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.