Cheerleaders to compete in state finals

Kevin Wilson

Like their football and basketball counterparts, the Portales High cheerleaders are getting set to compete this weekend.
The cheerleaders will head to Albuquerque Sunday for the Universal Cheerleaders Association regional tournament, which will be held at Del Norte School.
Portales will be competing in the medium varsity division, according to cheerleading coach James Villanueva. Villanueva is a senior at Eastern New Mexico University and is a member of the Greyhound/Zia cheering squad.
“They work as hard as any athlete,” Villanueva said of the Ram cheerleaders. “They run, they lift weights. They’re definitely working hard.”
Winners will compete at the national championships, held at Walt Disney World in Orlando Feb. 6-10.

Back-to-back games are tough enough, but a back-to-back-to-back?
The Floyd Broncos basketball teams start their trio of games tonight with a home date against San Jon. They travel to Texico on Friday, then host Mountainair Saturday.
Both teams may be exhausted after it’s over, but Floyd boys coach Jeff Gillespie said it was a better option than letting the players get rusty following the Thanksgiving break.
“Doesn’t matter to me,” Gillespie said about the schedule. “I just wanted to play games and so did the kids, as opposed to practicing.”
Gillespie added that the format will feel like a tournament in some ways and that’s a good thing, with the Floyd America Tournament (girls) next weekend and the Route 66 Tournament in Tucumcari the week following.
Gillespie said the scheduling has been made somewhat easier now that the Broncos can schedule as many as 26 games. In the past, Floyd could schedule 22 and pay the New Mexico Activities Association a fee to add another game. Now, they can add four games.
The Broncos will also have the services of Chance Chenault. The senior guard had been recovering from ligament injuries suffered during the football season and missed Floyd’s season-opening loss to Tatum.
“If he comes off the floor, it will be a miracle,” Gillespie joked. “It looks like he hasn’t missed a beat.”

The Elida Boys didn’t get a win in Tuesday’s nightcap against Tucumcari, but at least the fans and players had a little chuckle to start things off.
Tucumcari was set to put 6-foot-3 center Chris McCasland in for the opening tip. Tiger coach Darrell Chenault, and just about everybody else in the Elida High gym, knew that McCasland had the advantage — no Tiger player was taller than 5-foot-11.
So what did Coach Chenault do? He put in his son Trenton, an eighth-grader who tops out at roughly five feet.
Pat Gonzales, who was officiating the contest, said he told the players that at least one of them would have to jump to make the tip official. McCasland volunteered to do just that.
McCasland won the tip, as expected, and the Rattlers went on to win 94-39.
PNT sports writer Kevin Wilson can be reached at