Days after winning the Class 1A state basketball title the Logan Longhorns have had time to reflect on a coaching recognition, a win to remember and a dream fulfilled.
“I was very fortunate to step into this program,” said Longhorns head coach Arnold Peralez. “Coach Billy Burns had everything in place.”
Peralez said he is very humbled to have coached such a great group of young men, and said credit for the title belongs with Burns.
“The years he (Burns) dedicated to these young men shows,” Peralez said. “Their work ethic was unbelievable. They did everything I asked for.”
Senior Tanner Sorrels said Burns is the coach that taught the team all that it knows.
“He (Burns) is always going to be our coach,” Sorrels said.
As the Longhorns arrived in Logan on Sunday, Sorrels and his teammates were greeted by Logan’s residents
“It was the best feeling,” said senior Andrew Aguilera. “It gave me goosebumps to see all of those people out there cheering and welcoming us home.”
Sorrels was shaking hands with residents as turned to find his former coach. Burns hugged Sorrels and spoke the words, “I am so proud of you guys.”
To get to the championship game against top-seeded Cliff the Longhorns had to take on Fort Sumner.
“In some ways it seems they may have been looking past us,” Peralez said. “They had beaten us four out of six times in the past year.”
Peralez said the victory over Fort Sumner was very much the state basketball championship to the team.
“Beating Fort Sumner was pretty much the deal sealer for us,” Sorrels said. “I’m not going to lie though; it did look bleak there towards the end.”
Sorrels said he was upset when he fouled out against Fort Sumner with :36 left and Logan down six.
“All I could think about,” Sorrels said, “was I had just fouled out of the last basketball game I’ll every play as a Longhorn.”
Though Sorrels, much to his relief would get a second chance as the Longhorns pulled off an upset victory in overtime.
Aguilera said the entire team relaxed after they defeated Fort Sumner.
With the state championship trophy locked in the trophy case at Logan High School, placed next to the 1998 championship trophy, Aguilera said it’s the best way to end the season and years of dedication as a Longhorn basketball player.
“It’s a huge dream come true,” Sorrels said. “Ever since pee wee basketball, we have dreamed of winning a state championship.”
Sorrels said every championship the team won in pee wees would be followed with the team talking and dreaming of it being the state championship and the chance to play in The Pit at the University of New Mexico.
“It’s a completely different feeling when you’re looking up into the stands at The Pit,” Sorrels said. “It takes your breath away.
“Our dreams came true. Now we are the dream.”