ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s not the usual ending to a high school football season in New Mexico. Teams started the first of three days of bowl games Thursday. In a season delayed and shortened by COVID-19, the bowl games – five scheduled for University Stadium – are special for all participating teams because championships were not played this year.
The Socorro Warriors and Dexter Demon opened up bowl play with the Warriors, who played with a heavy heart, winning 48-14. “You know, we are still battling to get kids to come back to school. We got some kids that dropped out, we had to bury one of our players this year, and it’s been very difficult on the whole group, but these guys showed so much heart,” said Warriors Head Coach Damien Ocampo. “So, I am just so proud of them and again, I want to thank UNM as well as the NMAA because this is awesome, the environment is awesome.” The bowl games will end with a Class 6A clash between defending champion Cleveland and Las Cruces Saturday at 4 p.m. at University Stadium.
In other sports news, UNM will hold a spring football game Saturday at noon. The final and 15th practice on the spring calendar will give Head Coach Danny Gonzales one last time to evaluate his team in a game-like situation. Coach Gonzales said the Lobos would like to strengthen their line on both sides and they play to use to remaining scholarships to possibly do so. That help will more than likely come from the transfer portal. “We’re hunting up either an O-lineman, D-lineman, or a skilled guy on defense with those two spots, probably a grad transfer much like Terry,” said Gonzales. “Someone that’s played, has experience, that I know can come in and contribute right away, compete, but he’s played at this level.”
Richard Pitino’s first staff as head men’s basketball coach at New Mexico is starting to take shape. Andy Hill, who spent the last ten seasons at Utah, and Isaac Chew, who spent last season at Grand Canyon and has 14 years of experience, are on board. Pitino has also decided to keep Lobos video coordinator Robert Edwards from the last coaching staff.
A dynamic duo has decided to return to Lobo women’s basketball. Leading scorer and guard Jaedyn De La Cerda and forward Antonia Anderson said they are running it back. The two seniors will take advantage of an extra year of eligibility, offered by the NCAA due to COVID-19. The two helped lead the Lobos to a Mountain West regular season title this year.
State volleyball resumed with the Class A championship game. Melrose claimed the title by outlasting Gateway Christian 3 sets to 1.
Major League Baseball opening day saw the Colorado Rockies defeat defending champion and division rival LA Dodgers, 8-5.