Sam Etcheverry

by Mike Magers

Sam “The Rifle” Etcheverry was from Carlsbad (Eddy County), New Mexico.   His father was a Basque sheep farmer who had emigrated to the area from France.  Sam was an outstanding quarterback for the Carlsbad Cavemen and has been named to the Cavemen Hall of Fame.  Sam graduated from Carlsbad High School in 1948.

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Nancy Lopez

by Mike Magers

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LPGA golfer Nancy Lopez’s name is very familiar to golf fans of a certain age, because she was so dominant in the sport during her active career. She was born in Torrence, California and raised in Roswell (Chavez County), New Mexico where her father owned an auto repair business and her mother was a homemaker.

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Ralph Neely

by Mike Magers

Ralph Neely was a 2014 inductee into the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame.  He graduated in 1961 from Farmington High School (San Juan County), New Mexico where he played football, basketball, baseball and was a shot putter on the track team.  His family had moved to Farmington from Arkansas because his brother suffered from asthma.  Ralph’s father first worked for El Paso Natural Gas company and later was a contract pumper in the oil and gas fields of the San Juan Basin.  His older brothers Larry and Jerry were athletes, and Ralph was likewise gifted and followed suit.

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Coach Jim Hulsman

by Mike Magers

Longtime basketball coach Jim Hulsman is a product of New Mexico. His parents moved to the state in 1940 from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania for his father’s health when Jim was just 10. Jim attended elementary and junior high school in Albuquerque and high school at Albuquerque High School. Albuquerque High was a three year school at the time and Jim lettered in both track and football. Jim also played American Legion baseball and city league basketball. Jim graduated from Albuquerque High School in 1949.

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