Both Clovis golf teams have already qualified for the Class 5A state meet, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday at New Mexico State University.
But there’s still plenty to accomplish in today’s District 4-5A meet at Ocotillo Park Course in Hobbs.
“It takes a little pressure off,” Clovis senior Kolby Rains said of the girls team getting its third and final qualifying leg last week, “but I still know we have to work on a lot of things going into district.”
Clovis boys coach Cal Fullerton said the main focus for his squad is beating Hobbs, which has been a few shots above or below Clovis at most meets this season.
Fullerton said Hobbs has earned five qualifying legs this season, compared to four for Clovis. But Fullerton noted that the Eagles have played in one more tournament, and district will be a head-to-head battle unless a young Carlsbad team has a lot of things break its way.
“We kind of wanted to prove to them we’re the best team in the district,” Fullerton said. “Now we get to, hopefully.”
The Wildcats would have to do it on Hobbs’ home course. But freshman Ethan Peterson said he and his teammates enjoy the variety of the 18-hole Ocotillo course after playing much of the season at the nine-hole Clovis Municipal course.
“Nine holes, you get to play each hole twice and (have a chance to) improve,” Peterson said. “Eighteen holes, it’s a little more challenging.”
Baseball: Clovis coach Greg Hill said people can make it more complex if they want, but he said baseball is as simple as throwing, hitting and catching the ball.
If the Wildcats (11-15) do those things, Hill said they can compete with anybody in the state. But at times throughout the season, they haven’t, and that helps explain being seeded 15th out of 16 teams in the Class 5A field.
“We win our first three district games and lose our last five,” Clovis coach Greg Hill said. “(With the) 15 seed, we’re glad to be playing.”
The Wildcats are heading to Rio Rancho today for a best-of-three series against the Rams. The first game is 4 p.m. today, with a second game at 11 a.m. Saturday and a third game, if necessary, 30 minutes after the conclusion of the second game.
First-round winners advance to Albuquerque Thursday through May 16.
The Rams are 25-4 this season, Hill said, which put them only behind top-seeded La Cueva (25-1), currently on a 25-game streak.
“A lot of them play baseball year-round,” Hill said of the Rams, winners of 11 in a row, “and obviously they’re pretty good.”
Track: Both Clovis teams are in comfortable positions to win the District 4-5A meet, but are hoping to add a few extra competitors for next week’s state meet in Albuquerque.
“The main thing that we’re looking to get qualified is the medley relay,” boys coach Darren Kelley said, “and putting Izzy (Miranda) on the team will help them.”
Kelley said the Wildcats could also qualify Stefan Mills (200 meters), Brandon Williams (long jump), Dustin Glover (high jump) or Michael Johnson and Edwin Lee (both in the 300-meter hurdles).
Athletes qualify for state by placing in the top two, or by hitting qualifying marks. Kelley said any of those athletes could do either.
Girls coach Darrel Ray said most of his key athletes have already qualified for the defending 5A champs.
“What we want to do is put together a good performance, maybe improve some of our times and marks,” he said.
Ray said it would be pleasant bonus should Shatia Phillips (100), Francesca Cabrera (discus), Marivel Garza (shot put and discus) or Vicki Garcia (javelin) qualify.
The large-school (Classes 3A-5A) state meet is next Friday and Saturday at the University of New Mexico.