ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In this edition of the Sports Desk, we start with high school basketball, as the La Cueva High School Boys Team has hired a new head coach. LCHS alumni, Brian Joyce comes to La Cueva with more than 20 years of coaching experience under his belt.
Joyce was a stand-out player at La Cueva and he graduated from high school in 1991. He takes over the position after Frank Castillo retired. Castillo was the head coach at La Cueva for over 34 years, so Joyce will have some big shoes to fill.
Now to soccer, The USL is now set to restart their 2020 season, as they announced the remainder of the eight regions that will compete starting on July 11. New Mexico United is a part of Group-C, but with just over two weeks before the season picks back up, will New Mexico United stay in Albuquerque to train? The current restrictions on athletic activities prevent them from practicing at full capacity, so will they leave the state to train?
“To try and find a situation where we would move the team out of state to practice in a way that is really safe and in quarantine is not impossible but is something I think we would like to avoid. It would be a lot safer for the players and everybody involved around the players just to keep them here,” said New Mexico United owner Peter Trevisani.
New Mexico United Head Coach, Troy Lesesne says his guys will be prepared no matter what though, as while training has been in small groups, it has been very positive. “No doubt about it, I think guys have gotten extra attention in this time period, over the last six weeks that we have been able to do small groups. You know, I think that is going to translate to them, while it not being contact, it’s going to translate to them being that much sharper getting into regular match play,” said Troy Lesesne.
Now to baseball, the New Mexico Otters are a local traveling baseball team that focuses on getting players out of high school into a college program. The Otters are currently playing in the Oklahoma D-Bat Collegiate League and it is a great opportunity for kids to get attention from college coaches.
“It’s just a good platform for some of these boys that haven’t committed to actually get seen by some of these college coaches and that was a product of this past weekend. Seminole State College liked two of our boys and Southwest Oklahoma liked two last week as well. So, it really pays off,” said Otters Head Coach George Padilla.
Last season, the Otters saw six players earn college scholarships and they are hoping to sign four more this summer. Coach Padilla really enjoys helping these local players to achieve their dream of playing at the next level. He helps players get jobs and also helps players that can’t afford to play.
“Well you know what Jared, it is really rewarding for me, you now. Shoot playing on a college summer program is pretty expensive and these guys can’t afford that. So, I mean seeing them go out and their excitement level you know goes through the roof. You get all of these little stories, but they all have that underlying commonality that they love baseball, they want to continue playing baseball, and they will do anything to play baseball,” said Padilla.
Coach Padilla is always looking for new players, so if you are interested in playing with the Otters you can contact George Padilla at 505-315-1201
Let’s finish with Friday’s edition of The Lost Season, as we profile Sandia High School stand out softball player Jayleen Burton.
“Hi my name is Jayleen Burton, I just graduated from Sandia High School. Finding out that my senior season was canceled, it was pretty upsetting. As a three-time first-team all-district, three-time MVP, and two-time second-team all-metro, I was really looking forward to competing this year and try to complete my goals that I had set as a senior. I am very thankful for the people that I have met along my journey through high school, they have put me where I am today and prepared me to play at NMSU. I am thankful to play there too and to have another opportunity to play some more softball and I just want to thank everybody who has been there for me,” said Burton.
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