Sports Talk is a periodic commentary by The Taos News Sports Editor, Arcenio J. Trujillo.
One of the hardest things about this job is having to pick an “athlete of the week” for recognition in our weekly publication. In our area schools, there are so many great candidates to choose from week in and week out. And knowing what is required of the body, mind and spirit of our young student-athletes, it’s difficult to narrow my picks to a singular finalist.
This week, we take a look back at the many athletes chosen to be athlete of the week. And as we wrap up another year of sports, we’ll take a look back at the top sports stories of the year next week.
When I first started as sports editor, one of the first questions I had for my predecessor, Gabe Weinstein, was how he determined the athlete of the week for submission to our advertising department. He said simply, “You’ll know it when you see it.” There is no unitary mold to decide what a great performance looks like, but you have to be there to witness the greatness.
Not an issue for me in that department. I absolutely love watching sports at all levels.
But I know what he was talking about. If a person or a committee was trying to find a standout athlete in a particular contest, the first place to look is in the official scorebook to see who was the high point-getter. If you don’t follow the sports in person, that probably would be the fallback candidate every time. Trouble is, those athletes have variances that sometimes conflict with a high-scoring performance, and it doesn’t always translate to a great outing. For example, a great shooter in basketball who is always the high-point man or woman and regularly scores in the 20s or 30s might have a great game scoring, but fails to lift their team in other ways, such as in assists or on defense. It may be difficult to measure growth in that respect if said shooter doesn’t continually score higher and higher every time they play a competitive game.
In any case, it has been a pleasure following all the Taos County action for the past six months. I have seen records broken by individuals and state titles acquired by talented thin-clad runners and sprinters. I have seen lots of points scored in various ways on the football, baseball and softball fields and on the hard-court and the ice as well. In the water, swimmers battle the liquid resistance. On the wrestling mat, opposing forces offer a different kind of resistance.
There are other sports yet to be covered – such as cheer and dance that will come up here in the spring season, and the outdoor winter season will surely bring new adventures. But in all, a big “thank you” is in order for all you athletes. The contributions you give to your schools and your respective communities do not go unnoticed.
Here is the list of Athletes of the Week for calendar year 2016:
Jan. 7 - Theo Hummel ('17), Taos Ice Tigers hokey team captain
Jan. 14 - Adrian Archuleta ('16), Peñasco Panthers basketball forward
Jan. 21 - Jessie Ayala ('19), 220-pound division Taos Tigers wrestler
Jan. 28 - Brittany Sanchez ('16), Questa Lady Cats basketball forward
Feb. 4 - Ian Henderson ('16), 145-pound division Taos Tigers wrestler
Feb. 11 - Elena Espinoza ('17), Taos Lady Tigers basketball point guard
Feb. 18 - Zach Gallegos ('16), Questa Wildcats basketball guard/forward
Feb. 25 - Brandon Vigil ('16), 152-pound division and Jaziel Galindo ('16), 160-pound division Taos Tigers wrestlers
Mar. 3 - Midnite Lujan ('16), Elena Espinoza ('17) and Aaliyah Quintana ('18) - All-District girls basketball team members
Mar. 10 - Justin "Juice" Lucero ('16), Taos Ice Tigers hockey forward
Mar. 17 - Jake McNerny ('16), Taos Ice Tigers iron-man
Mar. 24 - Miguel Quintana ('17), Taos Tigers baseball second baseman
Mar. 31 - Daniel Isaiah Babb ('16), Taos Tigers All-State track jumper
Apr. 7 - Taos Lady Tiger Cheer team, 2016 NM State Champions
Apr. 14 - Questa Lady Cats Track team, 2016 District Champions
Apr. 21 - Rolando Lucero ('18) - Peñasco Panthers baseball pitcher
Apr. 28 - Jonah Vigil ('19), Taos Tigers All-State track sprinter
May 5 - Adam Abeyta ('16), Taos Tigers baseball short stop
May 12 - Isaiah "Zay" Rodarte ('16), Peñasco Panthers track star
May 19 - Daniel Isaiah Babb ('16), Taos Tiger track and field star
May 26 - Simon Mount ('17), Taos Tigers long distance runner
Sept. 1 - Julia Varos-Mendez ('17), Taos Lady Tigers soccer forward
Sept. 8 - Ronnie Salazar ('17), Taos Tigers football wide receiver/defensive back
Sept. 15 - Carly Gonzales ('20), Peñasco Lady Panthers cross-country star
Sept. 22 - Ryan McCarty ('17), Taos Tigers football running back/defensive back
Sept. 29 - Antonio Garcia ('18), Questa Wildcats football quarterback
Oct. 6 - Helena Padilla ('17) - Questa Lady Cats volleyball outside hitter
Oct. 13 - Elizabeth Reyes ('17) - Taos Lady Tigers cross-country district champion
Oct. 20 - Josh Fambro ('19) - Taos Tigers golf star
Oct. 27 - Daniel King ('17) - Taos Tigers soccer forward
Nov. 3 - Charlyna Gonzales ('17) - Peñasco Lady Panthers volleyball outside hitter
Nov. 10 - Cora Cannedy ('18) - Taos Lady Tigers cross-country state runner-up
Nov. 17 - Peñasco Lady Panthers Cross-Country team - 2016 NM State Champions
Nov. 23 - TJ Madrid ('17) - Questa Wildcats basketball power guard
Dec. 1 - Aaliyah Quintana ('18) - Taos Lady Tigers basketball guard/forward
Dec. 8 - Max Mount ('17) - Taos Ice Tigers hockey goalkeeper
Dec. 15 - Landen Archuleta ('17) - Taos Tigers basketball forward/center
Dec. 22 - Leandro Richert ('19) - Taos Ice Tigers hockey winger
I look forward to another great year of sports and eagerly await the next great performance.