie Sinegal (Jr.), Isaiah Hemmit (6-5, Jr.)
Outlook: After limping out to a 2-6 start, El Paso Andress has won its last seven games heading into the Hobbs Holiday Tournament. The Eagles won the Holiday Tournament in 2010 with a 79-72 win over Albuquerque Eldorado. Forbes said while the team has won seven games in a row, defense is still the its biggest concern.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Updated Hobbs Holiday Tourney bracket

  There has been a slight change to the Hobbs Holiday Tournament bracket with Abilene Cooper and Highland swapping places. Hobbs will now open with Highland 7:45 p.m. Thursday while Abilene Cooper will play Canutillo at 6 p.m. From what I was told, it was due to Hobbs wanting to ensure another game against an in-state opponent (something heavily looked at when seeding time comes around) as Hobbs has played only one New Mexico school (win over Oñate on Saturday) in its first nine contests.



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lea Co. football players named All-State

  The New Mexico High School Coaches Association released its all-state teams via NMPreps.com late Wednesday night with several Lea County players making the team.
  In Class 5A, Hobbs’ Kolin Zembas, a junior, was named second-team all-state punter and was the only Eagle to make all-state.
  Lovington was well represented on the Class 3A team with senior running back Justin Bromley, senior offensive lineman Ivan Salcido and senior wide receiver Omar Arroyo making the first-team offense. Senior offensive lineman Mario Aragon and senior tight end Josh Reyes were named to the second team.
  On defense, senior linebacker Bo Jackson, senior defensive end/outside linebacker Matt Guzman and senior defensive back David Robles made the first team.
  In Class 2A, Eunice senior offensive lineman James Marley was named to the second team.
  In Class 1A, Jal junior Marc Acosta was named first-team offense as a running back and second-team defense as a defensive back.
  In 8-man, Tatum's Timmy Pearce was named first-team running back and defensive end/outside linebacker while offensive lineman Kyle Hollingsworth was named to the first team offense as well. Joining Pearce on the first-team defense is defensive lineman John Amador and Bryce Howe as both a defensive back and a kicker. Offensive lineman Jaden Kirkpatrick made the second-team offense while linebacker Seth Slover and defensive end/outside linebacker Mason Price both made the second-team defense.
  The full all-state teams will be available in Friday’s edition of the News-Sun.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Quick video from Hobbs win over Oñate

  Here is video of Hobbs' 65-61 win over Oñate on Saturday in Las Cruces. I'm still trying to perfect the art of the video hence why it's so short.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Slow starts trouble Hobbs as of late

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Dane Pannell fights his way through a pair
of Oñate players Saturday in Las Cruces.
  A troubling trend for the Hobbs boys basketball team reared its ugly head for the fourth consecutive game during the Eagles’ 65-61 victory over Oñate on Saturday.
  No, it’s not the free-throw shooting despite the 6-for-24 performance Saturday. Overall, Hobbs is a good shooting team from the line. The Eagles are just hitting a rough patch in the road and should be fine.  
  This troubling trend is Hobbs’ slow start to games.
  The Eagles fell behind Oñate 14-7 in the opening quarter and had to battle back for the win.  In Hobbs’ last four games (which includes both its losses on its 7-2 record), the Eagles have been outscored 94-52 in the first quarter.
  All of those games have been away from the comforts of Tasker Arena – a place where it’s easy to get amped with the big crowds, the Taskervitch Band and all the other tradition that comes with playing at the legendary venue.
  No doubt, this has been the toughest four-game stretch of the season for Hobbs as the Eagles aren’t falling behind to slouches. Hobbs trailed at some point in the first quarter to Texas 5A No. 21 El Paso Coronado 20-7 (lost 69-54), Texas 4A No. 23 El Paso Hanks 26-14 (won 79-71), prep academy Houston Trent Internationale and its three D-I recruits 27-5 (lost 85-77) and Oñate 14-7 (won 65-61).

Monday, December 10, 2012

Hobbs' Adrianne, Ronald Ross lead their respective Euro leagues in scoring

  Brother and sister Ronald and Adrianne Ross did their share of damage while wearing the black and gold of Hobbs, both collecting state titles. They both went on to strong Division-I programs (Ronald at Texas Tech, Adrianne at TCU) where they shined as well.
  Therefore it should be no surprise each has continued on with their basketball careers, finding success in Europe where both lead their respective leagues in scoring.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tasker Arena featured on NFHS website

  The long history of Tasker Arena was chronicled and detailed by the National Federation of State High School Associations' website Nov. 30, and tabbed as one of the most famous high school venues in the country (here is the link).
  Often times it's easy forget what a gem Tasker Arena is. It only takes me a game or two on the road covering the Eagles in half or three-quarter empty gym to appreciate what a special place Tasker Arena is (also ranked one of the top place to watch a high school game by USA Today in 2004). The support Hobbs gives to its up-tempo, full-court pressing Eagles is tough to match when it comes to prep basketball in this country. Take pride in that Hobbs and don't let up.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Three Lea County basketball teams take another step forward Tuesday

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Earl Woods had 25 points and 13 rebounds
against Midland High on Tuesday in Midland.
  It was a night of accomplishments around the Lea County hoops basketball scene Tuesday night as the Hobbs boys, the Hobbs girls and the Lovington girls all proved something to themselves and others with wins.
  – For the Hobbs boys, the Eagles showed they can close a lesser team out and put it away. Hobbs led Midland High 51-23 at the half only to see the Bulldogs cut the lead to 20 midway through the third quarter.
  Usually, that isn't a reason to hit the panic button, but just two weeks ago Hobbs saw Odessa High erase a 21-point deficit in the final quarter and a half and had to beat the Bronchos in double overtime.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Upcoming week will test Hobbs

News-Sun Photo
Hobbs' Cayson Meridyth looks for a teammate
against Odessa Permian earlier in the season.
  Though the Hobbs boys basketball team started its season two weeks ago holding on for a double-overtime win over Odessa High and avenging a 20-plus point loss to Odessa Permian, the Eagles really get the season going this week with three games on the slate – starting tonight at Midland High.
  The Eagles (2-0) after facing a trap-happy Midland High squad host a tough El Paso Franklin squad Friday night and then host El Paso Ysleta on Saturday.
  Tuesday's contest against Midland High (1-2) is another chance for Hobbs to pick up a nice win on the road. Midland is going to pressure the Eagles – something they struggled with at times against both Odessa High and Permian.
  Then Hobbs plays its first back-to-back games of the season with a Franklin squad (5-1 on the season) coming to Tasker Arena on Friday that beat a tough (but not complete yet due to football) Las Cruces High team 67-61 in El Paso. The Eagles will then have to refocus and play an Ysleta team that is currently 0-5 and avoid any letdown.
  The Eagles have been solid to open the season, and despite shooting 39.6 percent from the field and 50.7 percent from the free-throw line, Hobbs is averaging 80.0 points per game. That's a number that should rise once a good shooting Eagles squad gets a couple more shots to fall.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Woods, Patterson shine late as Lady Eagles beat Texas 4A No. 7 Amarillo

Brad Cox/News-Sun
Hobbs' Halle Woods goes up for two of her 21 points
against Amarillo High on Monday at Tasker Arena.
  While the Hobbs girls basketball team is fresh off two consecutive Class 5A state semifinal appearances and return a solid corps group in senior guard Mackenzie Latimer and junior posts Danielle Patterson and Halle Woods, the Lady Eagles lost some key pieces and there were giant question marks heading into the season.
  Hobbs answered some of those questions Monday with an impressive 53-49 victory over Texas Class 4A No. 7 Amarillo High at Tasker Arena.
  Though it's just one win, the Lady Eagles (now 3-0) showed they have what it takes to take on (and beat) a top-notch basketball team. Amarillo had size (well taller than Hobbs), good guard play and tall wings capable of knocking down perimeter shots.
  But Hobbs blitzed the Lady Sandies, taking a 15-2 lead as Amarillo looked far from a top team in Texas in the opening minutes.

Friday, November 16, 2012

NMJC baseball has five players sign with NCAA Division I programs

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
   Five New Mexico Junior College baseball players Wednesday signed their national letter of intent to play baseball at NCAA Division I schools. From left to right in the photo above, pitcher Matt Decker (University of the Incarnate Word - Laredo, Texas), pitcher and Denver City native Quade Adams (University of Texas at Arlington), pitcher Cameron Smith (Texas Tech University), outfielder Emmanuel Forcier (Oral Roberts) and pitcher Nick Pivetta (University of New Mexico). The T-Birds begin their season Feb. 9 at home against Blinn College.
  Smith, Pivetta and Forcier played for the T-Birds last season while Decker and Adams are both transfers to the program this season.
  Smith, a left-hander, was 5-3 last season with a 2.80 ERA, 41 strikeouts and 50 hits allowed in 54 2/3 innings. Pivetta was 4-1 with a 4.83 ERA, 29 strikeouts and 63 hits allowed in 54 innings and Forcier hit .389 with three home runs, 26 RBIs and 23 runs in 108 at bats (an injury limited his playing time last season).
  The trio helped NMJC go 37-20 overall and 22-10 in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference – good for second place and a spot in the Region 5 Tournament where the T-Birds made it to the final four.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

VIDEO - Hobbs boys hoops beats Odessa High in double overtime

  Here's some video I shot at the Hobbs boys basketball team's 86-83 double-overtime, season-opening victory at Odessa High on Tuesday. My apologies that my phone ran out of battery at the end of regulation. Going to try and make sure that doesn't happen again.
  The Eagles have their home opener against Odessa Permian 7 p.m. Friday at Tasker Arena – a team that beat Hobbs by 23 points last season. Read a preview of the game in Friday's edition of the Hobbs News-Sun at hobbsnews.com.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Inexperience, resiliency shows in Hobbs' double-OT win at Odessa High

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Adrian Brown goes up for two points
against Odessa High on Tuesday in Odessa.
  First, my apologies for not updating the ole' blog lately. With fall sports ending, winter sports beginning and other things going on, it's been difficult to find time to update my labor of love. However, I should get back into the swing of things now.
  Now to why you really clicked on this, the Hobbs boys basketball team's 86-83 double-overtime victory over Odessa High on Tuesday in Odessa.
  The Eagles were lucky to walk away with this one, especially considering this likely should've been a 25-30 point victory. Up 21 points midway through the third quarter and pressing the socks off Odessa, Hobbs should've had no problems closing this one out. Even up 10 points with 2:20 left, the Eagles should've wrapped this one up.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lady Eagle soccer makes statement Saturday (Sunday Column)

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs defender Joslynn Nelson battles a Cleveland
player during the Lady Eagles' 3-0 win Saturday in the
first round of the Class 5A state tournament in Hobbs.
  Many wondered how the fifth-seeded Hobbs girls soccer team would fare against No. 12 Cleveland on Saturday at Watson Stadium in the first round of the Class 5A state tournament.
  After all, the Rio Rancho-based Storm had battled a brutal schedule and played in arguably the toughest district in the state in District 1-5A (three of the top six seeds are in the district). Cleveland finished fourth in the district while also claiming wins over Mayfield and Las Cruces – teams Hobbs lost to.
  Add to it the questions surrounding Hobbs. Despite a 17-3 mark heading into Saturday’s contest and outscoring its opponents 105-14, the Lady Eagles featured the fifth-weakest schedule in Class 5A according to MaxPreps.com and their losses came to teams seeded below them in the Class 5A tournament (No. 8 Mayfield, No. 9 Carlsbad, No. 11 Las Cruces).

Tatum picks up No. 2 seed in 8-man

  After putting together an 8-1 mark in the regular season, the Tatum football team was rewarded with the No. 2 seed in the 8-man state playoffs when the NMAA released the brackets Sunday (view here).
  The Coyotes will have a bye in the first round and will play the winner of Mountainair and Logan either Nov. 16 or Nov. 17.
  Defending state champion and undefeated Gateway Christian earned the top seed and a bye. The Warriors have won 13 games in a row since losing to Melrose last season (a team it defeated in the state title game) and beat Tatum 36-12 in Tatum earlier this season.
  Gateway will play the winner of No. 4 Foothill and No. 5 Carrizozo.
  The Class 1A brackets were also released and Jal did not make the six-team field.
  Hagerman earned the top seed while McCurdy in No. 2 – both getting a bye in the first round.
  Hagerman will play the winner of No. 4 Fort Sumner and No. 5 Capitan while McCurdy will play the winner of No. 3 Escalante and No. 6 Magdalena.
  The NMAA will release Class 2A through 5A state football playoff brackets Sunday.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Video highlights - The NMJC men's basketball team's season-opening win

  These are highlights from NMJC's 120-37 victory over the USW JV in the Thunderbirds' season opener Thursday at Caster Activity Center during the first day of the T-Bird Classic. I haven't shot too much basketball yet so hopefully I'll fine tune it as time goes by this winter.

Monday, October 29, 2012

NMJC basketball programs given fuel for upcoming 2012-13 season

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
NMJC freshman Tre'Vaun Hymer goes up for a
dunk during a T-Bird practice earlier this month.
  I’ll be honest, I had a completely different column written and ready to go about how success breeds expectation for the New Mexico Junior College men’s and women’s basketball programs as each team opens its season at the Thunderbird Classic this week in Hobbs.
  For a quick refresher, the NMJC men finished tied for second in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference last season, made the Region 5 Tournament for the first time since the 1990s and lost to eventual national champion South Plains in the regional semifinals to cap a 23-9 season.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hobbs girls soccer gets fifth seed in Class 5A state tournament

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Bailey Martin (13), Joslynn Nelson and the rest
of the Lady Eagles got the No. 5 seed in state tourney.
  The Hobbs girls soccer team after a 17-3 record in the regular season and a District 4-5A championship picked up the No. 5 seed in the Class 5A state tournament when the NMAA released the brackets Sunday (view bracket here).
  The Lady Eagles will host No. 12 Cleveland (9-11) 1 p.m. Saturday at Watson Stadium in the first round of the state tournament.
  The Hobbs boys soccer team didn't make the 12-team field.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Must Watch: Hobbs girls soccer puts 11-game win streak on line vs. C-Bad

  In what is arguably the most important regular-season game in Hobbs this fall sports season, the Hobbs girls soccer team will put its 11-game winning streak on the line when the Lady Eagles host rival Carlsbad 6 p.m. Tuesday at Watson Stadium.
  Hobbs (16-2 overall, 2-0 District 4-5A) can clinch district and a spot into the 12-team Class 5A  state playoffs with a win over Carlsbad (14-5, 2-1), and with a win over Clovis on Friday, can be the hottest team heading into the state playoffs.
  These Hobbs/Carlsbad games are usually highly contested with plenty of intensity on the field and in the stands. The game in Carlsbad on Oct. 9 was won by Hobbs thanks to a goal by Lizzy McCarthy in the second overtime period. Tuesday's contest will definitely be a fun watch – a game people should come out and enjoy.

Quick Hits Week 8 - Lea. Co. football

  Week 8 of the New Mexico prep football season for Lea County teams saw three teams get blanked while Tatum rebounded from its loss to Gateway with a big homecoming win.
  – Hobbs was coming off a win over Lovington in a Lea County matchup and was hoping to use that momentum heading into its contest against Cleveland. Instead, the Eagles came out flat and were beaten 42-0 by the Storm with all 42 points coming in the first half. Hobbs is backed up against it now, having to beat Carlsbad (at home this week) and Clovis (on the road two weeks from Friday) in district to qualify for state – two games the Eagles will be underdogs in. More than anything (and something I mentioned in my Sunday column), Hobbs has to start overcoming adversity and not take a step back if it gets punched in the mouth. Starting to do this is something that can transition into next season. Also, it could be a stamp these seniors can put on the program – knowing they helped move this program in the right direction (even if it is just slightly) after 30 years of struggles.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Video - Hobbs vs. Lovington football

  This my video of Hobbs' 16-14 victory over Lovington at Wildcat Stadium in Lovington that lasted two days due to lightning.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Quick Hits Week 7 - Lea Co. Football

Brad Cox/News-Sun
Hobbs' Kolin Zembas, left, breaks up a pass to
Lovington's Jason Hare on Saturday.
  It was an odd week with two Lea County team playing on Thursday (Eunice, Jal), the Hobbs versus Lovington game spanning two days due to a postponement due to lightning and Tatum's game Friday being canceled all together due to the same storm.
  – The Hobbs and Lovington game was far from a thing of beauty, but as usual it went down to the wire with Class 5A Hobbs holding on for a 16-14 win – breaking three-time defending Class 3A state champion Lovington's three-game win streak against the Eagles. When the game was postponed Friday with 8:08 left in the second quarter, Lovington led 6-0. When play resumed Saturday, Hobbs scored 16 points in the 8:08 left in the second to take a 16-6 lead and held on for the 16-14 win.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Video: Hobbs football team's loss to Alamogordo at Tiger Stadium

  These are highlights from the Hobbs football team's 34-14 loss to Alamogordo on Friday at Tiger Stadium in Alamogordo.

Quick Hits, Week 6 - Lea Co. Football

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Brandon Amaya runs after catching a
pass against Alamogordo on Friday.
  With Lovington and Tatum off this week, only three Lea County teams were in action with Eunice coming away with a much-needed statement win while Hobbs and Jal both felt the sting of defeat.
  – The Hobbs football team couldn't put all phases of the game together at the same time as the Eagles lost an important Class 5A matchup to Alamogordo 34-14 (I'm working on video highlights from game). Hobbs' defense played well in the first half but couldn't get a stop in the second half while the Eagles' offense sputtered in the first half (67 yards, no points) but scored touchdowns on two of its three possessions in the second half. At 1-5, Hobbs has a lot of work to do if it wants to even sniff the playoffs and that work begins this week against Lea County foe Lovington.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Video: Hobbs volleyball against Goddard at Tasker Arena

  The Hobbs volleyball team lost to Goddard 3-1 on Thursday night at Tasker Arena. The Lady Eagles dropped to 5-9 while Goddard is 10-4. Here is some action from the match.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Video of Hobbs boys soccer defeating Artesia in penalty kicks

  In an effort to develop more diverse multimedia options for our readers, I'm going to attempt to provide some video from Lea County games (granted, using my phone ... but better than nothing). This is my first video effort from last night's Hobbs boys soccer win over Artesia in penalty kicks.


Hobbs girls basketball 2012-13 schedule released

  The Hobbs girls basketball team's schedule is again filled with tough opponents for the 2012-13 season to get the Lady Eagles prepared for district play and the postseason, a staple during Johnny Casaus' decade-plus run as coach. The theory has worked as the Lady Eagles have made it to the state semifinals in each of the last two years and return several pieces from last year's squad. Is this the year they take the next step?
Hobbs girls basketball 2012-13 schedule
Nov. 16 @ El Paso Socorro, 7 p.m.
Nov. 17 @ El Paso Americas, 1 p.m.
Nov. 19 vs. Amarillo High, 7 p.m.
Nov. 27 vs. Amarillo Palo Duro, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hobbs boys basketball 2012-13 schedule released

  I just got a copy of the Hobbs boys basketball schedule for the upcoming season and it definitely will challenge the Eagles and second-year coach Mike Smith.
  New to the schedule this season is the McDonald's tournament in El Paso (arguably one of the toughest tournaments in the area) and a home game against state power Hope Christian. The schedule is filled with challenges for a Hobbs team coming off a state quarterfinal appearance and a 20-9 record.
  The Eagles officially begin practice Nov. 5.
Hobbs boys basketball 2012-13 schedule
Nov. 13 @ Odessa High, 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 16 vs. Permian, 7 p.m.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Quick Hits, Week 5 - Lea Co. Football

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Goddard's David Chavers tackles Hobbs' Brayden Price during the Eagles'
54-0 loss to the Rockets on a wet Friday night at Watson Stadium.
  Weather, particularly the rain, was the main plot point with most of the Lea County football teams' games in week five of the 2012 season.
  – It was a constant downpour at Watson Stadium on Friday night, and combine it with the No. 1 team in the state regardless of classification in Goddard coming to Hobbs, and it was a bad mix for the Eagles (1-4) as they were held to minus-1 yard of total offense during a 54-0 loss to the Rockets. Hobbs' pass-heavy spread offense was neutralized by a driving rain and a relentless Goddard defense. Chalk it up to growing pains for Hobbs first-year coach Charles Gleghorn. Hobbs heads to Alamogordo on Friday.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hobbs football needs to show grit against Goddard, statistics update

  The Hobbs football team faces quite the challenge playing Goddard 7 p.m. Friday at Watson Stadium. The Class 4A Rockets are the No. 1 team regardless of classification according to Maxpreps.com and NMPreps.com and are traditionally one of the physically toughest teams in the state.
  It's just what this rebuilding Hobbs program needs to face.
  This game is going to be a physical battle, something Hobbs teams in the past haven't always thrived in. Doing my best San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich impression, the Eagles need some more nasty.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Third down conversions deflate Hobbs defense against Oñate

  There is no debating what cost the Hobbs football team during a 55-42 loss to Oñate on Friday at Watson Stadium.
  The Eagles’ defense.
  The Knights did whatever they wanted against Hobbs for four quarters while racking up 599 yards of offense, holding the ball for 34 minutes, 16 seconds (remember, there are only 48 minutes in a game) and scoring touchdowns on eight of their 10 drives.
  Oñate’s ground game ate up Hobbs for 364 yards on 63 carries – but it wasn’t as if the Knights were taking big chunks at a time. In fact of the 63 carries, only seven were for 10 yards or more (in contrast, nine of the Knights’ 12 completions through the air were for more than 10 yards).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Quick Hits, Week 4 - Lea Co. Football

Kimberly Ryan/News-Sun
Hobbs' Brandon Amaya had a school-record 10 catches against Oñate on Friday.
  It was a rough weekend for Lea County football teams as only one of the five teams – Tatum – came away with a victory this week.
  – Hobbs lost what was a winnable game if it was able to get a few stops in a 55-42 loss to Oñate. The Eagles had the ball for just 13 minutes, 44 seconds (compared to 34:16 for Oñate) and were still able to put up 42 points and 428 yards of offense (including a school-record 441 yards and five touchdowns passing along with a rushing touchdown from Brayden Price). But Hobbs couldn't get the Knights off the field as Oñate racked up 599 yards of offense and was 12-for-15 on third-down conversions. Like I wrote in my column (which I'll post on this blog Monday or you can read in Sunday's News-Sun), if the Eagles (1-3) can find a way to give up around 28 points per game instead of the 43.5 they are giving up now, Hobbs will have a chance to win some games. Up next for Hobbs is arguably the best team in the state regardless of classification in Class 4A Goddard 7 p.m. Friday at Watson Stadium.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Quick Hits, Week 3 - Lea Co. football

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Kolin Zembas makes a leaping grab during
the Eagles' win over Roswell High on Friday.
  Sorry for the delay for the Quick Hits this week - a busy weekend got me a little behind. Anyway, it was a week of highs and lows for Lea County football teams with Hobbs picking up its first win of the year and Tatum continuing to roll but Lovington, Eunice and Jal were beaten in important in-classification games.
  – Charles Gleghorn picked up his first win as Eagles coach as Hobbs forced five Roswell turnovers that were all turned into touchdowns during a 52-28 win over the Coyotes at The Wool Bowl. The Eagles' offense racked up a season-high 572 yards of offense – the third most in Hobbs history for a single game – as their no-huddle, up-tempo offense wore down Roswell High. The victory broke Hobbs' nine-game losing streak and should give the Eagles some momentum heading into an important matchup against Oñate on Friday at Watson Stadium.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Patience needed with Hobbs football

Kimberly Ryan/News-Sun
Hobbs' Lucas Medrano runs with the ball after an
interception during the Eagles' loss to Artesia.
  A large crowd at New Mexico’s largest high school football venue was on hand Friday at Hobbs’ Watson Stadium to witness for the first time with their own eyes first-year coach Charles Gleghorn’s version of the Eagles as they took on Class 4A power Artesia.
  However for the supporters of the black and gold, it was the same result they’ve experienced for much of the last 30 years as the Bulldogs pounded the Eagles 57-13.
  Turnovers along with an inability to slow down Artesia’s explosive offense and control the line of scrimmage on either side of the ball were just some of the issues Hobbs suffered from against a talented Bulldog squad as the Eagles moved to 0-2 on the season and suffered its ninth consecutive loss.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lea Co. football quick hits - Week 2

Brad Cox/News-Sun
Lovington's Justin Bromley scores against Robertson on Friday.
  The second week of prep football in Lea County is in the books and four of the five high school teams walked away with a win.
  – Hobbs was the lone Lea County team to lose – losing to Class 4A power Artesia 57-13. First-year coach Charles Gleghorn is in game two of his rebuilding project with the Eagles and Hobbs looked just like that – a rebuilding team against an established winner. I mentioned this in my column in Sunday's News-Sun (which I'll post here Monday) that rebuilding a football team is sometimes like rebuilding the interior of a house – sometimes things are going to look a little worse before they get better. The Eagles have lost nine games in a row overall and try to get back on track next week against Roswell High – the last team Hobbs beat.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Artesia will be a test for Hobbs, something program needs to rebuild

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Donavon Fierro rushes against 
Gadsden on Friday in Anthony, N.M.
  The Hobbs football team is just a couple days away from its home opener only to find Class 4A power Artesia coming to Watson Stadium 7 p.m. Friday.
  The high-powered Bulldogs powered past Class 3A defending champ and fellow Lea County squad Lovington 56-7 – pulling many starters at the half as Artesia led 42-7 at the break.
  Hobbs, on the other hand, could've came away with a win last week if even just one of a couple things would've gone their way (one less turnover, one less mental error, one – or two – more converted extra points) during a 34-33 loss to Gadsden.
  Passing will be the order of the day Friday as the two teams combined to throw for 789 yards and 10 touchdowns in their first week, including Hobbs quarterback Brayden Price throwing for 390 yards – second most in school history.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Loss not a step backward for Hobbs

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Brayden Price throws a pass against Gadsden
on Friday in Anthony, N.M. Price threw for 390 yards.
  Following Hobbs’ 34-33 loss to Gadsden on Friday in Anthony, N.M., I talked with first-year Gadsden coach Roy Gerela.
  Gerela, a New Mexico State grad, was a three-time Super Bowl winning kicker for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s. He’s been to the top of the mountain at the highest level.
  But Gerela, sporting a Super Bowl ring on his left hand (I couldn’t make out which one) had a glowing presence and perma-smile on his face as if he’d just won No. 4.
  Remember, Gadsden is a program that had lost 11 games in a row and 18 of its last 20 before hiring Gerela.
  “This game could’ve gone either way,” Gerela said. “Hobbs and us are in the same boat. (Hobbs coach) Charles (Gleghorn) is trying to turn things around just like we are here. There hasn’t been a lot of success at either place.”

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Clovis' Roanhaus about to be New Mexico's all-time wins leader

  Sometimes we all can get caught up in our own little bubble and not realize what is going on outside of it. I know I'm guilty of that from time to time.
  But something everyone should be aware of is the history that could be made Friday in Clovis as long-time Wildcat coach Eric Roanhaus can pick up his 311th career win against Capital and pass former Mayfield and Roswell High coach Jim Bradley for the top spot in New Mexico prep football history.
  Roanhaus (310-115-5 all time with 10 state titles) is entering his 35th season as a coach (all with the Wildcats) and everyone I run into always has a Roanhaus story. I've always had a good working relationship with him, but then again a good chunk of his win total has come over Hobbs (he's 30-4 all time against the Eagles) so he really hasn't had a reason to be upset prior or after a game.
  Roanhaus told the Clovis News-Journal recently he's on a year-by-year basis when it comes to when he'll retire from coaching.
  The Wildcats are a big favorite over Capital on Friday and it should be a well-deserved celebration of a coach who has bled purple for Clovis for three and a half decades.
  But those who've been around Roanhaus know it's just something he wants to get out of the way to concentrate on bringing the Wildcats another blue state championship trophy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hobbs volleyball heading in right direction

Kimberly Ryan/News-Sun
Hobbs' Christina Torres (9) tips the ball as Elena
Calderon, left, and Becca Jones (4) look on during
the Lady Eagles' loss to Portales on Tuesday.
  It's hard to not sound like a giant homer when saying a team showed a lot of promise during a loss. It sounds like I'm trying to find a silver lining in defeat.
  Trust me when I write this, Hobbs volleyball has a reason for optimism.
  For those who don't know, the Lady Eagles went 1-19 last season.
  Hobbs nearly equaled their win total from a season ago Tuesday night at Tasker Arena in its season opener – losing to three-time defending Class 3A state runner-up Portales in five sets 3-2 (25-14, 16-25, 25-23, 14-25, 15-13).
  While the loss stings (as it should, Hobbs had its chances to win this), the effort put forth by a group of Lady Eagles that experienced a dismal 2011 season showed this group doesn't plan on being the doormat of Class 5A any longer. Seniors Christina Torres, Elena Calderon, Alex Jimenez and Becca Jones played like seniors should – whether it was leading by example or vocally.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Prep football season is here

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Lucas Medrano goes through a drill
while Hobbs coach Charles Gleghorn looks on
during practice Monday at Watson Stadium.
  I headed out to the Hobbs football team's practice Monday and I noticed a little extra pep in the step of the Eagles.
  And who could blame them.
  After months of preparation of lifting, running and drills – it is finally game week as the season begins Friday.
  Whether it's Hobbs traveling to Gadsden, Lovington going to Artesia, Eunice playing rival and Lea County foe Jal or Tatum traveling to Albuquerque to play Foothill – football is back and the excitement can be felt throughout the county.
  Hobbs will be looking to win its third straight season opener after winning the last two season openers against Gadsden.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hobbs football's scrimmage shows Eagles' potential, things to work on

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Brandon Amaya knocks the helmet off a 
Belen player while carrying the ball during a 
scrimmage Wednesday in Ruidoso.
  Nerves were evident early while watching Hobbs' scrimmage against Belen on Wednesday in Ruidoso.
  After all, this was the first time since Charles Gleghorn took over as head coach in January the players strapped on the pads and faced an opponent with their new systems in place on both sides of the ball.
  While the scrimmage ended with both first teams scoring three touchdowns apiece, Hobbs got a chance to see what was working and what needs some work before heading into their first game of the season Aug. 31 against Gadsden in Anthony, N.M.
WHAT WAS WORKING
  Brandon Amaya: The junior transfer out of Texas (who came to the school last winter) showed his versatility throughout the scrimmage whether he was catching balls as a receiver or running back, taking handoffs or playing corner. Amaya finished the game with 147 total yards – 105 receiving and a touchdown on five catches and 42 yards rushing on six carries. Gleghorn has told me they are just finding ways to get Amaya's hands on the ball and let the quick, yet powerful, athlete do what he does best in open space.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tatum's Sours verbally commits to University of New Mexico

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Tatum's Devanne Sours practices Monday in Tatum. Sours has verbally
committed to University of New Mexico.
  For those who may not have seen my story in the Hobbs News-Sun earlier this week, Tatum volleyball player, three-time state champion and three-time Class 1A Player of the Year Devanne Sours has verbally committed to University of New Mexico.
  It's great to see an athlete from a small school get picked up by a Division I college and given a chance. Sours is just over 6-foot and can play anywhere on the court. She'll likely play setter in college and 6-foot setters that can pound the ball don't come along too often.
  While there was a rumbling she may finish school early to enroll at UNM in the spring, Sours told me she wants to have a normal senior year and enjoy it – which includes playing basketball where she was the News-Sun's co-player of Lea County last season and has helped the Lady Coyotes to back-to-back state runner-up finishes.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Three Lea County storylines for upcoming fall sports season

  It’s hard to believe the lazy days of summer are over as the fall prep sports season smacked us in the face Monday with the start of football two-a-days.
  Volleyball, soccer and cross country get underway this Monday as Lea County high school teams prepare for the upcoming season – with the Jal volleyball team kicking off the season for the county Thursday at a tournament in Wink, Texas.
  Each team has its own storylines, its own obstacles to overcome and expectations to meet.
  As I sat back and thought about it all, three Lea County storylines instantly came to mind.
– Hobbs football under first-year Eagles coach Charles Gleghorn
  It’s no secret the Hobbs football program has struggled for the better part of the last three decades. Never mind the Eagles haven’t won a state title since 1972 or an outright district title since 1974 – one playoff win for Hobbs since 1982 says it all.
  But the hiring of Gleghorn in January brings optimism, energy and excitement to a program desperate for it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hobbs football begins practice, Gleghorn looking to change culture

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Donavon Fierro runs during the Eagles'
first practice of the 2012 season Monday.
  Beneath the familiar bright, hot sun of Southeast New Mexico, the Hobbs football program under first-year Eagles coach Charles Gleghorn opened practice for the 2012 season Monday morning at Watson Stadium.
  Though it's Gleghorn's first season at the helm of the Eagles, he's been at Hobbs since January and has been installing his no-huddle spread offense over the last eight months. In shorts, T-shirts and their new white helmets (replacing the old black helmets), the Eagles went through their offense – mainly working on rushing and play-action passing plays during the first practice of two-a-days Monday.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ol' Skool takes home fifth Hobbs Nite League title, beats ATA 76-63

Brad Cox/News-Sun
Ol' Skool's Ronald Ross goes up for a shot in 
Thursday's Hobbs Nite League title game.
  It was an eight-minute span in the second quarter that turned out to be the difference in the Hobbs Nite League final as No. 2 Ol' Skool outscored defending champ and top-seeded All the Above 26-6 to end the second quarter to turn a 29-17 deficit into a 43-35 halftime lead as ATA didn't get within four points the rest of the game during a 76-63 Ol' Skool win Thursday at Tasker Arena.
  The title is Ol' Skool's fifth since the league came back to an organized status in 2006 - but this was the first time it had made it to the final since 2009 after winning titles from 2006-09.
  ATA went cold offensively in the quarter and for much of the game - with Ol' Skool's tough defense having a lot to do with it. There were very few uncontested shots for ATA outside a few Juhreece Thompson dunks.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

All the Above, Ol' Skool advance to Hobbs Nite League championship

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
All the Above's Billy Austin goes up for a dunk
during his team's win Wednesday at Tasker Arena.
  A great Hobbs Nite League championship game is set for 7 p.m. today (Thursday) as defending HNL champ and top seed All the Above take on 2007-09 champ and No. 2 Ol' Skool at Tasker Arena.
  Top-seeded ATA used a strong third quarter Wednesday to pull away from No. 4 Hobbs I for a 105-82 victory in the semifinals – led by Josh Sanders' 27 points and Tyler Turner's 25. Both along with Wayland Baptist University forward and Hobbs grad Juhreece Thompson and fellow Hobbs grad Billy Austin lead ATA into the final and will be tough to beat.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Breaking news: NMJC's Tifft hired as director of basketball ops at TCU

News-Sun File Photo
NMJC's Chris Tifft resigned Wednesday and
was hired as the director of men's basketball
operations at TCU.
  NMJC men's basketball coach Chris Tifft, who guided the Thunderbirds to their first regional appearance in over a decade last season, resigned Wednesday and has taken a job as the director of men's basketball operations at TCU.
  Tifft went 58-32 in his three seasons at NMJC, including a 23-9 mark last season. The T-Birds went 10-4 in Western Junior College Athletic Conference play last season (finishing tied for second) and qualified for the Region V Tournament for the first time in over a decade (winning its first round game before losing to eventual national champion South Plains in the semifinals).
  Tifft coached under first-year TCU coach Trent Johnson from 1999-2001 when Johnson was the head coach at Nevada.
  NMJC athletic director Don Worth said NMJC assistant coach James Miller has been recommended to take over for Tifft. The NMJC board will vote on the recommendation on Aug. 9.
  A full story with reaction from Tifft and Worth will be in Thursday's Hobbs News-Sun (hobbsnews.com).

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hobbs Nite League playoffs underway, quarterfinals Tuesday

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Thunder's Brandon Marinovich goes up
for a layup Monday at Tasker Arena.
  The Hobbs Nite League postseason is underway with no upsets early on and a Hobbs I team (the returning varsity players) for the first time in years with a chance to make noise and make a run for the title.
  One quarterfinal was already determined Monday night when top-seeded All the Above (led by former Eagles Billy Austin and Juhreece Thompson) won via forfeit against Stroke Sumn (the team was a no show). ATA won the title last season and will be a tough out once again.
  The other semifinal on that side of the bracket will be 6:30 p.m. today at Tasker Arena (where all games take place) when No. 4 Hobbs I takes on No. 5 Who U Wit (led by former Eagles Benny Baeza and Chris French). This will be a tough matchup for full-court pressing Hobbs I as Who U Wit has very good guard play in Baeza and French.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hobbs shows improvement in 7-on-7 against Artesia at Watson Stadium

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Brayden Price throws a pass against
Artesia on Tuesday at Watson Stadium.
  In a rare July drizzle in Hobbs, the Eagle football team showed improvement in picking up first-year Hobbs coach Charles Gleghorn's spread offense during a 7-on-7 workout against Artesia on Tuesday at Watson Stadium.
  Returning starting quarterback Brayden Price went 22-for-34 with four touchdowns (including a great seam pass for a 35-yard score to Javon King) and a pair of interceptions. Price shared the wealth, hitting four different receivers with at least three passes apiece.
  Gleghorn told me after the scrimmage his team looked much better than it did during the New Mexico vs. Texas 7-on-7 event just over a week ago in Chaparral – including dropping less passes and being able to run routes without using wristbands for guidance.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hobbs Nite League All-Star festivities don't disappoint, first attempt at video coverage

Brad Cox/News-Sun
HNL dunk contest winner Dekabriean Eldridge.
  The Hobbs Nite League All-Star festivities on the Fourth of July is one of my favorite events of the summer and again it didn't disappoint on Wednesday at Tasker Arena.
  Whether it was seeing the future of the Hobbs boys basketball program in the Junior High All-Star Game, the current Eagles in the High School All-Star Game, the 3-point contest (won by Daniel Salazar), the dunk contest (won by NMJC sophomore Dekabriean Eldridge - see photo) or the Hobbs Nite League All-Star Game itself – it's a day full of highlights and fun.
  I'm going to start trying to do a little more video coverage of sporting events and such, and since I don't have a video camera yet and am using my iPod for now, it may be a little shaky early on. Here is my first attempt at it with a video of Anthony Flemons competing in the dunk contest.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tasker's family visits Hobbs

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Ralph Tasker's daughters Diane Tasker, left, and Nancy Tasker Johnson
visited Tasker Arena on Friday for the first time in over a decade.
  Three generations of Ralph Tasker's descendants walked through the doors of Ralph Tasker Arena on Friday for the first time since he died in July of 1999.
  And I am so glad I was there.
  Tasker's daughters Diane Tasker and Nancy Tasker Johnson, Nancy's daughter Michelle Williams and Michelle's daughter Ali Williams all took an impromptu visit to Tasker Arena as they helped Nancy, who just retired, move from the Dallas area to Las Cruces (where Diane lives).
  For me, I've been in Hobbs for six years and have heard numerous stories about Coach Tasker and I enjoy each one because it gives you a glimpse of who the great man I never got to meet was.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hobbs grad Taylor selected 31st overall by Charlotte Bobcats

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs grad Jeffery Taylor, seen with Vanderbilt during
the NCAA Tournament in Albuquerque, was drafted with
the first pick of the second round by Charlotte.
  Hard to believe it was just six years ago that a thin, shy 6-foot-7 Jeffery Taylor came to Hobbs from Sweden to play for the Eagles at legendary Tasker Arena - a place where his father and uncles once dominated.
  Now filled out and with four years of college under his belt, Taylor became an NBA draft pick when he was selected by the Charlotte Bobcats with the first pick of the second round of Thursday's NBA Draft.
  While his NBA destination isn't the best (the Bobcats set the record last season for the worst winning percentage in NBA history after going 7-59), Taylor has followed in the footsteps of his father Jeff, who was drafted in the second round of the 1982 NBA draft and played for Houston and Detroit.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Former Lea County head football coaches find new positions

  Former Hobbs football coach Bruce Dollar and former Eunice coach Daniel Hutchins have both found new football coaching opportunities for next season.
  Dollar is the new head coach at Class 2A Alva in Oklahoma. Dollar, who resigned in November as Hobbs football coach, went 10-22 in three seasons with Hobbs, leading the Eagles to their only playoff win since 1982 in 2009.
  Alva went 5-6 last season, losing in the first round 42-18 to eventual state semifinalist Millwood.
Hutchins is the new assistant head football coach and offensive coordinator at Class 2A Friona High School in Friona, Texas.
  Hutchins in his lone year at Eunice last season led the Cardinals through an undefeated season until losing the Class 2A state title game to Santa Rosa. Following the season, Hutchins was informed by Eunice it wanted to go in a new direction with its football program.
  Friona went 3-7 last season and hired Mike Prokop earlier this month as its new head coach. Prokop coached at Texico from 2000-08 and led the Wolverines to three state titles. Prokop coached at Farwell, Texas, the previous two seasons – going 19-6.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

NMAA to go to computer rankings, wood bats to stay

  Computer rankings are in, coaches’ polls are gone and wood bats are going to continue to be a part of Land of Enchantment prep baseball.
  The New Mexico Activities Association board of directors gave the green light Thursday to using the MaxPreps Freeman Rankings, replacing the New Mexico High School Coaches Association poll in the selection and seeding criteria for state tournament events.
  The NMAA also approved the continued use of wood bats for the near future, but I’ll get back to that later.
  My first thought when I heard the NMAA was going to the MaxPreps Freeman Rankings was of disapproval – that is until I did a little more research and remembered how the coaches’ polls had become more political than objective over the last year or two.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer is far from a break for Lea County prep athletes

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Kennedy Sims goes up for a shot during
the Lady Eagles' team camp Saturday in Hobbs.
  Team upon team and player upon player poured into Tasker Arena this weekend to participate in the Lady Eagle Basketball Team Camp.
  Black, blue (of all shades it seemed), red, green and purple practice jersey-clad girls littered the legendary gym, its back gyms and the Hobbs Freshman School gyms from morning until evening Friday and Saturday.
  Hundreds participated in what is just the beginning of a busy summer ahead for prep athletes of all sports.
  While we often enjoy the fruits of their labor when their sports season comes around, it’s easy to forget the hours of work these players put in – particularly during the summer.
  It’s hardly a summer break.

Friday, June 1, 2012

NMJC men's hoops program shows growth with D-I signings

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
NMJC's Marvin Binney is signed to play at
Duquesne University next season.
  I wrote a story earlier this week in the News-Sun about a trio of New Mexico Junior College men's basketball players signed to play NCAA Division-I basketball next season – point guard Marvin Binney (Duquesne University), guard Alex Phillips (University of Nebraska-Omaha) and post Ryan Okwudibonye (Sacramento State). Likely it will be four if and when forward Dequan Hicks signs with someone (was signed with Missouri State).
  These signings show the growth of the program under third-year coach Chris Tifft. He's put his mark on the program, improving from 16-14 in his first season to 23-9 last season and taking the Thunderbirds to the Region V Tournament for the first time since 1998. More impressively, in Western Junior Conference Athletic Conference play NMJC has gone from 3-11 in 2009-10 to 10-4 last season, finishing tied for second with Howard College.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A few summer events for Lea County to look forward to

  I apologize for the delay in blog posts. With spring sports coming to a close, Memorial Day weekend (full of good food with a little yard work on the side) and refocusing for the summer - I was able to sneak a break away from the blog for a week-plus.
  But I'm back and thought I'd share some events for Lea County to look forward to and stay interested in this summer.
   – Hobbs Nite League basketball
  This is always a staple of the Hobbs summer. Numerous former Eagles come back and battle against the current guys - making for great entertainment through all of June and July. It's also a chance for the guys that are going to make up next season's Hobbs basketball team to start getting on the same page against quality competition. Also, the all-star event held around July 4 is always a good time.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hobbs spring football: Practices conclude, transfer to watch

Brad Cox/News-Sun
Hobbs' Brandon Amaya runs with the ball during the
Eagles' spring practice Thursday at Watson Stadium.
  The Hobbs football team concluded its three-day spring practice session Thursday night at Watson Stadium, ending it with a 30-minute scrimmage.
  There was plenty of enthusiasm from the Eagles as they played in front of a few hundred people in attendance. First-year coach Charles Gleghorn signaled the offense, testing the Eagles' knowledge of his no-huddle spread attack, while defensive coordinator Mike Felicetti signaled from the sidelines the defensive calls.
  Hobbs had bright spots, particularly Brayden Price guiding his offense down the field for a score during the first possession of the scrimmage – going 3-for-5 passing and tossing a beautiful 30-yard slant down the middle for a touchdown. Price has the tools to have a break-out senior season, including a strong arm and the ability to make plays with his feet. It should be interesting to see how he grows under the coaching of Gleghorn – whose quarterbacks have put up huge numbers over the years.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hobbs spring football: Transition to spread, QB routine, new uniforms

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Donavon Fierro catches a pass during
the Eagles' spring practice Wednesday.
  The second day of Hobbs' spring football one-hour practices mainly focused on working on the short passing game – and by short I mean screens (with both wide receivers and running backs) and shovel passes as the Eagles transition to first-year coach Charles Gleghorn's pass-heavy spread offense.
  It's a dramatic transformation for Hobbs adjusting to this passing attack. Remember, Hobbs was a wing-T based, ground-and-pound offense the last three seasons (accounting for two of the top three rushing totals in program history).
  Last season the Eagles were 37-for-112 passing as a team for 420 yards in 10 games. Over the last three seasons, the Eagles have completed 81 passes for 1,319 yards.
  In contrast, Gleghorn’s Mesilla Valley Christian team last season was 211-for-336 for 3,426 yards through its first 10 games before going on to win the state title.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hobbs opens spring football 3-day session, focused on learning offense

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Javon King at the Eagles' spring workout
Tuesday at Watson Stadium.
  It's clear first-year Hobbs football coach Charles Gleghorn wants to use every moment he can to get the Eagles ready for the 2012 season as Hobbs opened a three-day spring football session Tuesday at Watson Stadium.
  Each practice session is an hour with Thursday culminating in a 7:30 p.m. "Under the Lights" practice open to the public at Watson Stadium.
  As I wrote in my article for Wednesday's News-Sun, the Eagles focused mainly on offense, learning Gleghorn's no-huddle spread offense. It was a lot of learning the calls and signals Tuesday while going through the basic plays.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Seven-run fifth costs NMJC, loses to Cisco College 7-2 at regionals

NMJC's Camron Smith throws a pitch Sunday against Cisco.
  LUBBOCK — It started with a solo home run by Jesus Villalobos and was capped by a three-run double by Mark Davis as 13th-ranked Cisco put up seven runs in the fifth inning against New Mexico Junior during the T-Birds’ 7-2 loss to the Wranglers on Sunday in the Region V Tournament winner’s bracket semifinal at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
  NMJC will play Clarendon College 10 a.m. Monday in an elimination game in this double-elimination tournament.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Same season-long troubles come back to bite Hobbs, Eunice baseball

Hobbs' Victor Porras pitches in relief Thursday.
  It was a tough day for prep Lea County baseball teams Thursday as both Hobbs and Eunice were eliminated from their respective classification's state tournament.
  In both instances, it was troubles Hobbs and Eunice had battled all season that came back to bite them in the rear.
  The 12th-seeded Eagles, winners of nine consecutive games heading into Thursday, walked 11 batters, committed three errors and managed just two hits during a 5-1 loss to No. 4 Volcano Vista in the Class 5A state quarterfinals at La Cueva High School in Albuquerque.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hobbs boys golf wins first state title since '88, Fadke goes back-to-back

Hobbs Schools Photo
The 2012 Hobbs boys Class 5A State Championship golf team.
  The Hobbs golf team showed plenty of resilience in winning the Class 5A state golf championships Tuesday at New Mexico State University Golf Course in Las Cruces.
  The Eagles were coming off a disappointing runner-up finish in the district tournament just the week before at the same NMSU Golf Course. The big question was: How the Eagles would respond?
  They did so with a bang.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Peaking No. 12 Eagles impressive in first-round sweep of No. 5 Mayfield

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Brayden Price celebrates after the final out
of the Eagles' sweep of Mayfield on Saturday.
  LAS CRUCES — If not for the tree-spotted mountains in view behind Apodaca Park in Las Cruces instead of the endless horizons of southeast New Mexico, most would’ve thought No. 12 Hobbs was the better seed and host team instead of No. 5 Mayfield following the Eagles’ two-game dismantling of the Trojans this weekend.
  In every facet of the game the Eagles were better in this Class 5A state tournament best-of-three, first-round matchup.
  — Hobbs out-hit Mayfield 19-9, including knocking seven extra-base hits compared to one for Mayfield (a home run in the sixth inning of game two with the Trojans already down 6-2).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hobbs baseball a dangerous 12th seed in Class 5A state tournament

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Hobbs' Caleb Young
  As I returned home from Albuquerque on Sunday and hopped online to find out where the Lea County teams were going to be seeded for the state softball and baseball tournaments (go to nmact.org to see full brackets), I was surprised to find Hobbs baseball seeded 12th and hitting the road to play No. 5 Mayfield 5 p.m. Friday in the first game of a best-of-three series.
  Particularly considering Carlsbad – the team the Eagles tied with atop District 4-5A (but lost a run-differential tiebreaker by two runs) – picked up the third seed.
  I guess to me it's puzzling how two teams that played so close throughout the season are nine seeds apart in a 16-team tournament.