Character stands out

By Karl Terry: FNM columnist

As I watched them playing each other in the EPAC championship game on the floor of Greyhound Arena in January, I remarked to someone at the press desk that we could be looking at two state champions. So they are.

The Floyd Lady Broncos and Texico Lady Wolverines have done our area proud as champions in the Class 1A and 2A New Mexico State Basketball Championships.

The success and glory couldn’t have come to two more deserving teams. They worked hard to achieve their success and they’ve been outstanding role models along the way.

I got the chance to cover both teams this year and I can say that while the talent on both squads was great, they stand out because neither team depended on just one or two players.

The hallmark for these teams was unselfishness and the ability to quickly take advantage of whatever was working on a given night.

The first time I covered Texico it appeared coach Keith Durham had five clones on the court. It didn’t matter who you left unguarded, that was where the threat was coming from.

Floyd seemed much the same.

Both teams made their living on defense and didn’t seem to get tired.

Offensively the passes were crisp and the shooters and playmakers were quick to take advantage of an opportunity.

But in my mind I keep coming back to the players’ and coaches’ abilities as role models as what set them apart.

I think the Lady Bronco and Lady Wolverine success as role models begins with the character of their coaches. Durham and Floyd coach Adam Terry are both Christian men; to their credit, that fact comes across in their actions on the court and in the action of their charges.

You don’t see arguing or backbiting when these two teams are on the court. Instead you see a genuine respect for the game and the opponent. A respect for the coaches and the fans.

An example of the role modeling these young ladies exhibit was related by the new preacher at my church in Portales. With players from Floyd and Dora both in his congregation he was moved to attend a girls basketball game as one of his first community acts. He said the game was exciting and he was heartened to see the two teams and many of the fans gather at midcourt after the game for a prayer.

I noticed another thing besides the quality and character of the two teams that night during the EPAC championship. I noticed lots of little girls in the stands who knew every player on their favorite team by name. They were there because they wanted to be like the big girls.

I hope all of those little pigtailed girls turn out just like those big girls on the Texico and Floyd teams.