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A final, fond farewell to the prep season

James BarronMay 23, 2019

Nice try, 2018-19 prep sports season.

It was a banner time for the North, one that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Just know that, from a journalist’s perspective, it was tiring. So many games with meaning, so many athletes to write about (and some we missed in the process) and so many great stories.

It took a lot of caffeine and adrenaline to write them all, but we made it to the end of the season with our sanity intact — but just barely.

The most obvious story is the success of the four major high schools in basketball. Santa Fe High, Capital, St. Michael’s and Santa Fe Indian School harbored dreams of deep runs in the state tournament (especially the boys). Three teams (both SFIS teams and Santa Fe High) made it to the championship game, while another (St. Michael’s) reached the semifinals. You also had Pecos pulling off the double-title that weekend.

There was Taos, riding the strength of three athletes, to earn the third-place trophy in Class 4A track and field over the weekend and Santa Fe Prep boys and girls taking home matching third-place finishes in their first year in 3A the weekend before that. There was also the first all-Las Vegas championship game in 3A baseball.

Speaking of Las Vegas, how about Robertson’s run of four straight football championship game appearances? Sure, the Cardinals still lack a blue trophy, but you have to get there first.

And you can’t forget the incredible championship run of the St. Michael’s volleyball program.

There were also, however, some nuggets you might have missed:

u New Mexico School for the Deaf set a school boys basketball record with 22 wins and making its deepest run in the state tournament by reaching the 1A quarterfinals. It capped a two-year stretch in which the program won 42 games and consecutive district titles, both of which are historic figures for a program that has mostly struggled in the sport.

u Academy for Technology and the Classics and SFIS girls soccer made their first appearance in the Class 1A/3A State Tournament. Nevermind that SFIS and its 2-18-1 record helped it qualify for a 12-team field in a 13-team class. It’s something the program couldn’t say before this fall.

u The same weekend that Grace Voinescu teamed up with Grace Vivian to win a Class 1A/4A girls doubles title for Santa Fe Prep, she also managed a third-place finish in the 3A triple jump. If she keeps this up, Voinescu will give Hayden Colfax good company atop the podium.

u The Desert Academy volleyball program was 3-8 at one point, reeled off 10 straight wins, won the District 2-2A title and reached the 2A quarterfinals before losing to eventual state champion Texico. Like the saying goes, it’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.

And for now, we’re finished, too.

James Barron writes an opinion column about sports in New Mexico. Contact Barron at 505-986-3045 or jbarron@sfnewmexican.com.

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