Alamogordo, New Mexico Sports History, Alamogordo History: Look Back Girls Track & Field Success 1977 District Win & Remembering Coach Lawrence E. Johnson

The year as 1977 and the Alamogordo Girls Track and Field Team continued to show the state they were a team to take serious as they captured the 3AAAA district crown as the top team in the district. The Tigers earned 134 points placing 1st with Mayfield at 122 points in 2nd place and Las Cruces in 3rd
place with 104 points. 

Ruthie Fatheree collected a total of 33 points to pace Alamogordo’s effort for a victory.

District Medalist included:

  • Ruthie Fatheree, 1st Place, 50 Yard Dash, 6.0
    • 1st
      Place, 220 Yard Dash, 26.9
    • 2nd
      Place, Long Jump, 17’ 3”
  • Vicki Lee, Susan Lee, Debbie Salcido, Fatheree, 1st Place, 440, 50.4
  • Susan Lee, Fatheree, Salcido and Donna Scroggins, 1st Place, 880, 1:48.3
  • Vicki Lee, 1st Place, 100 Yard Dash, 11.3
  • Carmen Smith, 1st Place, Shot Put
  • Ruth Turning, 2nd Place, High Jump, 4’ 10”
  • Vicki Lee, Susan Lee, Cathy Frederick, Karen Guerrero, 2nd Place, Mile Relay, 4:14.9
  • Debbie Salcido, 3rd Place, Soft Ball Throw, 183’ 3”
  • Kim Campbell, 3rd Place, 110 Low Hurdles, 15.8
    • 4th
      Place, High Jump 4’ 8”
    • 5th
      Place, 80 Yard Hurdles, 11.9 (state qualified time)
  • Cathy Frederick, 3rd Place, 440 Yard Dash, 63.0
  • Toni Irvine, 3rd Place, Shot Put 34’ 8”
  • Salcido, Scroggins, Cheryl Greer and Guerrero, 3rd Place, Medley Relay, 1:59.6
  • Susan Lee, 4th Place 100 Yard Dash, 11.8 (state qualified)
  • Karen Guerrero, 4th Place, 440 Yard Dash, 63.4
  • Delinder Compton, 4th Place, 440 Yard Dash, 65.4
  • Angela Holloway, 4th Place, Shot Put, 34’ 5”
  • Janet Haug, 6th Place, 440 Yard Dash 65.9
  • Lisa Busick, 6th Place, Mile Run, 6:14.0

Coming off the district meet 10 girls qualified for state in 11 events. Ruthie Fatheree led the team in 5 events at the state meet. Susan Lee and Vicki Lee also feel the team pressure as both are competing in 7 events.

Albuquerque Manzano wins top team honors in girls AAAA Track & Field for the 1977 season. Alamogordo  Girls placed 6th at the state meet. 

Medalist at the state meet included:

  • Vicki Lee, Susan Lee, Debbie Salcido, Fatheree, 2nd, Place 440 Relay, 50.30
  • Vicki Lee, 5th Place, 100 Yard Dash, 11.38
  • Ruthie Fatheree, 6th Place, 50 Yard Dash, 6.26
    • 4th
      Place, 220, 26.45
  • Carmen Smith, 2nd Place, Shot Put, 40.3
  • Susan Lee, Fatheree, Salcido and Donna Scroggins, 3rd Place, 880 Relay, 1:47.5
  • Kim Campbell, 4th Place, Long Jump, 16’ 2 ¼

The 1977 Athletics season seemed to be coalescing with the coaches working more closely together under a new football coach now in full force that being coach Gary Hveem. At Alamogordo High School in 1977 both the girl and boy student athletes began working closer together. 

Cross Country, Track & Field, Golf and Tennis had boys and girls training together and sharing coaching staffs. Girls Track under the leadership of Head Coach Marilyn Sepulveda was assisted by Kay Morgan and Joe Bryant and beginning to garner attention from around the state. In the years to come many great things would be seen based on this solid foundation of excellence.

Most athletic programs were growing at Alamogordo High in 1977, but the result of Title IX and expanded girls athletics, the decision was made to cut the wrestling program to ensure all other programs were funded appropriately and all students had the opportunity to compete.

The 1977 school year also saw the return of Lawrence Johnson from a former star athlete and student to a teacher and coach who assisted the boys and girls track programs. As outlined in book one in the series he had an amazing career at Alamogordo, became a guidance counselor who assisted hundreds of students and ultimately became the Athletic Director in future years.

Lawrence Johnson was born July 15, 1949 in Dallas, Texas, to Rubin Lee and Susie Mae Johnson. His nickname was Slick and was famous with his student athletes for his sunglasses. He graduated from Alamogordo High School in 1969. He was an athlete under Coach Sepulveda and others. He was a district track and field champion in broad jump.

He went to college at Western New Mexico University in Silver City where he earned his bachelor’s in 1972 and master’s degree in 1975.

“I graduated from high school here in Alamogordo in 1968 and went off to college, I came back in 1972 and I got a job,” Johnson said in a 2014 Daily News article about his retirement. “I started teaching physical education and social studies at the middle school and I just continued from there. I really enjoyed teaching the kids, I also enjoyed coaching. I started the learning process at that time and I really enjoyed myself.”

He served 42 years at Alamogordo as a coach, teacher, guidance counselor and athletic director.

In 1982, Johnson began working at Alamogordo High School as a track and boys basketball coach, which he did for five years after prior experience as the JV Basketball Coach and Coach at the Middle High. He aided Coach Sepulveda from the beginning of his tenure with the Alamogordo school systems and throughout his career.

He also served as a guidance counselor for six years. Johnson became the assistant athletic director at AHS in 1993, the following year he became the athletic director. Johnson served as athletic director at AHS for 21 years, the longest tenured Athletic director in the school’s history.

He served on the New Mexico High School Coaches Association Board of Directors. In addition, Johnson was a member of the New Mexico Athletic Directors Association, (NMADA) board for 20 years. From 1998 to 1999, New Mexico Athletic Directors Association (NMADA) board for 20 years. From 1998 to 1999, he was president of NMADA.

In 2017, Johnson was honored with the Distinguished Service award from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA). He was one of 11 educators nationwide to receive the award.

In 1972, Johnson began working at Alamogordo High School as a track and boys basketball coach, which he did for five years after prior experience as the JV Basketball Coach and Coach at the Middle High. He aided Coach Sepulveda from the beginning of his tenure with the Alamogordo school systems.

Alamogordo School Board members unanimously approved the renaming of the Tiger Pit sports complex at Alamogordo High School to honor Lawrence E. Johnson for his many years of contribution to the community and the thousands of students and athletes he positively affected as a mentor and role model. His legacy continues in that facility today…

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/30819/alamogordo-sports-history-look-back-girls-track-field-success-1977-district

Excerpted from Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days a joint collaboration of Author Chris Edwards and Artist Rene Sepulveda, available at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and on Amazon in 36 countries. Soon to be released, Coach Bob Sepulveda The Golden Years 1977 to 1995 soon to be released on Amazon and fine independent bookstores everywhere. 

Alamogordo Girls Win! Boys place 2nd at Cleveland Invitational Track and Field Meet COMPLETE RESULTS

Alamogordo Girls WIN MEET! Tiger Boys finish 2nd at Cleveland Invitational in Rio Rancho

Complete Results by competition…

Name  School Seed Finals Points 

1 Ellary Alamogordo H 12:17.07 12:31.20 7

2 Najar, Vanesa Alamogordo H 12:33.20 13:16.87 5 

Event 2 Boys 3200 Meter Run ======================================================================== Name Year School Seed Finals Points  

1 Rael, Nathias Sue Clevelan 10:50.00 10:47.27 7 

2 Ross, Colin Sue Clevelan 10:57.62 11:18.67 5 

3 Miller, Tobias Sue Clevelan 11:00.00 11:31.63 4 

4 Dawes, Caiden Sue Clevelan 11:10.00 x11:45.03 

5 Sisneros, Santos Belen High S 11:27.87 12:48.31 3

6 Hallbeck, Jack Alamogordo H 12:21.19 12:57.63 2

7 Padilla, Matias Belen High S 12:41.50 13:11.49 

Girls 4×100 Meter Relay ========================================================================School Seed Finals Points  

1 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 50.78 51.47 10 

2 Sue Cleveland High School ‘A’ 53.10 52.55 8 

3 Pojoaque Valley High School ‘A’ 1:03.95 53.16 6

4 Belen High School ‘A’ 56.31 56.22

Event 4 Boys 4×100 Meter Relay ======================================================================== School Seed Finals Points 

1 Sue Cleveland High School ‘A’ 43.05 43.63 10

2 Belen High School ‘A’ 46.32 45.60 8 

3 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 45.23 45.70 6 

4 Pojoaque Valley High School ‘A’ 47.60 46.45 4

Event 5 Girls 100 Meter Hurdles ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals Points 

1 Duchene, Kaelan Alamogordo H 16.99 17.87 7 

2 Goodmacher, Abigail Sue Clevelan 16.29 18.27 5

3 Riordan, Anna Alamogordo H 17.84 19.20 4 

4 Soe, Saung Alamogordo H 19.66 20.77 3

5 Castillo, Sofia Belen High S 19.73 21.05 2

6 Fillmore, Marie Alamogordo H 22.70 x22.55 

7 Martinez, Monroe Pojoaque Val 24.04 27.30 1

Event 6 Boys 110 Meter Hurdles ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points 

1 Avila, Antonio Sue Clevelan 18.00 15.72 2 7

2 Kotter, Gabe Alamogordo H 17.29 17.69 2 5 

3 Shendo, Devonte Sue Clevelan 17.60 17.97 2 4 

4 Wallace, William Sue Clevelan 19.25 18.47 2 3 

5 Sell, Zack Alamogordo H 17.65 19.15 2 2

6 Griego, Elijah Sue Clevelan 19.52 x20.19 2 

7 Padilla, Alan Pojoaque Val 21.16 21.39 1 1 

8 Hidalgo, Marques Belen High S 23.74 24.35 1 

9 Benavidez, Julian Belen High S 25.31 1 

10 Ortiz, Aiden Pojoaque Val 28.56 1 

Event 7 Girls 100 Meter Dash ======================================================================== Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points

1 Martin, Justyse Alamogordo H 12.58 13.22 2 7 

2 Thomas, Sydney Alamogordo H 13.30 13.75 2 5 

3 Quintana, Alicia Pojoaque Val 12.59 13.97 2 4 

4 Mamuya, Nia Sue Clevelan 13.28 14.18 2 3 

5 Shaw, Haley Alamogordo H 13.79 14.36 2 2 

6 Jamerson, Arianna Sue Clevelan 14.00 14.37 1 1

7 Quintana, Sonya Pojoaque Val 13.20 14.61 2 

8 Dannenberg, Ashley Sue Clevelan 14.20 14.62 1 

9 Horn, Danialle Sue Clevelan 14.03 x14.75 1 

10 Gomez, Analyssa Pojoaque Val 15.56 15.55 1 

11 Maez, Martina Pojoaque Val 16.04 x15.97 1

12 Dalmas, Charlie Mae Alamogordo H 

13.97 x16.00 2 13 Chavez, Emma Belen High S 16.19 1 

Event 8 Boys 100 Meter Dash ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points

  1 Wysong, Evan Sue Clevelan 11.51 11.86 2 7 

2 West, Brandon Sue Clevelan 11.88 11.93 2 5 

3 Sanchez, Nathan Belen High S 11.60 12.15 2 4 

4 Tuttle, Evert Belen High S 11.83 12.29 2 3 

5 Meloy Chavez, Anthon Pojoaque Val 11.79 12.4

6 2 2 6 Matinez, Diego Pojoaque Val 12.71 12.49 1 1

7 Tibbs, Sam Belen High S 11.78 12.65 2 

8 Dodd, Ethan Sue Clevelan 11.89 12.70 1

9 Barraza, Ezequiel Alamogordo H 11.84 12.89 2

10 Wedlow, Amarius Alamogordo H 11.94 12.92 1 

11 Surpris, Christian Alamogordo H 12.14 13.09 1 

12 Vasquez, Jesse Belen High S x13.37 1 — Murphy, David Sue Clevelan 11.61 DQ 2 

Event 9 Girls 4×800 Meter Relay ========================================================================School Seed Finals Points 

1 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 10:35.92 11:06.04 10

2 Sue Cleveland High School ‘A’ 11:59.20 8 

3 Belen High School ‘A’ 12:10.64 6 

Event 10 Boys 4×800 Meter Relay ========================================================================School Seed Finals Points 

1 Sue Cleveland High School ‘A’ 8:41.49 8:59.29 10

2 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 9:12.00 9:31.42 8

3 Pojoaque Valley High School ‘A’ 10:30.02 10:28.07 6

4 Belen High School ‘A’ 11:14.69 4

Event 11 Girls 4×200 Meter Relay ======================================================================== School Seed Finals Points 

1 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 1:49.28 1:47.13 10 

2 Sue Cleveland High School ‘A’ 1:54.32 1:54.72 8 3

Belen High School ‘A’ 1:59.87 2:00.93 6 4 Pojoaque Valley High School ‘A’ 2:13.38 2:17.53 4

Event 12 Boys 4×200 Meter Relay ======================================================================== School Seed Finals Points 

1 Sue Cleveland High School ‘A’ 1:31.88 1:33.82 10

2 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 1:35.80 1:34.43 8 

3 Belen High School ‘A’ 1:37.04 1:36.00 6

4 Pojoaque Valley High School ‘A’ 1:42.16 1:43.50 4

Event 13 Girls 400 Meter Dash ======================================================================== Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points 

1 Quintana, Alicia Pojoaque Val 58.50 1:04.52 2 7 

2 Gerou, Eva Alamogordo H 1:05.47 1:05.70 2 5 

3 Shaw, Haley Alamogordo H 1:09.46 1:07.14 2 4 

4 Walker, Gracie Alamogordo H 1:02.25 1:07.60 2 3 

5 Shaner, Tori Sue Clevelan 1:10.27 1:13.32 2 2

6 Mbonifor, Kaileen Sue Clevelan 1:15.72 1:15.43 1 1

7 Wright, Jada Belen High S 1:16.00 1

8 Bob, Jaelynn Belen High S 1:20.08 1

9 Lopez, Maesyn Belen High S 1:12.50 1:20.75 1 

10 Bernal, Vianey Pojoaque Val 1:29.55 1:26.83 1 

Event 14 Boys 400 Meter Dash ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points 

1 Monreal, Aurelio Alamogordo H 54.96 55.97 2 7 

2 Howell, Brandon Sue Clevelan 53.50 56.22 2 5

3 Bernal, Ivan Alamogordo H 55.92 57.94 2 4 

4 Fresquez, Nicholas Belen High S 1:00.26 59.87 1 3

5 Holt, Wyatt Alamogordo H 57.37 1:00.44 2 2 

6 Sell, Matthew Alamogordo H 56.06 x1:02.76 2 

7 Parra-Erivez, Aaron Belen High S 1:03.61 1:03.03 1 1 

8 Lopez, Axel Belen High S 1:05.38 1:03.77 1 

9 Duran, Alexandro Pojoaque Val 1:03.57 1:04.51 1 

10 Lujan, Javin Pojoaque Val 1:09.90 1:09.38 1 

Event 15 Girls 300 Meter Hurdles ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals Points 

1 Duchene, Kaelan Alamogordo H 49.19 48.98 7 

2 Castillo, Sofia Belen High S 53.19 53.76 5 

3 Riordan, Anna Alamogordo H 52.34 56.24 4

4 Soe, Saung Alamogordo H 54.10 57.24 3 

5 Castillo, Juliana Alamogordo H 53.45 x1:03.41 

6 Garcia, Aaliyah Belen High S 1:04.93 2 

Goodmacher, Abigail Sue Clevelan 51.29 District Qualified

Event 16 Boys 300 Meter Hurdles ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points 

1 Kotter, Gabe Alamogordo H 40.50 43.05 2 7

2 Griego, Elijah Sue Clevelan 46.54 43.50 2 5

3 Wysong, Evan Sue Clevelan 44.62 44.29 2 4

4 Shendo, Devonte Sue Clevelan 45.06 44.53 2 3 

5 Wallace, William Sue Clevelan 47.73 x47.21 2 

6 Wedlow, Amarius Alamogordo H 48.70 50.48 2 2 

7 Padilla, Alan Pojoaque Val 51.27 1 1 

8 Siseneros, Carlos Pojoaque Val 51.93 51.76 1 

9 Hidalgo, Marques Belen High S 58.22 56.01 1

10 Benavidez, Julian Belen High S 59.81 56.80 1 

11 Ortiz, Aiden Pojoaque Val 57.12 59.11 1

12 Lujan, Javin Pojoaque Val 53.26 x1:10.47 1 

Event 17 Girls 800 Meter Run ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals Points 

1 Battle, Ellary Alamogordo H 2:23.76 2:29.45 7 

2 Martinez, Sara Belen High S 2:56.05 5 

3 Towles, Elizabeth Pojoaque Val 3:04.16 2:57.24 4 

4 Sanchez, Lisette Belen High S 2:58.14 3

5 Romero, Danielle Pojoaque Val 3:03.14 3:11.92 2 

6 Serna, Kaylee Pojoaque Val 3:15.46 3:17.21 1 7 Bob, Jaelynn Belen High S 3:19.21

Event 18 Boys 800 Meter Run ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals Points
  1 Nunn, Caden Sue Clevelan 2:06.00 2:02.16 7 

2 Fragua, Jonathan Sue Clevelan 2:06.00 2:06.96 5

3 Smothermon, Dylan Sue Clevelan 2:13.00 2:15.05 4

4 Martinez, Diego Belen High S 2:13.60 2:16.42 3

5 Gagnon, Michael Alamogordo H 2:16.00 2:18.35 2 

6 Dancy, Ronald Sue Clevelan 2:15.00 x2:22.78 

7 Pacheco, Adam Pojoaque Val 2:28.01 2:29.34 1 

8 Sullivan, Jacob Pojoaque Val 2:39.52 2:36.33 

9 Hibpshman, Jared Alamogordo H 2:44.50 2:39.10

10 Tiede, Lucas Pojoaque Val 2:42.65 2:39.47

11 Martinez, Henry Pojoaque Val x2:43.19 

12 Lopez, Adrian Belen High S 3:07.15 2:54.29 

Event 19 Girls 1600 Sprint Medley ========================================================================School Seed Finals Points 

1 Sue Cleveland High School ‘A’ 5:02.14 4:33.16 10 

2 Belen High School ‘A’ 5:09.91 4:58.23 8 

3 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 4:45.00 5:13.91 6 

4 Pojoaque Valley High School ‘A’ 6:41.93 4 

Event 20 Boys 1600 Sprint Medley ========================================================================School Seed Finals Points 

1 Sue Cleveland High School ‘A’ 3:52.18 3:50.31 10

2 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 4:01.87 4:06.55 8 

3 Belen High School ‘A’ 4:29.73 4:29.87 6

4 Pojoaque Valley High School ‘A’ 4:37.97 4:36.87 4 

Event 21 Girls 200 Meter Dash ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points 

1 Martin, Justyse Alamogordo H 26.28 26.40 2 7 

2 Stinson, Yvonne Alamogordo H 26.85 26.79 2 5 

3 Quintana, Alicia Pojoaque Val 26.43 27.54 2 4 

4 Adams, Rebecca Alamogordo H 28.14 28.62 2 3 

5 Shaw, Haley Alamogordo H 28.69 x29.07 2

6 Quintana, Sonya Pojoaque Val 30.21 29.71 1 2

7 Horn, Danialle Sue Clevelan 30.01 30.72 2 1 

8 Dannenberg, Ashley Sue Clevelan 30.84 1

9 Lopez, Maesyn Belen High S 29.55 32.29 2

10 Gomez, Analyssa Pojoaque Val 32.44 32.59 1 

11 Wright, Jada Belen High S 32.89 1 

12 Mbonifor, Kaileen Sue Clevelan 34.07 33.24 1

13 Maez, Martina Pojoaque Val 34.39 x34.03 1 

14 Chavez, Emma Belen High S 34.27 1 

Event 22 Boys 200 Meter Dash ======================================================================== Name Year School Seed Finals H# Points 

1 Wysong, Luke Sue Clevelan 22.68 22.37 2 7 

2 Gilbert, Harlon Alamogordo H 23.74 23.19 2 5 

3 Sanchez, Nathan Belen High S 23.78 23.84 2 4 

4 Barraza, Ezequiel Alamogordo H 24.20 24.72 2 3 

5 Moser, Landon Alamogordo H 24.06 24.94 2 2

6 Chilimidos, Jared Belen High S 24.39 25.06 1 1

7 Martinez, D,Sean Pojoaque Val 25.34 25.48 1

8 Sanchez, Jesse Belen High S 26.26 25.70 1 

9 Surpris, Christian Alamogordo H 25.78 x26.38 1 

10 Hall, Zack Pojoaque Val 27.41 29.09 1

11 Gomez, Bryan Pojoaque Val 29.49 30.63 1 

Event 23 Girls 1600 Meter Run ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals Points 

1 Shaklee, Janae Alamogordo H 5:45.96 5:56.85 7 

2 Toya, Elise Sue Clevelan 6:35.14 6:33.16 5

3 Towles, Elizabeth Pojoaque Val 6:38.11 6:34.20 4 

4 Weideman, Marina Sue Clevelan 6:41.54 6:34.44 3

5 Wright, Ahnaleigha Belen High S 7:05.84 2 

6 Silva, Iris Belen High S 7:10.87 1

Event 24 Boys 1600 Meter Run ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals Points 

1 Humetewa, Chris Sue Clevelan 4:44.47 4:40.63 7

2 Rangel, Ricardo Sue Clevelan 4:46.00 4:50.83 5 

3 Toya, Cody Sue Clevelan 5:00.47 4:57.79 4 

4 Howell, Blayne Sue Clevelan 4:59.75 x5:02.88 

5 Gagnon, Michael Alamogordo H 5:04.00 5:26.61 3

6 Hallbeck, Jack Alamogordo H 5:47.77 5:50.08 2

7 Sisneros, Santos Belen High S 6:13.96 6:13.41 1

8 Padilla, Matias Belen High S 6:01.70 6:25.74 

9 Hall, Elijah Pojoaque Val 6:04.40 6:32.76

10 Tiede, Matias Pojoaque Val 7:02.86 7:13.00 

Event 66 Girls 4×400 Yard Relay ========================================================================School Seed Finals Points 

1 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 4:13.85 4:18.71 10

2 Sue Cleveland High School ‘A’ 4:33.78 4:28.89 8 

3 Belen High School ‘A’ 4:41.20 4:41.14 6 

Event 67 Boys 4×400 Yard Relay ======================================================================== School Seed Finals Points

1 Alamogordo High School ‘A’ 3:32.88 3:38.01 10

2 Sue Cleveland High School ‘A’ 3:28.93 3:38.67 8

3 Belen High School ‘A’ 4:04.78 4:13.52 6 

4 Pojoaque Valley High School ‘A’ 4:33.09 4:20.98 4 

Event 68 Girls Discus Throw ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals Points 

1 Marquez, Macy Alamogordo H 121-02 115-09 7 

2 Ulmer, Kennedy Sue Clevelan 04-01.50 103-02 5 

3 Calabaza, Hennessei Pojoaque Val 37-10 91-03 4 

4 Saiz, Serena Belen High S 80-07 84-00 3 

5 Archuleta, Maya Pojoaque Val 81-09 78-06 2 

6 Lowe, Ava Sue Clevelan 68-02.50 76-01 1 

7 Bonbrake, Riley Sue Clevelan 69-01 73-01

8 Teague, Ashlyn Belen High S 70-03 

9 Trujillo, Leah Pojoaque Val 71-00 67-10 

10 Pattinson, Maliah Alamogordo H 62-11 61-03

11 Baca, Nikki Belen High S 56-06

12 Carrica, Isabel Sue Clevelan 54-07 x53-11 

13 Branch, Lauren Pojoaque Val 42-02.50 x45-00 

Event 69 Boys Discus Throw ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals Points 

1 Gray, Jason Sue Clevelan 136-01 134-11 7 

2 Pargas, Estevan Sue Clevelan 123-03 119-09 5 

3 Coyazo, Daniel Alamogordo H 111-04 117-02 4 

4 Bannerman, Camryn Sue Clevelan 104-10 113-11 3 

5 Marquez, Corey Sue Clevelan 121-06 x112-10 

6 Enriquez, Esteban Belen High S 113-06 111-02 2 

7 Vanchaik, Josh Pojoaque Val 95-00 108-09 1 

8 Coyazo, Aiden Alamogordo H 101-00 93-00 

9 Manwill, Matthew Pojoaque Val 90-02 85-07 

10 Ledesma, Donovan Alamogordo H 93-03 85-04 

11 Padilla, Alan Pojoaque Val 84-02 

11 Lopez, Adan Belen High S 73-08 84-02 

13 White, Payton Alamogordo H 95-05 x78-04 

14 Gonzales-rogers, Aidan Belen High S 69-10.50 68-02

15 Sisneros, Santiago Belen High S 66-02 x65-02

16 Jaramillo, Josiah Pojoaque Val x58-09 

Event 70 Girls Shot Put ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals Points

  1 Ulmer, Kennedy Sue Clevelan 30-10.00 33-00.00 7 

2 Saiz, Serena Belen High S 32-08.75 31-03.00 5 

3 Calabaza, Hennessei Pojoaque Val 25-06.00 29-05.50 4

4 Marquez, Macy Alamogordo H 31-10.00 28-09.50 3 

5 Carrica, Isabel Sue Clevelan 24-10.00 26-04.00 2

6 Bonbrake, Rylie Sue Clevelan 25-09.50 26-01.50 1 

7 Lowe, Ava Sue Clevelan 28-08.50 x26-00.50 

8 Uroiste, Annica Pojoaque Val 24-03.00

9 Branch, Lauren Pojoaque Val 21-09.00 21-10.50 

10 Hernandez, Yatzhiry Belen High S 18-06.75 19-11.50 

11 Teague, Ashlyn Belen High S 19-07.00 

12 Pattinson, Maliah Alamogordo H 21-06.00 19-04.00

13 Archuleta, Alexis Pojoaque Val 18-08.50 x19-02.00 

Event 71 Boys Shot Put ======================================================================== Name Year School Seed Finals Points 

1 Gray, Jason Sue Clevelan 39-04.50 44-08.00 7

2 LoCoco, Kaden Alamogordo H 45-03.00 44-04.50 5 

3 Jenson, Tyler Sue Clevelan 43-07.50 44-00.00 4

4 Pargas, Estevan Sue Clevelan 47-05.50 43-05.50 3 

5 Bannerman, Camryn Sue Clevelan 43-06.75 x40-01.50 

6 Cruz, Joaquin Alamogordo H 40-05.00 40-00.00 2

7 Coyazo, Daniel Alamogordo H 39-09.50 39-04.25 1 

8 Enriquez, Esteban Belen High S 40-00.25 37-03.00 

9 Vanchaik, Josh Pojoaque Val 32-11.00 32-10.00 

10 Manwill, Matthew Pojoaque Val 34-04.00 31-10.00 

11 Gonzales-rogers, Aidan Belen High S 32-07.00 30-03.00 

12 Sisneros, Santiago Belen High S 28-07.25 28-09.50 

13 Lopez, Adan Belen High S 31-03.75 x27-06.00 

14 Padilla, Alan Pojoaque Val 24-07.00 

15 Gaskill, Isaiah Alamogordo H 32-06.00 x22-09.00 — 

Waters, Deymian Pojoaque Val ND 

Event 72 Girls High Jump ======================================================================== Name Year School Seed Finals Points  

1 Stinson, Yvonne Alamogordo H 5-00.00 5-02.00 7 

2 Goodmacher, Abigail Sue Clevelan 5-00.00 5-00.00 5

3 Savage, Baylee Sue Clevelan 4-07.00 4-06.00 4 

4 Castillo, Evelyn Alamogordo H 4-06.00 4-04.00 3 Baca, Esperanza Sue Clevelan 4-03.00

NH — Soe, Saung Alamogordo H 4-04.00 

NH Event 73 Boys High Jump ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals Points 

1 Savage, Cole Sue Clevelan 5-06.00 6-01.00 7 

2 Kotter, Gabe Alamogordo H 5-10.00 5-07.00 5

3 Spencer, Klevon Alamogordo H 5-06.00 5-05.25 4 

4 Wedlow, Amarius Alamogordo H 

5-06.00 5-05.00 3 

Sell, Zack Alamogordo H 5-08.00 NH 

Event 74 Girls Long Jump ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals Points

1 Stinson, Yvonne Alamogordo H 15-02.00 16-05.75 7 

2 Mamuya, Nia Sue Clevelan 14-10.00 14-11.50 5 

3 Duchene, Kaelan Alamogordo H 15-01.50 13-11.75 4 

4 Jamerson, Arianna Sue Clevelan 15-03.75 13-07.00 3 

5 Riordan, Anna Alamogordo H 13-08.25 12-11.50 2 

6 Fresquez, Selena Belen High S 14-11.00 12-10.00 1 

7 Tuttle, Alisha Belen High S 13-09.00 12-07.50

8 Wright, Jada Belen High S 10-10.50 

9 DeAguero, Alanna Pojoaque Val 10-00.00 10-08.00

10 Chavez, Emma Belen High S x9-09.50

Castillo, Juliana Alamogordo H 14-00.00 ND 

Event 75 Boys Long Jump ======================================================================== Name Year School Seed Finals Points 

1 Wysong, Luke Sue Clevelan 22-05.50 22-02.50 7

2 Avila, Antonio Sue Clevelan 21-04.25 5 

3 Wysong, Evan Sue Clevelan 20-10.00 19-11.50 4 

4 Moser, Landon Alamogordo H 20-01.00 19-03.25 3

5 Murphy, David Sue Clevelan 20-01.00 x18-09.00 

6 Sanchez, Jesse Belen High S 18-03.00 18-03.00 2 

7 Rodriguez, Edgardo Belen High S 16-08.50 1 

8 Tibbs, Sam Belen High S 17-10.00 16-05.75 

9 Bernal, Ivan Alamogordo H 17-05.00 16-04.25 

10 Leyba Holmes, Devonn Pojoaque Val 19-01.00 16-02.00 

11 Ocoha, Jesus Alamogordo H 14-09.50

12 Melloy Chavez, Ethan Pojoaque Val 

13-02.50 14-07.50 

Fresquez, Nicholas Belen High S 14-06.00 ND

Event 76 Girls Javelin Throw ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals Points 

1 Lessentine, Sierra Alamogordo H 103-00 100-03 7

2 Ulmer, Kennedy Sue Clevelan 100-09 99-11 5 

3 Torres, Ariana Alamogordo H 98-00 94-03 4 

4 Bonbrake, Riley Sue Clevelan 73-11 75-09 3 

5 Carrica, Isabel Sue Clevelan 71-10 72-10 2 

6 Saiz, Serena Belen High S 83-09 70-06 1 

7 Baca, Nikki Belen High S 69-10 

8 Lowe, Ava Sue Clevelan 66-00 x67-02

9 Calabaza, Hennessei Pojoaque Val 55-00 64-04

10 Archuleta, Maya Pojoaque Val 60-04 58-08 

11 Trujillo, Leah Pojoaque Val 72-04 51-01

12 Teague, Ashlyn Belen High S 49-03 

13 Archuleta, Alexis Pojoaque Val 50-06.50 x45-08 

14 Hernandez, Yatzhiry Belen High S x44-03 

Event 77 Boys Javelin Throw ======================================================================== Name Year School Seed Finals Points 

1 Jenson, Tyler Sue Clevelan 183-03 182-06 7 

2 Gray, Jason Sue Clevelan 144-00 149-00 5

3 Enriquez, Esteban Belen High S 140-06 136-08 4 

4 Lopez, Adan Belen High S 118-00 131-11 3 

5 Pacheco, Adam Pojoaque Val 111-03 130-09 2 

6 Bowen, Jimmy Alamogordo H 144-05 128-00 1 

7 Gonzales-rogers, Aidan Belen High S 121-00 120-05 

8 Cruz, Joaquin Alamogordo H 105-09 104-00 

9 Tibbs, Sam Belen High S x99-08 

10 Anthony, Connor Alamogordo H 91-02.50 99-01 

11 Padilla, Alan Pojoaque Val 94-10 

12 Manwill, Matthew Pojoaque Val 79-02 90-01

13 Vanchaik, Josh Pojoaque Val 82-00 x71-02.50 

Davison, Jeff Sue Clevelan 152-00 ND 

Event 78 Girls Pole Vault ======================================================================== Name Year School Seed Finals Points 

1 Gerou, Eva Alamogordo H 8-07.00 7-09.25 7 

2 Dannenberg, Ashley Sue Clevelan 7-09.00 5 

Medina, Jade Sue Clevelan NH — Jones, Gabrielle Sue Clevelan 6-03.00 NH 

Event 79 Boys Pole Vault ======================================================================== Name Year School Seed Finals Points

1 McKinney, Logan Sue Clevelan 10-00.00 10-03.00 7 

2 Marquez, Joey Alamogordo H 10-06.00 9-09.25 5 

3 Joseph, Michael Sue Clevelan 10-00.00 9-09.00 4 

4 Melendrez, Xavier Alamogordo H 8-06.00 8-09.00 3 

Ford, Brayden Sue Clevelan NH

Event 80 Girls Triple Jump ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals Points

1 Esquero, Alyssa Alamogordo H 31-11.00 31-04.00 7 

2 Riordan, Anna Alamogordo H 31-01.00 28-05.25 5 

3 Neilson, Michaela Alamogordo H 28-03.50 27-10.25 4 

4 Koehler, Lynley Alamogordo H 29-10.00 x27-08.75 

5 Mbonifor, Kaileen Sue Clevelan 27-11.00 27-05.25 3

6 Garcia, Aaliyah Belen High S 28-09.75 26-09.25 2 

7 Castillo, Sofia Belen High S 28-05.50 26-03.75 1 

8 Tuttle, Alisha Belen High S 26-09.50 25-05.50 

Event 81 Boys Triple Jump ========================================================================Name Year School Seed Finals Points

1 Gilbert, Harlon Alamogordo H 42-05.00 41-02.00 7 

2 Sanchez, Jesse Belen High S 37-04.00 39-06.50 5

3 Moser, Landon Alamogordo H 38-05.50 38-02.50 4

4 Holt, Wyatt Alamogordo H 34-04.00 33-08.50 3

5 Sheets, Blaze Belen High S 33-08.75 32-08.25 2 

Hidalgo, Marques Belen High S ND — Martinez, Diego Belen High S 29-01.50 ND 

========================================================================

Women – Team Rankings – 20 Events Scored 

1) Alamogordo High School 208 

2) Sue Cleveland High School 114

3) Belen High School 63 

4) Pojoaque Valley High Scho 53 

========================================================================

Men – Team Rankings – 20 Events Scored 

1) Sue Cleveland High School 221 

2) Alamogordo High School 138 

3) Belen High School 73 

4) Pojoaque Valley High Scho 31

Congratulations Tigers for a job well done.

For a complete history of the Alamogordo Track and Field and Football program to include a listing of ALL District and State Tiger Medalist from 1914 to 1976 check out the book series

Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days available at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo and sold online in 36 countries on Amazon.

To see photos of past track and field winners from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s visit the historical photo archive of Tiger Track and Field at

https://2ndlifemedia.com/coach-bob-sepulveda-books

Alamogordo Sport History: A Look Back at the 1973 Alamogordo Tigers Track and Field Team with District & State Results – Alamogordo Town News & Sports

A Look Back at the 1973 Alamogordo Tigers Track and Field Team brings us to the first of many track and field state trophies to be awarded to Alamogordo High School under the leadership of Coach Bob Sepulveda who led the team from the late 60’s to the mid 90’s. Under his leadership the track and field team won 5 state title, 4 in a row in the mid 90’s and countless 2nd, and 3rd place state trophies as well as district titles. 1973 was a defining year in the path upward for Alamogordo High Track and Field.

The 1973 Alamogordo Tiger Track and Field felt the pressure of District Wins each of the 3 preceding years. From a team of only 13 just 3 years ago, the 1973 squad consisted of 32 team members.

(Photo above 1973 Alamogordo High Track and Field Team Fieldsmen L-R: Norman Avila, Terry Rich, Bob Tuttle. Backrow: Ron Gourley, Steve Fredrick, Carl Hutchison, David Burch & Tim McMurry.)

Photo Above 1973 Alamogordo High Track and Field Team Sprinters  front row: Will Henley, Paul Najera, Ken Washington, David Finley. Back row: Dale Norman, Dennis Baca, Larry Vorquez, Pat Telles, Jim Sanders. Third Row: Joe Wright, Scott Hutt and Chuck Wood.

Photo Above: 1973 Alamogordo High Track & Field Distance Runners front row: David Dunlop, Russell Golightly, Tom Woolworth, Brad Person, Charles Racoosin. Second row: David Sanchez, Steven Garcia, Terry McLean, Eddy Garcia, Robert Golightly and Ken Burns.

Photo in story above Coach Bob Sepulveda in 1973 with the stopwatch checking his teams times. His saying prevails today, “the stopwatch never lies, run, run, run”

The Alamogordo Tiger Boy’s took several medals at the White Sands Rolla Buck Invitational Meet of 1973. At that time girls did not participate in interscholastic sports but all of that was in the process of changing as GAA was phasing out and interscholastic sports for girls would begin the next year via title IX at Alamogordo High.

Alamogordo Boy’s who placed at the 1973 Rolla Buck White Sands Invitational Sponsored by the Lions Club included:

  • Terry Rich, 3rd Place Pole Vault
  • Chuck Wood, 1st Place, 220 Yard Dash
  • Dale Norman, 2nd Place 120 High Hurdles
    • 3rd Place Low Hurdles
  • Will Henley, 2nd Place, 100 Yard Dash
    • 2nd Place, 220 Dash
  • Robert Golightly, 3rd Place, Mile Run
  • Steve Frederick, 3rd Place, Shot Put
  • Mark Taylor, 2nd Place, 440 Yard Dash
  • Scott Hutt, 3rd Place, 880 Run
  • Art Keller, Ken Washington, Chuck Wood, Jimmy Sanders, 4th Place, Medley Relay

School records were established in the mile relay and the 180- yard low hurdles Saturday during the White Sands Relays sponsored by the Tiger Track Team and the Evening Lions Club of 1973.

Art Keller flashed over the hurdles in 19.6 in the preliminaries and went on to win the event and he was named the “Outstanding Athlete” for the Relays.

The Tiger mile relay team ripped off that distance in 3.24.7 to break the school record set by Bowie in 1972 during the Relays when they ran it in 3.26.2. Relay team members were Ken Washington, Dennis Baca, Mark Taylor and Jimmy Sanders.

The Tiger 440 Relay Team took first when they ran it in 43.6 Art Keller, Ken Washington, Chuck Wood and Jimmy Sanders were on the team. Keller also took first in the 100- yard dash. Chuck Wood took 1st in the 220 dash. Jimmy Sanders took 1st in the 440 dash. Carl Hutchison tied for1st in the High Jump. Steve Frederickson took 1st in the discus. Robert Golightly placed 1st in the two-mile run….

Meet results showed the Tigers with a team 1st place win with a final total of 112 ½ Bowie came in 2nd at 46 ½ and Cobre came in 3rd with a 41 ½.

The District Title in 1973 went again to the Alamogordo Tigers for a 4th consecutive year in a row. The local paper of the time the Alamogordo Daily News Reported:

1972/73 District Track & Field Results  May 6th, 1973 Headline Alamogordo Sports Section…”Thinclads Get 135 Points to Cop 4th District Win”

“Tiger Thinclads walked… or ran… jumped or threw further and faster than anyone else in the district 3AAAA at Las Cruces on Saturday, to take their 4th District Win in a row under Coach Bob Sepulveda. 12 of the Tigers placed 1st
Place in the meet competitions as the Tigers Topped 135 points for a 1st Place finish. Mayfield scored 94 points for a 2nd Place Finish and Las Cruces scored 75 points for a 3rd Place Finish.”

1973 Alamogordo High School Boys Track and Field District Medalist included:

  • Carl Hutchison, 1st Place, High Jump
  • Steve Frederick, 1st Place, Discus
  • 1st Place, 440 Relay Team
  • 2nd Place, Shot Put
  • Art Keller, 1st Place, 100 Yard Dash
    • 1st Place, 880 Relay Team
  • 1st Place, Mile Relay Team
  • 2nd Place,120 Low Hurdles
  • Jimmy Sanders, 1st Place, 440 Relay Team
  • Larry Vazquez , 1st Place, Mile Relay Team
  • Dale Norman, 1st Place, High Hurdles
    • 1st Place, Low Hurdles
  • Mark Taylor, 2nd Place, 440
  • Scott Hutt, 1st Place ,880
  • Chuck Wood, 1st Place220
    • 2nd Place, High Hurdles
  • Robert Golightly, 1st Place, 2Mile
    • 2nd Place, 1 Mile
  • Dennis Baca, 2nd Place,220
    • 5th Place, 120 High Hurdles
  • Brad Pierson, 2nd Place, 2 Mile
  • Charlie Racoosin, 4th Place, 2Mile
  • Art Keller, Ken Washington, Chuck Wood, Jimmy Sanders, 3rd Place, Medley Relay
  • Will Henley, 3rd Place,220
    • 4th Place, 100 Yard Dash
  • Terry McClean, 5th Place, Mile
  • Terry Rich, 5th Place, Pole Vault

13 Tigers qualified to attend the state meet in Albuquerque May 11th and 12th, 1973.

May 12th, 1973 is a day that will live in the memories of most of the class of 1973 as that is the day the Boys brought home a state trophy. The headlines across the state raged on about the upset and surprise that Alamogordo pulled off a 2nd place showing at the state level.

“The Alamogordo Tiger Thinclads surprised most of the track experts when they pulled into the 2nd Place position during

the State Track Meet to capture a big trophy at Albuquerque”

Photo Above 1973 2nd Place State Track and Field Trophy and Winning Team: Back L-R: Coach Dick Strong, Coach Jack Geron, Dale Norman, Steve Frederick, Carl Hutchison, Jimmy Sanders, Scott Hutt, Mark Taylor, Coach Jack Narrell, Head Coach Bob Sepulveda. Front L-R: Manager Pat McMurry, Art Keller, Robert Golightly, Brad Pierson, Dennis Baca, Ken Washington and Chuck Wood. (Photo Courtesy Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book 1- Alamogordo News 5/17/73)

Defending State Champion Hobbs took an early lead and placed 1st to win the state. Alamogordo Tigers placed second in the state meet with 48 points followed by Carlsbad in 3rd place and Clovis closing out with a 4th place win.

Individual State Medalist for the 1973 State Track Meet from the Alamogordo Tiger’s Track and Field Team included:

  • Steve Fredericks, 1st Place, Discus, 159’10”
  • Robert Golightly, 1st Place, 2 Mile Run ,10.31.1
  • Ken Washington, Larry Vazquez , Mark Taylor & Jimmy Sanders 1st Place, Mile Relay, 3.25.4
  • Jimmy Sanders, 3rd Place, 440,49.8
  • Dale Norman, 5th Place, 180 Low Hurdles, 21.3
  • Art Keller, Ken Washington, Chuck Wood, Jimmy Sanders, 3rd Place, 440 Relay, 48.4
  • Scott Hutt, 4th Place, 880,2.00
  • Chuck Wood, 3rd Place, 220, 22.6
    • 5th Place, 100, 10.2
  • Carl Hutchison, 3rd Place, High Jump, 6’.0
  • Art Keller, 4th Place, 100,10.1

(Photo Above Art Keller Team Member 1973 Track & Field State Medalist Alamogordo Tiger Track Team of 1973.)

(Photo Above Jimmy Sanders at the New Mexico State Track Meet Placing 1st in the 1 Mile Relay with team members Ken Washington, Larry Vazquez and Mark Taylor. (Photo courtesy Coach Bob Sepulveda Collection)

Alamogordo High School Girls competed in the state GAA event that same weekend. 59 Girls attended the 6th annual GAA track meet representing Alamogordo. Seventh to Twelfth graders took part in three classes: Senior, Junior and Intermediate. 31 Junior High, 21 Mid High and 7 High School girls entered.

The Alamogordo Girls took 2nd in the Senior High level, 3rd in the Junior Division and 3rd in the Intermediate Division.

The coaches were Marilyn Sepulveda, Fran Stirman and Helen Reed.

Source and certain Excerpts from Alamogordo News referenced in Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book 1 from 1973 Available Locally at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, Tularosa Basin Historical Society on White Sands Blvd, and on Amazon in 36 Countries.

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/29443/alamogordo-sport-history-look-back-1973-alamogordo-tigers-track-and-field

History: Golf Coach Billy Aldridge, “Mr. Irrelevant” a title given to the last player picked in the NFL draft was relevant!

The title of “Mr. Irrelevant” is given annually to the last player picked in the NFL draft. 1960 brought a change in leadership of the Alamogordo football and the track and field program. The new program leader was Coach Ralph Tate. Coach Tate had a connection to the Alamogordo school system, via his college friend, Alamogordo Golf Coach Billy Aldridge. 

Photo Coach Billy Aldridge New Mexico Golf (Photo Courtesy Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book Series 2nd Life Media Alamogordo Town News)
Photo on Blog of Mr. Relevant Coach Billy Aldridge New Mexico Golf – (Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book Alamogordo Town News 2nd Life Media)

Both were alumni of Oklahoma State University, both were competitive and avid golfers; (competing in many tournaments together and against each other) and both were drafted to the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. 

Neither actually had play time in the NFL instead; Aldridge pursued his passion of Coaching Golf and Tate followed his passion into Coaching Track & Field and Football primarily Track and Field. 

For a brief time Tate coached in Alamogordo for the 1960/61 Track & Field Season, while Aldridge had a long career in Alamogordo as a recognized winning coach.

Tragedy shook the boys and coaches competing at State in 1976. Concurrent to the State Track and Field meet is also competition of other athletic events, Golf being one of them. Alamogordo had one of the winningest and most successful high school golf programs on the west coast. 

The Golf Program was under the Coaching leadership of Billy Aldridge. Aldridge and Coach Tate had a very strong bond and strong relationship in the early 1960’s. Tate moved on from Alamogordo but Aldridge built a reputation unsurpassed in Alamogordo even in more modern times. 

Coach Aldridge’s program was unique in that it was coached by him and he had exclusive control of that program. He collaborated in PE and was respected by all the other athletic coaches. He produced the 3 and only three State Golf Titles Alamogordo has ever won per the NMAA. The Tigers won the team state title in 1968, 1971 and 1972 under Coach Bill Aldridge.

Alamogordo High School has had 4 male golf champions win the state golf title 3 were under Coach Aldridge.  Under Coach Aldridge in 1966, Bruce McKenzie won the title and the title went to Brad Bryant in 1971 and 1973. Bryant attended the University of New Mexico for three years, but turned professional and qualified for the PGA Tour in 1976, a year before his scheduled graduation.

May 13, 1976 Alamogordo News Headline Page 1 Article by Rick Wright: “Team Playing for Coach, Aldridge Hit by Car on Duke City Street”

“ Alamogordo High School Golf Coach was listed in critical condition…after being struck by a car Wednesday night… Aldridge 53, was struck by a car while walking across Albuquerque’s Central Avenue… A medical center spokesman said Aldridge was in critical condition and suffered a broken back, broken ankle, broken leg, broken ribs and collapsed lung…

Aldridges 5 man golf team competing at state was badly shaken up by the event. Alamogordo’s individual leader Dan Koesters spoke for the team and said,”We are trying to win for him. He’d like for us to win for sure. We are trying to put the accident out of our minds for a few hours and win it for him.”

Per the Alamogordo News, May 14, 1976; “the Alamogordo Tigers Golf Team was 3rd after the first round and only 3 strokes behind Sandia and Santa Fe.”

Coach Bob Sepulveda was asked to step in to console the boys and fill in as the tournament coach during the final phase of the golf tournament. Coach Sepulveda said, “the boys were obviously shaken up as was I. I was there to console the team and provide support. We were all shocked and broken hearted.”

Coach Billy Aldridge did not recover and died of complications from the accident with the announcement of his death on May 16th, 1976.

Jimmy Tramel, World Sports Writer did an interview with Aldridges wife in 2006 and outlined a great highlight of his life…

1945’s ‘Mr. Irrelevant,’ a former OSU player, was relevant to many people during short life. The title of “Mr. Irrelevant” is given annually to the last player picked in the NFL draft. The label doesn’t fit Billy Joe Aldridge…

Aldridge, an Alma, Okla., native and former Oklahoma State football player, was the final player picked in the 1945 NFL Draft. He was selected in the 32nd round — 330th overall — by the Green Bay Packers. Aldridge never played a lick for the Packers, but he was relevant to many people during a life cut short 30 years ago this month.

Aldridge was a successful high school golf coach in Alamogordo, N.M., for more than two decades. He accompanied his team to Albuquerque for the state tournament in 1976 and the fatal accident occurred before the event concluded. His grief-stricken players got the worst kind of wake-up call the next morning, but teed it up nonetheless.

“He would have kicked us in the a– if we didn’t play,” said former player Dan Koesters, who is now director of golf at New Mexico State University’s course. “It was definitely one of those deals. There was never a day when you weren’t going to play some golf.” Aldridge coached Alamogordo teams that won multiple state championships. By Koesters’ count, at least seven Aldridge pupils played major college golf and five were All-Americans. Brad Bryant is fourth on  the Champions Tour money list this year and younger brother Bart Bryant is on the PGA Tour.

Billy Joe Aldridge died a month shy of his 54th birthday. He lived a long time in comparison to a younger brother, Bennie, a five-year NFL veteran who died in a 1956 plane crash, and a brother who died at age 3.

Another brother, Hubert, flirted with the grim reaper while in Iwo Jima. He took a sniper’s bullet and was unable to walk after he was transported to a military base.

Billy Joe Aldridge played football at Oklahoma A&M from 1941-42. His college career was interrupted by World War II. He spent three years in the Marines and his primary wartime duty was entertaining troops via athletic feats. He boxed and suited up for a Marine football squad alongside Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch, an NFL Hall of Famer who was picked 325 spots before Aldridge in the 1945 draft.

Aldridge once spotted a pretty female Marine, Bonnie Pedigo, in a dance hall. He told buddies he was going to marry that gal, and he was true to his word. Said Bonnie, “He called home and said ‘Mom, sell my 4-H calf. I’m going to get married.’ ” He had to pay a whopping tab (more than $30!) for a multiday honeymoon stay at the Statler Hotel in Washington, D.C.

After his military stint was over, Aldridge returned to his home state because he wanted to fulfill his dream of being a star runner at Oklahoma A&M. Problem was, a lad named Bob Fenimore already had that job.

Aldridge and his wife took advantage of the G.I. Bill to earn degrees and, while in Stillwater, golf became a passion. He soon was playing or practicing every day, regardless of weather.

If it rained, Aldridge would go out after the downpour stopped and hit balls until “dark-thirty,” said his widow. She recalled the time she made a hole-in-one and it was so cold that when she reached in the cup to grab her ball, she came away clutching a handful of ice. Aldridge burned a pile of leaves on the next hole so he and his wife could get warm.

Billy Aldridge wanted to coach and was determined to find a way to coach and was soon enroute to Alamogordo via teaching hitch in Carnegie. His first job was a $2,400-per-year gig in Carnegie. He and Bonnie took jobs in Idabel the next year because two incomes would allow them to be better providers for a son, Kent. Oklahoma teachers weren’t getting rich back then and Aldridge doubled his salary when he drove sight unseen to take a teaching and coaching job in Dexter, N.M. He left after one year to go to Alamogordo. “I heard they were building a golf course here and decided that since I liked golf better than any of the other sports I had been connected with, I would come here,” he once told an Alamogordo sports writer.

Aldridge coached nothing but golf at Alamogordo. Dan Koesters said Aldridge was ahead of his time as a high school coach, including the use of yardage books. Koesters said Alamogordo golfers “did things as a high school golf team that college teams didn’t do and things that I still have never seen a high school team do. We would meet at the park at 6:30 every morning and hit golf balls . . . and when we would get out of school, we would go to the course and play until dark.”

During Aldridge’s coaching career seven people came out of Alamogordo High and played Division I golf, that was really pretty amazing,” per Dan Koesters.

Koesters is in New Mexico State University’s Athletic Hall of Fame. “There is absolutely no question that my whole career hinges around a couple of people — coach Aldridge and my college golf coach, another guy I would put in that same classification. I guarantee you that Brad Bryant would say the exact same thing,” said Koesters of Aldridge.

Aldridges wife Bonnie, in an interview in 2006 acknowledged her husband’s contributions and his imperfections…

The late Billy Joe Aldridge was not perfect (no golfer is — imperfection is what makes golfers always come back for another round).” She acknowledged, “he battled the demon in the bottle.”

Bonnie found out what others thought of her husband after his death. She said “people I didn’t even know sent cards and letters.” She takes solace in the fact her husband made a difference. “I would like to think that every individual did good things for other people,” she said.

So the 1975,76 Alamogordo Tiger graduating class moved forward with tears and also great memories. The decade was a period of great change. Change did come to Alamogordo over the decades but the history and contributions of Coach Billy Aldridge are certainly relevant to this sports history of Alamogordo and of New Mexico. His impact on so many youth within New Mexico was relevant and is relevant today.

To learn more stories of the relevance of Coach Aldridge, Coach Tate, Coach Sepulveda and 100s of athletes. For more stories purchase Coach Robert Sepulveda The Early Days book series available on Amazon in 46 Countries or in the US also on Amazon and at fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogordo, New Mexico or your local independent book seller. 

New Mexico Olympic History: The 1950’s, Alamogordo High Schools First State Track & Field Title & New Mexico’s First Native Born Olympian Marvel

The 1950’s and Alamogordo’s First State Track & Field Title in New Mexico History

Photo on Blog and in original article posted to 2nd Life Media’s Alamogordo Town News courtesy of Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days Book Series and Archives. To see more photos of sports from the 50’s, 60s and 70s, visit 2ndlifemedia.com

The 1951/52 Track & Field Season was very historic for Southern New Mexico and for Alamogordo, with a state medal win from some very distinctive athletes.

The results of the State Competition winners include…

  • Bobby Lee, 1st Place, 100 Yard Dash, 9.8
    • Bobby Lee, 1st Place,220 Yard Dash, 21.21.6
    • Bobby Lee, 1st Place, Long Jump, 21’-01.375
    • Norman Kinder, 1st Place, Pole Vault, 10’-10.50”
    • Benny Garcia, 1st Place. Javelin, 193’-01.325

The Alamogordo Tigers Track and Field Team of 1951/52 smashed the competition at the state finals of that year.

They took and won the state competition with 48.5 points. Albuquerque High, the 1951 State Champion scored 21.5 points less for a 2nd place finish of 27 points.

  • Lee in addition to setting 2 state records personally scored 24 ¾ points. He broke the state records in the 100-yard dash by .2 seconds and the 220 by .8 seconds better than the record.
    • Lee was also 3rd Place in Shot Put
  • Benny Garcia shattered the state record in Javelin 11’ 3 ⅛” of 5 state records; the Tigers broke 3 of them.
  • Norman Kinder Placed 1st in Pole Vault with 10’-10.50”
  • Ed McAlpine, 2nd Place. in the state competition in Javelin behind Garcia.
  • Bobby Fritz, 3rd Place, Broad Jump
  • In the sprints in addition to the 1st Place wins of Bobby Lee, Oliver Lee, 4th Place 180 Low Hurdles.
  • The 880 Yard Relay Team consisting of Henderson, Fritz, O Lee and Bobby Lee placed with a 3rd place medal.
  •  Benny Garcia shattered the state record in Javelin 11’ 3 ⅛” of 5 state records; the Tigers broke 3 of them.
  • Norman Kinder, 1st Place, Pole Vault, 10’-10.50”

Coach Rolla Buck was incredibly pleased that year with his team having won both the state football title and the state track and field title. He said his boys; “overperformed and beat his expectations.”

 Coach Buck viewed Bobby Lee as “the best high school overall athlete the state of New Mexico had ever seen” to that point.

He also said that Garcia was the best Javelin player ever to come out of New Mexico’s high school system.

Two incredibly special athletes and their legacy is an honor to Alamogordo from that seasons track and field team of the early 1950s. Both athletes go down into the sports history of the United States, New Mexico and certainly of the Alamogordo community for their achievements.

Bobby Lee, after the amazing team results at Ysleta, (7 first place finishes out of 10 competitions) and winning the District Meet several athletes went to Albuquerque and competed at University Stadium in the State Competition. It was here that Bobby Lee set the state record on the 100 Yard Dash with a 9.8 which stood for 20 years and of course this strong team won Alamogordo’s first State Track and Field State Title.  

Bobby Lee also won the 220 Yard Dash and the Long Jump garnering enough points by himself to win the track meet for Alamogordo High School beating favored Highland High School which placed second.

In 1951 there was no class system in competitions, so all size schools and teams competed.

Bobby Lee kept his competitive spirit going as an adult and became a recognized political cartoonist and eventual New Mexico State Senator.

Coach Bob Sepulveda Alamogordo High Schools winningest Track and Field Coach in its 108 year history of the program  said of Bobby Lee; “Bobby Lee remained a strong supporter and advocate for the Alamogordo High School Track & Field Program as an adult. He attended many of the state meets. Bobby would come by and visit my student athletes in the 70’s and the 80’s for support of our team. He was a true leader on the field and as an adult for decades beyond.”

                                Also, of note from the 1951 competition was the amazing Javelin Talents of Benny Garcia with a distance of 193’-01.325.

The next year of 1952 brought Alamogordo High School Track & Field back to the winner’s circle with Benny Garcia winning for the second consecutive year in the Javelin competition.

  • Javelin Benny Garcia medalled with 186’-03.50”

Benny Garcia was an excellent Football kicker. He was on the B team. After some injuries and with the objection of his father concerned about him being injured, he became the primary starting kicker. Albert Romero sprained his ankle and Benny became the primary kicker after that. He had a reputation for making it between the goal posts when it mattered most.

Coach Buck saw Garcia’s talents and made concessions to ensure he was able to take part in the school athletic programs.

Benny would walk or run 6 miles home in the dark after practice to La Luz.

 At the request of Coach Rolla Buck, Superintendent Barnie arranged the use of a driver education vehicle for Benny to use so that he could take part in Sports.

The extra effort paid off for the High School and was life changing for Benny.

His real notoriety came from the Javelin throwing. He set the state record that stood from 1951 to 1966. That record got the attention of the Arizona State University Track and Field Coach that awarded him a full ride scholarship.

He is the only graduate of Alamogordo to make it to the Olympics taking part in the Melbourne Olympics in 1956. He was the first native-born New Mexico athlete to ever compete in the Olympics.

His name is displayed at the Tigers Hall of Fame, Arizona State Hall of Fame, Drake Relays Hall of Fame, and US Navy Hall of Fame.

At the 1956 Olympics he finished 8th place, disappointing Garcia but making his hometown exceptionally proud.

Garcia went on to live a phenomenally successful life as a high achieving Tiger Alumni and a respected businessman in Arizona.  He died in 2015.

Special Note on Alamogordo New Mexico:

Alamogordo High School and the region of Southern New Mexico has a rich history in sports and academic achievement. In the 1950’s and 60’s Alamogordo High School ranked in the top 10 High Schools for athletic and academic achievement in the United States. The region has a rich history in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It is home to the International Space Hall of Fame and is the testing ground for the latest in drone and military technology via Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Testing Grounds.

Today, Alamogordo is also the home to New Mexico State University, Alamogordo and is recognized for its pistachio farms, proximity to White Sands National Park and the Lincoln National Forest. As an oddity, Alamogordo is home to the largest Pistachio Sculpture in the World at the McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch just outside Alamogordo.

For photos and more visit https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/27497/1950s-alamogordo-high-schools-first-state-track-field-title-new-mexicos

For the complete sports history of the founding of interscholastic sports to its impact on a small town check out Coach Bob Sepulveda The Early Days 1912 to 1976 on Amazon and fine independent book sellers such as Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue Alamogord, New Mexico and fine independent book sellers nationwide. Coach Bob Sepulveda The Golden Years 1977 to 1995 coming soon.

A History Lesson for Southern New Mexico – The creation of Interscholastic (Organized High School Sports) in the US and New Mexico and Alamogordo High School 1916


https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/26908/history-alamogordo-high-1916-and-creation-interscholastic-high-school

How did High School Sports get started in the US, Southern New Mexico and Alamogordo and when?

Interscholastic Sports at the High School level via organized physical education programs did not begin in the US until around 1903 but had roots dating to the 1880s. Organized sports began with economically challenged or lower-class children competing under non-parental adult supervision, while their upper- class counterparts participated in non- competitive activities like dancing and music lessons, often in their homes. Children’s tournaments, especially athletic ones, came first to economically challenged children, most often immigrants living in large urban areas or the larger US cities.

Massachusetts was the first state to make schooling compulsory in 1852. It was not until 1917 that the final state of the union at the time, Mississippi, passed a similar law.

While on the east coast the focus was on social progress, education and organized school sports programs; the wild west was playing catch up.

New cities like Alamogordo, New Mexico founded 1898 were creating new opportunities for Americans and America’s youth. January 6, 1912, New Mexico was admitted into the United States union as the 47th state. With that our history of interscholastic High School Athletics Track & Field in Alamogordo soon begins. New Mexico, even while a territory, took a progressive view to public education and made public education compulsory in urban areas in 1891. It became compulsory everywhere by the time New Mexico became a state in 1912.

With the institution of mandatory schooling in New Mexico and in most states, children and families experienced a profound shift in the structure of their daily lives, especially in the social organization of their time. This change in social view resulted in thinking about how to challenge a child and occupy his day especially in urban areas.

The answer lay partly in competitive sports leagues, which started to evolve to hold the interest of children. Urban reformers were particularly preoccupied with poor low skilled economically and socially challenged immigrants who, because of overcrowding in tenements or inner cities, were often on the streets. Initial organization efforts focused on the establishment of city parks and playgrounds. Powerful, organized playground movements developed in New York City and Boston. But because adults did not trust boys, especially immigrant boys, to play unsupervised without significant issues, attention soon shifted to organized sports. Sports were important in teaching immigrants and those economically challenged and from rural areas; the “American values of cooperation, hard work, and respect for authority.”

According to historian Robert Halpern, “progressive reformers thought athletic activities could prepare children especially boys for the new industrial society that was emerging, which would require them to be physical laborers.” There was a distinct business interest in organized youth sports early on, to ensure a robust and healthy workforce for an economy changing from, rural based to urban based, in the decades to follow.

Organized youth groups backed by the influence of business interests took on the responsibility of providing children with sports activities. In 1903, New York City’s Public-School Athletic League for Boys was established by Luther Gulick, and formal contests between children, organized by adults, emerged to keep the boys coming back to school. Formal competition ensured the boys’ continued participation since they wanted to defend their school team’s record and honor. The purpose per the PSLA was to encourage a healthy, strong body and mind through competitive exercises.

The PSAL initially conducted “class athletics” in grades five through eight at specific times each year, not interschool competition as it is known today. Class athletics included seasonal track and field events. PSAL’s also emphasized swimming, popular sports of the times (baseball, football, basketball), and several minor games.

Concurrent with the activities on the east coast; the first recorded games involving High School, school sponsored teams in the Dallas Texas area occurred in 1900. St. Matthew’s grammar school of Dallas played the Wall School of Honey Grove, found in Fannin County just south of the Texas-Oklahoma border, on Oct. 12, 1900, as a prelude to the intercollegiate level Texas-Vanderbilt game the same day. Honey Grove won 5-0. The event was a milestone in Texas history: the first recorded interscholastic football game between two high-school teams.

The Wall school was founded in 1898 by Simon Venable Wall, who moved to Honey Grove from Franklin, Tenn. Accounts of the school’s history noted its football team frequently played two games a day and that it was not uncommon for the team to catch a train on weekends and play in area towns. Austin College, in nearby Sherman, was a frequent opponent for the Wall boys.

Until the formation of interscholastic programs and games such as the one in Dallas Texas, most American boys had played football in the haphazard way of boys the world over: ambling onto fields and into alleys for pickup games or challenging other loosely affiliated groups of students to a match. Cheating was rampant, and games looked more like brawls than organized contests.

By 1910, 17 other cities across the United States had formed their own competitive athletic leagues modeled after New York City’s PSAL. Physical education reformers in the high schools followed the colleges in taking over sports programs with the catchphrase “Athletics are educational.” Their reform was tied to the overall reform in American education and overall reform in American society during the Progressive Era.

The establishment of leagues and state associations by educators in the years after 1900 bringing about institutional control over interscholastic sports was neither seamless nor uniform across the nation nor the western region of the US to include Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

In most areas of the country, educator-sponsored high school leagues were formed in most big cities and in many rural areas, usually two ways, from whole cloth or by taking over existing student-run or joint student-faculty-run leagues. In many areas, especially rural areas like most of Texas and New Mexico there were few leagues, and only gradually did league formation spread nationwide.

Settlement houses and ethnic clubs soon followed suit. The number of these boys’ clubs grew rapidly through the 1920s, working in parallel with school leagues.

In 1914 the first organized events for school children were held and 2040 boys competed for the City Championships Track and Field held at Madison Square Gardens. Events at this event included standing long jump, chinning the bar, running sprints, disc throwing, relays and hurdles. (Today competing at Madison Square Garden in Track & Field is considered hallowed grounds by many a Track & Field athlete.) By 1915 177 school systems around the country had formed competitive leagues.

By 1916, the United States was starting to educate its children for more years than most other countries, even while admitting a surge of immigrants. The ruling elite feared that all this schooling would make Anglo-Saxon boys soft and weak, in contrast to their brawny, newly immigrated peers. Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. warned that cities were being overrun with “stiff-jointed, soft-muscled, paste-complexioned youth.”

Sports, the thinking went, would both protect boys’ masculinity and distract them from vices like gambling and prostitution. “Muscular Christianity,” fashionable during the Victorian era, prescribed sports as a sort of moral vaccine against the tumult of rapid economic growth. “In life, as in a football game,” Theodore Roosevelt wrote in an essay on “The American Boy” in 1900, “the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard; don’t foul and don’t shirk, but hit the line hard!”

Athletics succeeded in entertaining not just students, but entire communities and local school teams became a sense of pride. As athletic fields became the cultural centers of towns across America, educators became coaches and parents became boosters. Organized sports allowed small towns to compete against large cities in Track & Field, Football and Basketball putting small town schools on the map so to speak with large reputations of athletic excellence.

As the organized school sports programs evolved so did organized fee-based clubs which were more exclusive and not for the poor. Fee-based groups, such as the YMCA, began, but usually only middle-class kids could afford to take part. National pay-to-play organizations, such as Pop Warner Football came into being in 1929.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association had appeared by this time, as a means of reforming the increasingly brutal sport of college football. As the NCAA appeared it began collaboration efforts and recruiting efforts from High Schools for its track & field, football and basketball programs around the country. This partnership ultimately led to scholarship programs and further engrained organized high school sports into the American Experience.

In New Mexico and specifically Alamogordo, following the lead of the nationwide reform of governance in interscholastic sports with the imposition of adult-sponsored leagues and state associations students acquiesced to the new faculty control and passively accepted the new order of things. In many areas, however, educators faced persistent student resistance, stiffened by rebellious high school

Greek-letter societies and continued abuses in the decade leading up to World War I. In Chicago student resistance to control and reform was especially acute.

New Mexico, towns such as Alamogordo and the western states; less resistance existed, as the school systems were newer institutions and did not have the history or mindset of those on the east coast. Progressive politics towards education and athletics prevailed without institutional histories, politics and interests fighting for dominance.

Alamogordo, New Mexico An Early Interscholastic Sport Program Adoptee

Alamogordo High School began an organized sports program in 1912 for Caucasian boys offering PE, Track & Field and Basketball and Football.

In 1913, the authorities of the University of New Mexico believing that one of the great needs of the High Schools of the state was an opportunity to meet, at least once a year in athletic and other contests, organized the University of New Mexico Track Athletic Association. A track meet was held in the spring of that year at Albuquerque, and two high schools, Santa Fe and Albuquerque contested for the banner.

Although the beginning was small, a great deal of interest from across the state was aroused.

Alamogordo High School won its first state medals in 1916/17 School Year and they were in Track and Field via the High Jump and the Triple Jump.

Excerpt from Coach Robert Sepulveda The Early Days Book 1 – part of a 3 part book series on Alamogordo Athletics and its history. Available at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico or on Amazon. 

More historical stories from 1916 and more early history of Alamogordo High will appear in future stores.

To keep the historical sports archives of Alamogordo alive, support local small businesses and  join us as an independent source for positive News and History from Southern New Mexico. Sign up for our Daily News Brief and our blog or advertise with us. To learn more visit

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Photo is of Alamogordo High School 1917

ALAMOGORDO HIGH SCHOOL – ALAMOGORDO, NEW MEXICO In 1917, the architectural firm of Trost & Trost was awarded the contract for the Alamogordo High School. The plans called for the school to be constructed of brick and stone, 90 x 104 feet. The two-story building was to have 13 classrooms and an auditorium. The cost was estimated at $50,000.

The school was completed in 1919 and located on Tenth street (between Michigan and Indiana St.) 

In 1942, the Alamogordo Army Air Field was built 10 miles west of town. The addition of the base caused school enrollment to climb steadily over the next several years. New school buildings were being erected to keep up with the enrollment of new students. The Alamogordo Army Air Field eventually became Holloman Air Force Base and test development center for many government contracts.

In 1970, George Stith and Tom Macklin presented a petition bearing more that 200 names of residents to the Alamogordo City Commission. The petition asked that a study be made on the feasibility of refurbishing the old Alamogordo High School building on Tenth Street and putting it to use as a civic auditorium. The old Alamogordo High School was demolished sometime between 1973 to 1975.

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2ND LIFE MEDIA ALAMOGORDO TOWN NEWS-A Look Back Easter 1921- The Origins of the Easter Bunny

The origins of the Easter Bunny….

The Easter Bunny (also called the Easter Rabbit or Easter Hare) is a folkloric figure and symbol of Easter, depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs. Originating among German Lutherans, the “Easter Hare” originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behavior at the start of the season of Eastertide. The Easter Bunny is sometimes depicted with clothes.

In legend, the creature carries colored eggs in his basket, candy, and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, and as such shows similarities to Santa Claus or the 

Christkind, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holidays.

The custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau‘s De ovis paschalibus (‘About Easter Eggs’) in 1682, referring to a German tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter eggs for the children.

The hare was a popular motif in medieval church art. In ancient times, it was widely believed (as by PlinyPlutarchPhilostratus, and Aelian) that the hare was a hermaphrodite. The idea that a hare could reproduce without loss of virginity led to an association with the Virgin Mary, with hares sometimes occurring in illuminated manuscripts and Northern European paintings of the Virgin and Christ Child.

It may also have been associated with the Holy Trinity, as in the three hares motif.

But while the Easter bunny technically isn’t real, the tradition is very much alive, thanks to sneaky parents who have been filling the baskets as a tradition since the founding of America. 

Digging the New Mexico historical archives we see the first references to Easter Egg hunts and the “great Easter Bunny” making a showing in 1921 at the town square and New York Avenue area near the train depot. The first reference to an Easter egg hunt was referenced in a church flyer and a few other archival records.

Memories of early Easter Bunny’s and Easter Egg hunts in Southern New Mexico seem to be fading but one individual interviewed said in the 1950’s the best Egg Hunt and Easter Bunny in the region was always at the Lodge of Cloudcroft followed by a huge picnic around the property with all the women in huge Easter hats and the Best new Spring Dresses.

Enjoy your Easter however you celebrate and Happy Spring!

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Fun Facts Good News Alert

The National Day Calendar defines April 2, 2021 as National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day. Fun fact the average teenager graduating from Alamogordo High will have consumed 2000 P & J sandwiches by the time they graduate.

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/26767/alamogordo-good-news-story-april-2-peanut-butter-jelly-day-history-lesson

But how did peanut butter and jelly originate and how did it become so popular as a food staple?

The peanut plant originated in Peru. Peruvians made pottery in the shape of peanuts or decorated jars with peanuts as far back as 3,500 years ago. As early as 1500 B.C., the Incan’s of Peru used peanuts as sacrificial offerings and entombed them with their mummies to aid in the spirit life. Tribes in central Brazil also ground peanuts with maize to make a drink.

Now fast forward about 2000 years and we learn that explorers  from Europe discovered peanuts as far north as Mexico, when the Spanish began their exploration of the new world. The explorers took peanuts back to Spain, and from there traders and explorers spread them to Asia and Africa. Africans were the first people to introduce peanuts to North America beginning in the 1700s.

Records show that it wasn’t until the early 1800s that peanuts were grown as a commercial crop in the United States. They were first grown in Virginia and used mainly for oil, food and as a cocoa substitute. At this time, peanuts were regarded as a food for livestock and the poor and were considered difficult to grow and harvest.

Their popularity grew in the late 1800s when PT Barnum’s circus wagons traveled across the country and vendors called “hot roasted peanuts!” to the crowds. Soon street vendors began selling roasted peanuts from carts and peanuts also became popular at baseball games. While peanut production rose during this time, peanuts were still harvested by hand, leaving stems and trash in the peanuts. Thus, poor quality and lack of uniformity kept down the demand for peanuts.

In the early 1900s peanuts became a significant agricultural crop when the boll weevil threatened the South’s cotton crop. Following the suggestions of noted scientist Dr. George Washington Carver, peanuts served as an effective commercial crop and, for a time, rivaled the position of cotton in the South.

Who invented Peanut Butter?

There is evidence that ancient South American Inca Indians were the first to grind peanuts to make peanut butter. In the United States, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (of cereal fame) invented a version of peanut butter in 1895. Then it is believed that a St. Louis physician may have developed a version of peanut butter as a protein substitute for his older patients who had poor teeth and couldn’t chew meat. Peanut butter was first introduced at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.

Peanut butter was considered a delicacy in the early 1900s and was only served in New York City’s finest tea rooms. In a May 1896 article published in the Good Housekeeping magazine, a recipe “urged homemakers to use a meat grinder to make peanut butter and spread the result on bread.” That same year, in June, the culinary magazine Table Talk, published a “peanut butter sandwich recipe.”

It is thought that Julia Davis Chandler issued the first reference to peanut butter (or paste) paired with jelly on bread in the United States in 1901. Her article is found in the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics. In the late 1920s, the price of peanut butter declined, and the sandwich became very popular with children.

Peanuts and peanut butter became an integral part of the Armed Forces rations in World Wars I and II. It is believed that the U.S. army popularized the peanut butter and jelly sandwich for sustenance during maneuvers in World War II.

According to the Peanut Board, during World War II, both peanut butter and jelly were part of the United States soldiers’ military ration list.

In 1968, The J.M. Smucker Co. introduced Goober, a jarred product that combined alternating vertical stripes of peanut butter and jelly.

For 2021 the department of agriculture ranks peanuts as the 12th most valuable cash crop grown in the United States with a farm value of over one billion U.S. dollars.

Peanuts, peanut butter and peanut candy are some of the most popular products in the United States. Americans eat more than six pounds of peanut products each year, worth more than $2 billion at the retail level.

Peanut butter accounts for about half of the U.S. edible use of peanuts—accounting for $850 million in retail sales each year. It is a popular sandwich spread, for children and adults, because it is both nutritious and economical.

The other half of U.S. consumption is divided equally between snack nuts and confectionery. Peanuts are eaten as snack nuts in many ways: roasted in shell, roasted kernels or in mixed nuts. Snack nuts are often salted, spiced or flavored with a variety of coatings.

As far as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches what is the most popular?

In anAsk Your Target Market’s survey on peanut butter and jelly we learn some cool facts…

67% of respondents said that they have a generally positive opinion of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. In fact, 2% even said they eat them on a daily basis. 13% eat them a few times per week. 10% eat them about once a week. 20% said they enjoy pb&j sandwiches a few times per month. 10% eat them about once a month. 29% said they rarely ever eat them. And 16% never do.

There are, of course, a few different ways people can mix their peanut butter and jelly. But the majority, 55%, said they like when their pb&j has equal parts peanut butter and jelly. 27% like their sandwiches with more peanut butter. 12% like more jelly. And 5% have no preference.

What is our favorite peanut butter brand?

There are even several different choices when it comes to peanut butter. 66% said they prefer creamy peanut butter. 25% like crunchy. 15% like extra crunchy. And 4% have no preference. The most popular peanut butter brands among respondents include Jif, Skippy and Peter Pan.

What jelly do we like with peanut butter?

When it comes to jelly, 45% of respondents said they prefer strawberry jelly on their sandwiches. 42% like grape jelly. 19% prefer raspberry. 11% like other flavors like apple and blackberry. And 7% have no preference. Smuckers was the most popular jelly brand named by respondents. Others include Welch’s, Concord and Kroger brand.

For the full survey results visit: https://aytm.com/surveys/393374/stat/7d6f42738943a1698f70e898ffcc87e5#charts

Sources: www.peanutsusa.com, US Department of Agriculture, Smuckers Inc, National Day Calendar 

https://2ndlifemediaalamogordo.town.news/g/alamogordo-nm/n/26767/alamogordo-good-news-story-april-2-peanut-butter-jelly-day-history-lesson

Author Chris Edwards, 2nd Life Media Alamogordo Daily News and Author of Coach Robert Sepulveda The Early Days Available at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, NM or online at Amazon

Author/Artist/Coach Rene Sepulveda 1st Place Valentine Competition Winner Road Runner Emporium, 2nd Life Media

Thank you for the support and the public voting our entry as #1 in the Roadrunner Emporium Valentines Box Contest. We appreciate the public vote or confidence. Come on by Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo join, Author and Executive Coach Chris Edwards, owner Debra Reyes, Artist René Sepulveda and the over 40 artist and vendors offering many great values in home decor, women’s apparel, antiques, jewelry, photography, paintings, repurposed gifts, farm fresh eggs, local honey and more.

Check us out Monday thru Saturday 10 am to 5 pm.

If you drop by this Monday 2-15-2021 during the hours of 10 to 5, Author Chris Edwards on his Southwestern US Book tour will be on site, to sign Coach Bob Sepulveda the Early Days book 1 on sale at the gallery and online. Drop by this Monday

Also check out the stores on Etsy or learn more about Author Chris Edwards on Amazon

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Remembering World AIDS Day 2020

Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever international day for global health. Every year, United Nations agencies, governments and civil society join together to campaign around specific themes related to HIV. Each year, on 1 December, the world commemorates World AIDS Day. People around the world unite to show support for people living with HIV and to remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses.

I became involved in the 80s, when I saw hundreds of young men and women around me dying mysteriously. Upon moving to California, I saw 100s loose their lives. 

I will always be moved by the tireless work of Russell Kassman, Chris Carnes, Sharon McNight and others who helped bring joy to the infamous Ward 5B one Christmas by moving in a piano and bringing a performance to a ward of men dying but whom got one last moment of joy in their life. 

And for decades since each have tirelessly worked along with Donna Sachet

and her “Songs of the Season” to continue to raise funds, educate and inspire. 

So many people have helped over the years and so many people died due to early government inaction. The lessons of that day carry forward today. History has a tendency to repeat itself with a broader punch when we don’t learn the lessons of our past. But through the wisdom of people like Chris Carnes, Gretchen Carol Fleischmann

Sharon McKnight, Russell Kassman, Donna Sachet and then later in life Floyd McGregor, L Pierce Carson, Martin Durand, Deb Stallings, and others we carried hope forward via The Napa Valley AIDS Project and ultimately In partnership with Liz Alessio and the Care Network and Planned Parenthood. 

Thank you Hank Plante for keeping the stories alive over the decades.  We must never forget our history, as it is a reflection of whom we are today and whom we will become tomorrow.

I became involved in the 80s, when I saw hundreds of young men and women around me dying mysteriously. Upon moving to California, I saw 100s loose their lives. 

I will always be moved by the tireless work of Russell Kassman, Chris Carnes, Sharon McNight and others who helped bring joy to the infamous Ward 5B one Christmas by moving in a piano and bringing a performance to a ward of men dying but whom got one last moment of joy in their life. 

And for decades since each have tirelessly worked along with Donna Sachet

and her “Songs of the Season” to continue to raise funds, educate and inspire. 

So many people have helped over the years and so many people died due to early government inaction. The lessons of that day carry forward today. History has a tendency to repeat itself with a broader punch when we don’t learn the lessons of our past. But through the wisdom of people like Chris Carnes, Gretchen Carol Fleischmann

Sharon McKnight, Russell Kassman, Donna Sachet and then later in life Floyd McGregor, L Pierce Carson, Martin Durand, Deb Stallings, and others we carried hope forward via The Napa Valley AIDS Project and ultimately In partnership with Liz Alessio and the Care Network and Planned Parenthood. 

Thank you Hank Plante for keeping the stories alive over the decades.  We must never forget our history, as it is a reflection of whom we are today and whom we will become tomorrow.

Author, Executive Coach, Artist Chris Edwards