by Mike Magers
Manny Marquez was a highly regarded sports writer who was a long time editor of the Hobbs News-Sun. Manny was born in El Mulato, Mexico in 1945 and his family moved to Artesia where he attended school. It was there that he developed his life long love for athletics.
Manny was an athlete and played on the 1964 Artesia Bulldog football team that defeated Highland for the state championship. Artesia presently holds 29 state titles in football, but this game came early in the sports history of the school and also in the coaching career of the legendary L. G. Henderson. The Bulldogs had only won one championship before, in 1957. The 10-1 Bulldogs faced Coach Bill Gentry’s 9-0 Highland team and went on to win by the score of 20-6. This win marked both coach Henderson’s and Artesia High School’s second state championship.
Shortly thereafter, Manny was drafted into the US Army during the Vietnam War. Following his return home, he began covering sports for the Artesia Daily Press. He moved on to the Hobbs News-Sun in 1970 and remained there as sports editor (1970-1994) and general editor of the paper (1995-2002) until he retired.
Manny had a reputation for humorous columns on local high school sports, for his hard work and for serving as a mentor for many reporters who served alongside him. One of them, Helena Rodriquez, said of Marquez “One of my favorite jefes was Manny Marquez, former sportswriter-turned-editor of the Hobbs Daily News-Sun. I was low on cash when I began work at the Hobbs newspaper, so Manny wrote me a personal check and I paid him back when I got my first paycheck, only for the check to bounce. Imagine my embarrassment. But Manny patted me on the back and said to pay him back when I could, and I did. But that’s not why Manny was my favorite boss. He also shared my love for Tejano music and patiently helped me become a better writer.”
In addition to his newspaper duties, Manny also did broadcasts of various high school sports on local radio stations. He was inducted into the Lea County Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011 and co-authored with Max Proctor a biography of Hobbs basketball coach Ralph Tasker, “The Hobbs Eagle Press.”
One of his newspaper columns was called “Markins by Manny” and as one person said of him as he was reading a stack of Manny’s clippings, “Ole Manny, he sure had a way with words, didn’t he?”
Manny passed away May 8, 2015 in Hobbs, New Mexico.