By Kevin Wilson
It was a lot shorter, but just as sweet for Jeremy Jones and Jennie Gentry.
Jones and Gentry were named the greatest athletes for the 2002-03 year at Portales High’s annual athletic awards banquet, held Monday night at the Memorial Building.
The event was trimmed down from years’ past, amid feelings that the banquet had become too long to be enjoyable — previous banquets lasted longer than three hours.
The 2003 banquet was modified by eliminating sport-specific awards, and finished in just over an hour. In lieu of coaches’ addresses, event emcee Donald Elder did a short review on the Portales sports — Elder managed to quote both Samuel L. Jackson and Eminem, but forgot the Ram baseball team until the last moment.
Some things didn’t change, however. The seniors of PHS were introduced one by one, as their favorite moments were read. Sarah Tucker, who played the Ram mascot “Spike,” said she loved “signing autographs for the kids because everybody loves the Ram.”
There was little surprise when the Greatest Ram and Greatest Lady Ram awards were given, as both winners were three-sport athletes.
Jones sat out the early part of football season with a broken collarbone from a scrimmage, but came back in time for district play and helped the Rams reach the Class 3A state title game. Jones also played basketball and tennis.
When he took his award, he made it clear that he wasn’t the only one deserving of the trophy.
“I appreciate it and everything,” Jones said, “but there were so many people it could have gone to.”
Gentry made no post-award speech, and wasn’t too shocked about winning the award. After all, the odds were in her favor.
“Being the only girl who played three sports, (it’s not surprising),” Gentry said, “but there were a lot of good athletes that could have won it.”
Gentry was a member of Portales’ state champion basketball team, its state runner-up volleyball team and the softball team — which was knocked out in regionals by eventual state champion Bernalillo.