Practice begins for winter sports

William Thompson

The Tucumcari High School Boys’ and Girls’ basketball teams begin practice Monday. Also, high school wrestling practice starts Monday at 3:30 p.m.

The boys begin their preparation for the 2004-2005 season Monday at 3:30 p.m. They will practice in the Tucumcari Elementary School gym while the high school gym continues to undergo renovation. Coach John Span said he expects his team to be playing in Albuquerque in late March.
“I think we have enough speed to run with any team we play this year,” said Span. “I think we have players that will be able to adjust to any style of play.”

A large number of athletes are expected to show up to practice Monday. Some will not make the team.
“We will suit up 12 to 13 players this year. There will be guys who will drop out because of the conditioning involved.”
This is Span’s third year at the helm and he told some prospective players in a meeting Friday that he will not tolerate disciplinary problems. “The first and second year were transition years,” he said. “Now we are in the third year and we know what we want. We know what to expect out of players.”

The Rattlers return a number of players who saw action in games last season. The girls’ basketball team begins practice Monday at 5 p.m. in the middle school gym. Head Coach Alicia Trujillo said this season is bound to be better than last season. “I think there will be improvement,” said Trujillo. “We only won one game last year. Most of our players are returning. I won’t know until Monday how many new players we will have.”

Trujillo said she will give any girl the chance to make the team. “If they are willing to do the work there will be a place for them on the team.” The boys and girls play their first game at home against Elida on Nov. 29.

• Wrestling
High School wrestling begins practice Monday at 3:30 p.m.
Coach Eddie Encinias has a wealth of talent returning for this year’s wrestling schedule. Michael Baca, Justin Garcia, Brian Lopez, Steven Taylor, John Sewell and Joe Hurley all return. “I think each one of these wrestlers has a chance to be state tournament contenders,” said Encinias. “We’ve heard that there are a lot of new kids planning to wrestle this year. I strongly encourage members of the football team to join the wrestling team. Wrestling will make them better defensive football players.” Encinias said the wrestling team will hold a 10-team Rattler Invitational tournament around the second week of December. The team will wrestle in its first tournament around the middle of November.