To borrow a line from Terrell Owens, get your popcorn ready.
Archrivals Robertson and St. Michael’s are setting the stage in baseball for Round 3 of their year-round sports battle. The two will play a doubleheader at the end of the week at the Christian Brothers Athletic Complex.
Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but first place in District 2-3A and the inside track to Class 3A supremacy will be on the line. Both teams are unbeaten in the district through the first week after the Horsemen (10-5, 3-0) swept Santa Fe Indian School in a doubleheader and the Cardinals (11-4, 2-0) did the same against West Las Vegas .
It comes on the heels of a football and basketball season in which Robertson beat St. Mike’s in the state finals both times. It’s not out of this world to think it could happen in baseball since the Horsemen were ranked No. 2 and the Cards No. 5 heading into last weekend.
Robertson won the baseball title in the pre-pandemic year of 2019 and lost in the finals last year to Sandia Prep after eliminating the Horsemen in the quarterfinals. On paper, you can make the argument the Redbirds are the best team in the class.
“I think we’re the team to beat,” said Horsemen pitcher Owen Gruda. “I think our pitchers are going to put the ball over the plate and that’s what these guys can do. We have a scrappy defense that makes us plays and hitters that can get on base, so I think Robertson’s going to the ones crawling out of the pit. ”
The first game is at 11 am Saturday.
Santa Fe Prep’s boys and girls tennis teams will be without their two top players for a while – and maybe the rest of the season. Junior Jonas
Anderson-Joyner, who was the Blue Griffins’ No. 1 singles player and a part of the No. 1 doubles team, sprained his right ankle during Capital’s Quadrangular-Plus-Two meet March 26 and was seen on crutches during this weekend’s Capital Invitational.
Meanwhile, the program received news Saturday that senior Isabelle
Voinescu injected her knee during the West Las Vegas Invitational track and field meet. Prep head coach Ralph Bolton said he expects to hear by Monday what the prognosis is, while the next 10 days will determine the length of Anderson-Joyner’s absence.
The Northern New Mexico Children’s Sports League is becoming a true force. The organization was founded by Zeke and Annmarie Villegas about a decade ago launched its spring sports campaign with a huge turnout on Saturday for its opening ceremonies for flag football and cheerleading.
About 1,500 kids from Santa Fe and surrounding communities like Española, Pojoaque and Las Vegas are yet another example of how the Villegas’ dream of providing affordable, fun access to tackle football has grown into a booming entity that’s transitioning into other sports.
The organization sponsored basketball for the first time this past winter and will launch volleyball later this month. It coincides with the creation of the current co-ed flag football league and the longstanding cheer and tackle football programs.
“One of my biggest sources of pride is seeing the kids we signed up for years ago to grow up and play for their high school teams, then go on to the bigger things,” Zeke Villegas said. “We knew this would be successful but to see it grow into these other sports, yeah, it’s amazing.”
The NNMCSL has a Facebook page with all the details, but the bottom line is this: It provides a safe, affordable, community-based alternative for families looking to keep their kids active. It also exposes them to competition all around the area, not just in the city.
“We’re all about giving kids the chance to play, that’s it,” Villegas said.
Thought the Los Alamos girls track and field team was good last spring? Well, the encore to last year’s dominant performance in the Class 4A state track meet might be just as impressive. Heading into this weekend’s action, the best time in 11 of the 13 running events in 4A were owned by a Lady Hilltopper. If those seeds hold, Los Alamos would again win 11 of the 20 events at the state meet and challenge last year’s 1831/2-point total that was more than 100 points better than runner-up Artesia.
Perhaps the most impressive performer is sophomore Angelina Passalacqua. She has the fastest time in the 200 meters (25.77 seconds), 400 (1: 01.13), and both hurdles (15.36 in the 100, 45.92 in the 300).
New Mexico Highlands wrestler Allen Michel was named the first-team all-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Competing at 174 pounds, the Moriarty High graduate was just one of two sophomores on the honors list.
He claimed eighth place at the recent NCAA Division II Championships, earning All-America honors. He finished the season with a 21-12 record.