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Kenny Chavez scores for BHS during State Championship Game against Lovington

Kenny Chavez scores for BHS during State Championship Game against Lovington

Carroll Elementary students cheer for the BHS Spartans’ victory during their celebration parade in March

Carroll Elementary students cheer for the BHS Spartans’ victory during their celebration parade in March

BHS state basketball championship enlivens community

Richard Reyes
BHS Spartan Shield Staff

The Bernalillo High School varsity basketball team's state championship victory at University Arena against the Lovington Wildcats was not just a simple basketball game victory but a huge triumph, as millions of thoughts ran through the players' heads.

The BHS varsity basketball team sat pensively in its bus until seniors Mario Torres, A.J. Sanchez, and Kenny Chavez started drumming on their seats faster and faster. As the bus started to move, Sanchez yelled out, "Here we come, Jawaan Payne!" followed by Chavez yelling, "Let's go, baby!"

But the bus ride to University Arena was relatively quiet, other than the noise of Sanchez's radio. Many of the players remained silent. "Thinking about the game, and getting ready to play," said Torres. "Trying to get focused," said Sanchez.

Kevin Saiz, a senior, said that he was thinking about "a lot of different things, mostly winning state." Like Saiz, all of the players had their minds on several different things.

Many of the players were focused on "shutting down Payne," said junior Marty Sanchez. "It's going to be all about defense," said Chavez, adding that “defense wins championships."

Most of the Spartans' strategies were to "play like we know how" (Sanchez) and “play Spartan basketball" (Chavez).

The younger players on the team treated the game as if it were “just another game," said junior Keith Benally. The seniors, however, knew that “the season is coming to an end," according to Sanchez. Chavez added, “It's our last game as seniors." Terry Darnell, the varsity coach, said that he would miss the seniors and "I couldn't ask for four better seniors or four better leaders." He also added that his experience with the senior players was "a pleasure, nothing but a pleasure."

Running through some of the players’ minds were the events that had occurred the previous week. A great amount of negative publicity and energy had emerged from gang violence in the community, a serious of fights at school, and a bomb threat the previous day.

Pierre Williams, a junior, said, "I know my job and what I have to do. The team knows it's time to bring fame back to Bernalillo because it's in hard times; it needs positivity."

That's exactly what the Spartans did. Their 75-62 victory over the Lovington Wildcats didn't just bring a trophy to Bernalillo. It brought fans from Bernalillo, Santo Domingo, Placitas, Algodones, and many other communities together for one cause and that was to support their Bernalillo Spartans and help them prevail over the Wildcats. University Arena was crowded with Bernalillo fans, who greatly outnumbering those of Lovington.

Darnell said, "I'm proud of what they accomplished. I'm proud they could pull together." Not only did they pull together as a team, but also they pulled the entire community together. Darnell also said, "They did a good job of proving that the community could come together and focus on the positive things."

Williams said, "I'm thankful for the support; we wouldn't have played so well without it." Sanchez said, "Seeing their support gives us confidence." Makes us stronger," said Chavez.

Saiz said, "We needed more support today and we got it."

 

Wrestling championship hard to pin down

Richard Reyes
BHS Spartan Shield Staff

“We are the champions,” is what many of the Bernalillo High School wrestlers sang before the district tournament as they listened to Queen to get themselves pumped up for the competition. But they didn’t know that those words would become true at the end of the day.

On February 14, 15, and 19, the BHS wrestling team received the district championship for the first time in BHS history.

The wrestling team first received the district championship at the tournament on February 14. During the entire tournament many of the BHS wrestlers thought that Grants had won first place, but they were suddenly hit with a surprise when the runner-up was announced.

Patrick Lyle said, “I thought we were going to get second, but then they announced Grants as second and we all went crazy.”

After their win, the wrestlers went out to eat and celebrate their victory, but the good times were cut short when Grants tried to take away their championship due to a mistake in counting the score. At first, the score was added up using a computer, but when Grants added the score by hand the results were different, indicating that BHS did not win first place.

“I felt like they should just leave it alone,” said Eric Yazzie. “We won first. It’s ours. It was their fault, their mistake.”

Lyle agreed, saying, “What’s done is done.”

On February 15, wrestling coach Gilbert Lucero attended a meeting with the New Mexico Athletics Association to discuss the matter, and the NMAA sided with BHS, giving them the district title.

Grants, however, attended another meeting with the NMAA and the decision was changed, giving Grants the championship.

Finally, the NMAA held a meeting with both Grants and Bernalillo representatives and made the final decision on February 19 that the BHS wrestlers would remain the district champions.

February 19 was also the day that the state tournament started. The individual tournaments were held on February 19 and 20. At the medal rounds on February 20 the winners were announced and their medals awarded. Greg Lucero, Ivan Lucero, and Eric Yazzie placed second in the individual tournaments. Other placers in the individual tournaments were Patrick Lyle, who placed fourth, and Victor Alvarenga, who also placed fourth.

The state duels were held on February 21, in which the teams competed against each other. BHS placed fourth. losing to Cobre, which placed first, Bloomfield, which placed second, and Robertson, which placed third.

 

Mother’s Day Out program coordinator Debbie Stueber helps children

Mother’s Day Out program coordinator Debbie Stueber helps children
with their art project of the day

Mother's Day Out gives parents a break, kids some fun

Jennifer Chavez

Mother's Day Out, a cooperative child-care program, was established in Placitas in 1989. The program is a nondenominational outreach program of the Las Placitas Presbyterian Church.

The primary mission of Mother's Day Out program is to provide children with a safe and loving environment in which to learn to play with one another, to share, and to be children.

The program provides one full-time caregiver, and parents volunteer on a rotating basis approximately once a month, so there are always two adults supervising the children.

The program accepts children from eighteen months to five years old and operates four days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with early drop-off as an option.

Activities offered in the mixed-age classes include: puzzles, play dough, coloring, games, books, field trips, guest speakers, and presentations.

The church grounds provide a beautiful setting for walks and outdoor play.

When children from Mother’s Day Out enter Placitas Elementary, they will know others in kindergarten. The program provides continuity for the children and their siblings, with many families forming ongoing relationships that last well beyond the elementary-school years.

All parents are responsible for participating in the ongoing fund-raising activities associated with the program.

Eventually, Mother's Day Out hopes to add a fully accredited preschool program.

People interested in more information about Mother’s Day Out should speak with the program coordinator, Debbie Stueber, 867-5718, during program hours.

 

Contest to name Diamond Tail star park

Diamond Tail has asked Placitas Elementary School students to name the stargazing park located in the subdivision. The student whose entry is chosen will receive a telescope, and the class that turns in the most entries will get pizza, drinks, and dessert for lunch on a special day. The name will become the property of Diamond Tail Ranch, with no liability to the person whose entry has been chosen. The suggested name must have a ranch theme. The deadline for student entries is April 15, 2004 on paper at the school’s principal’s office. Visits to the park between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm may be scheduled by calling 771-1873.

 

Students honored in Rotary essay contest

The Bernalillo Rotary Club, in partnership with Bernalillo Public Schools, recently hosted an essay contest for eighth-grade students at Bernalillo Middle School.

Students were challenged to write an analysis of the Rotary’s Four-Way Test: 1) Is it the truth? 2) Is it fair to all concerned? 3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships? and 4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned, and might prevent corporate scandals?

Four classes, totaling approximately 185 students, participated. First-place honors went to Jenny Smith who received a $200 savings bond. Her essay will be included in the district-wide contest. The second-place winner, Mario Narro, received a $100 savings bond. Diana Misquez, who placed third, took home a $75 savings bond. The winners were honored at the March 31 Bernalillo Rotary Club meeting.

The Bernalillo Rotary Club wishes to thank and commend all of the participating teachers and students at Bernalillo Middle School for a job well done.

 

April Optimists plan spring activities

Maude Linnartz
Optimists Club de Sandoval

Spring is here! How about channeling your spring energy by joining some of the Optimists de Sandoval spring activities!

The Reading with Kasey program (driven by Vanessa Johnston) recently placed its eighth puppy with handlers who are undergoing training. The program stretches from Las Cruces to Las Vegas, New Mexico. Can you help the program by providing an auto to replace an SUV that was stolen? You would receive acknowledgement which could be used for tax purposes.

A club fund-raising activity will be the sale of Red Wheel (a New Mexico-owned fund-raising firm) products. You can help sponsor important Optimist activities and enjoy yummy frozen foods, snacks, entrees, beverages, and desserts. Contact Nancy Hawks (771-4931) or Fran Stephens (867-3077) by April 3 to learn more about available products and place your order.

The Placitas Pre-Kindergarten has increased its enrollments, primarily with three-year old children, ensuring a fine group of four-year-olds for next year's school. Thanks to the fine efforts of the organizing parent volunteer, the children are scheduled for near weekly field trips to augment their classroom curriculum.

Bike safety programs have been very important to this club and the community. The club participated with four other Optimist Clubs in a Bike Fix-up in March. They helped gather over one hundred bicycles: some are in perfect condition, others are useful only for parts.

Club members are getting ready to participate again in the Relay for Life, which will be held August 13 and 14 at Bernalillo High School. Optimist International Children’s Cancer Campaign has enabled the local club to be instrumental in securing funding from the Legislature for the Pediatric Oncology Unit at University Hospital. As an ongoing activity, the club continues to support the Senior Wellness Clinic in Bernalillo on the third Thursday of each month.

The Optimist Club de Sandoval meets at 7:00 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of every month, usually at the Mission San Antonio Community Center in Placitas. For further information, please contact Suzann Owings at 867-0567.

 

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