Football Travel Tales

by Dan Ford

New Mexico is a vast state and school travel has its problems. Neighboring states are not so challenged. For instance, Colorado’s largest classification has 42 schools. The farthest distance between them is 130 miles down an interstate highway.   Arizona’s biggest schools are all in Phoenix or Tucson. Texas has a multitude of large metropolitan areas with plenty of competition close by. Below are a few of my favorite stories about football travel around the Land of Enchantment.

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Duane Ward

by Mike Magers

duaneward

Duane Ward was born May 28, 1964 in Park View, New Mexico and played at Farmington High School.  Some of you probably already knew where Park View is located, but a quick search will place it in Rio Arriba County in northern New Mexico and a note that it now goes by the name of Los Ojos.

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1954 Clovis Story, Part 2

by Dan Ford

PART TWO

The Milton Barron Story

Milton Eugene Barron had played all sports in the little town of Melrose, just 26 miles due west of Clovis on Highway 60, for his previous three high school years. In his junior year they had lost to eventual champion Capitan in the Class C semi-finals. Milt played all sports and was a star in all, but it was football in which the 200-pound bruiser excelled.

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1954 Clovis Story, Part 1

by Dan Ford

PART ONE

Introduction

The NMHSAA (forerunner to the NMAA) was established in 1915 when schools got together to organize a statewide track meet and establish eligibility rules for competition. The Association was formalized in 1921 but did not have a staff or exclusive employees. The President was elected each year at the teacher’s convention. He was usually a Superintendent from Roswell, Albuquerque, or Santa Fe. He was paid just enough to cover expenses. Finally, in 1950, the member schools voted to hire an Executive Secretary, one fondly called the “czar” by the media. The first ES was Morris Ward. Paul Deaton, longtime principal from Roswell, was President of the NMHSAA and seemed to carry more weight than Ward in those early years. But Deaton died suddenly in January, 1951. In March, 1952 Ward resigned after two years. This time the Association got serious about hiring a full-time czar to deal with all manner of high school sports. His name was U.G. Montgomery. He had grown up in Des Moines, NM (near Clayton), taught and coached at Logan, Monument, Eunice and was Assistant Athletic Director at Hobbs before accepting the position to run the NMHSAA. “Monty” Montgomery took a $2,400 cut in his annual income to take the tedious job of administering high school activities, simply because he loved sports. He was allowed to complete the year at Hobbs but then moved his office to Albuquerque where he headed the organization for over 20 years. His immediate contribution in 1952 was to publicly endorse a playoff system that would provide an unquestioned champion in football. There would be many more controversial decisions.

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Sam Lacey

by Mike Magers

Sam Lacey was a 6’10” center in the NBA for 13 seasons.  He played most of his career with the Kansas City Kings, now located in Sacramento, California.  After a successful college career at New Mexico State University, he was drafted 5th overall by the Cincinnati Royals in 1970.  This is the same franchise that evolved into the Kansas City-Omaha Kings in 1972-73, later changing the name to the Kansas City Kings, as they existed all of Lacey’s career with the club.

SamLacey

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