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Cheer judging quite a crap shoot

April 1, 2019

As we finally close the chapter on the winter sports season, leave it to the North’s cheerleaders to offer some food for thought.

Given the subjective nature of judging when it comes to spirit competition, some coaches lamented that fact. Taos head cheer coach Lisa Abeyta-Valerio said her team had a very challenging routine for its cheer with music performance for Saturday’s final day of the State Spirit Championships, and was a bit miffed at the 88.04 score the Lady Tigers received.

She pointed out both the Taos and Valencia teams had a drop in their routines, but Valencia ended up with a 92.18 score that was the best second-day score among cheer teams.

“It’s really difficult, you never know,” Abeyta-Valerio said about the judging process.

Capital head cheer coach Laura Jurado could relate, as her team’s game day routine, which had won a couple of competitions during the season, received no major deductions but ended up with the seventh-best score after Day 1.

“It’s really hard because judges sometimes are not in the same area as far as whether they like a routine,” Jurado said. “[Friday], for example, I know one judge was criticizing us in one area and another was complimenting us on the same exact thing. So it seems like they are contradicting themselves and that’s what’s frustrating.”

Of course, the opposite side of that argument can be found in the St. Michael’s dance program, as the Pony Express won its 27th state title, and a West Las Vegas coed team that won its fourth title in five years. And Taos had won four straight cheer titles before Valencia outscored the Lady Tigers.

Those are programs that have figured out how to create winning routines year in and year out.

• • •

There’s a spot for you and it costs nothing for you to take it.

In its latest attempt to get Lobo fans to come back to the football program, the University of New Mexico is allowing anyone to wander onto the south campus to watch spring drills this month.

The Lobos are entering Week 2 of spring ball and will be on the field Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday this week. The team will be in full pads for the first time during Tuesday morning’s practice.

The Lobos use two outdoor grass fields immediately south of the stadium and west of the indoor practice facility. The only requirement is that fans not walk onto the field during workouts or stand on the sideline that separates the fields. All other areas are fair game.

Last Thursday’s workout attracted one fan, an older gentleman who brought his own tripod folding chair to follow the action from one end of the field to another.

• • •

There’s at least one person in the Final Four with a connection to New Mexico.

Texas Tech men’s basketball assistant coach Glynn Cyprien had a pit stop at New Mexico State before heading to greener pastures at Arkansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Texas A&M and, eventually, the NBA G League before finally landing at Tech this season.

He was in Las Cruces for the 2005-06 season, the first for Reggie Theus at NMSU. The Aggies orchestrated one of the country’s top turnarounds that year, going from 18 games under .500 the year before to 16-14.

Speaking of Final Four connections, Virginia has a player from Santa Fe — Santa Fe, Argentina, that is. Francisco Caffaro is a 7-foot freshman for the Cavaliers who hails from El Trebo in the Argentinian province of Santa Fe.

• • •

Kudos to the St. Michael’s softball team for surpassing last year’s three-win total in just the first 10 days of starting the 2019 season. The Lady Horsemen did it with a doubleheader sweep of Pecos at home, scoring 43 runs in a 21-0 and 22-8 sweep on Thursday.

The run totals should give a hint as to what has led to the change in fortunes. St. Michael’s is averaging 12.8 runs per game to start the season, thanks to a .391 batting average. That is a 77-point improvement from last season.

Now, if the Lady Horsmen can improve their defense, they could be a contender in District 2-3A. So far this season, they have 28 errors on the season to record a .850 fielding percentage.

• • •

The Albuquerque Isotopes open their season Thursday with a five-game series against Salt Lake, the Angels’ top farm club. It’s the first of 140 games between now and the regular season finale on Sept. 2.

The team’s preliminary roster was announced Saturday night and it includes 11 players who are on the parent Colorado Rockies’ 40-man roster. By time the first pitch is thrown out there will be some movement now that Rockies second baseman Daniel Murphy is headed to the injury list with a broken finger on his left hand.

As of Sunday the club had yet to make a roster move to promote a player from Albuquerque.

• • •

Here’s your chance, Rudy.

The Santa Fe Fuego of the independent Pecos League will hold spring training from May 22-29 at Fort Marcy Ballpark. Smack dab in the middle of it will be a one-day tryout for anyone hoping to make the opening day roster. It will take place at 9 a.m. May 24.

Players will be put through the paces during a three-hour workout conducted by manager T.J. Zarewicz. Preregistration is required through the team’s website and there is a $100 fee for taking a shot at catching Zarewicz’s eye during the no-guarantees camp.

The Fuego are entering their eighth year of existence. They open the season at home against Alpine on May 30.

• • •

Apparently, the Santa Fe High boys basketball team’s winning ways transfer to other sports. The boys golf team won the Española Valley Invitational at Black Mesa Golf Course on March 25, and seniors Derrick Solano, Antonio Lovato and Derek Carlton helped lead the way.

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