Animas Winning Streak

by Mike Magers

Animas, NM (Hidalgo County) holds the state record for consecutive wins in football at 69 games, set in 1990.  The origin of the name of the Animas community is unknown, though the Animas Mountains and Animas Valley are located nearby.  The first known settlement of Animas dates back to 1843, when Hispanic settlers came to the area.  It was also known to be inhabited at various times by the Apache Indians.
animas

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Martin Luther King Day post

by Ben Moffett

ON MARTIN LUTHER KING’S BIRTHDAY,
REMEMBERING THE END OF SCHOOL
SEGREGATION IN HOBBS AND NM, 1954

Following is an excerpt of a chapter from Ben Moffett’s forthcoming book on the history of basketball in New Mexico. It outlines the end of school integration in the state, brought on by the landmark Supreme Court decision of 1954, Brown v. Board of Education, just six decades ago this year. The last school to integrate was Booker T. Washington in Hobbs, and its merger with Hobbs High created the longest big school basketball dynasty in New Mexico, a legendary NBA player, Bill Bridges, and better basketball throughout the state. This segment of the chapter includes the names of the members of the last segregated team.

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Tommy McDonald

by Mike Magers

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McDonald was born in Roy, NM (Harding County) where he attended school through his freshman year in high school, before moving to Albuquerque and graduating from Highland High School. He then attended Oklahoma University. At OU, he was a Consensus All-American (1955 and 1956) and won the Maxwell Award in 1956 as Best Collegiate Player. Tommy scored touchdowns in 20 of his 21 games in college. He was primarily a running back at Oklahoma under Coach Bud Wilkinson, having the distinction of playing on a college team that went undefeated his entire three years on the varsity squad. Two of those years (1955 and 1956), the Sooners won the National Championship.

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Coach Ralph Tasker

by Mike Magers

Coach Ralph Tasker of Hobbs, NM died on July 19, 1999 at his home after a short battle with cancer. He was 80 and had also suffered from pneumonia prior to his death. He left behind his wife of almost 49 years, Margaret, his three children, a host of former players and assistants including Ross Black (played for UNM), Bill Bridges (played for Kansas and in the NBA), Rob Evans (played for Lubbock Christian and UNM and coached at University of Mississippi and Arizona State), Larry Robinson (played for Texas), Larry Williams (played at Kansas State), Jeff Taylor, Sr. (played Texas Tech, in the NBA and in Europe), Vince Taylor (played at Texas Tech, the NBA and Europe, now coaching) and Kent Williams (played at Texas Tech).

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Bill Bridges

by Mike Magers

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Bill Bridges was a 2014 inductee into the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame. Bill was born in 1939 in Hobbs, New Mexico and graduated from Hobbs High School, playing ball under the legendary coach Ralph Tasker. He attended Kansas University where he joined the basketball team as a walk on. While at KU, he went on to earn a scholarship, was an All-American and team captain in 1961. His KU team tied for the Big 8 championship in 1960. Bill was the first player in KU history to score over 1,000 points and pull down 1,000 rebounds. His field goal percentage was 0.401 and free throw percentage was 0.653. During his college career, he scored 1,028 points and had 1,081 rebounds. The Bill Bridges Rebounding Award is presented each year to KU’s leading rebounder.

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