Notes from the North

The Fourth of July weekend was a good one for the Santa Fe Fuego.

Unfortunately, it may prove to be the zenith of the team’s 2021 season.

After a 5-4 win over the Trinidad Triggers on July 4, the Fuego sat at 20-13 and on the heels of the Tucson Saguaros in the Mountain South Division. Since then, they have gone 6-14 and fell to last place in the division after beating the Roswell Invaders on Saturday. It was Santa Fe’s third win in the past four games to improve to 26-27, meaning it endured a 3-13 stretch.



An eight-game losing streak right after the win over the Triggers proved to be the tipping point. Pitching keyed the slump, as it allowed double-figure runs in seven of those eight games and 10 times in 13 games. The Fuego were 2-11 during that stretch to fall to 22-24 at that point.

Santa Fe began its final three-game series of the season in Alpine, Texas, against the Alpine Cowboys on Sunday.

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Monday signals the beginning of the 2021-22 high school sports season as football teams around the state begin two-(or sometimes three-)-a-day practices. It’s also a chance for programs to invite interested students to join practices.

Here is the list of practice times for Monday:

  • Santa Fe High: 7-8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Capital: 7-8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • St. Michael’s: 8-10 a.m.; 2-4 p.m.
  • Santa Fe Indian School: 8 a.m. (team meeting, only vaccinated athletes allowed on campus); 10 a.m.-noon.; 1:30-2:20 pm.

Speaking of the start of the football season, West Las Vegas Dons coach Adrian Gonzales had his team out on the field at the Frank Herrera Football Complex at midnight Sunday.

They will follow a 2½-hour nighttime session with a 10:30 a.m. second practice. Normalcy returns Tuesday, though, as West Las Vegas will practice at 7:30 a.m.

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Natalia Chavez continues to make headlines. The Albuquerque Volcano Vista rising senior announced Saturday she will attend the University of New Mexico on a women’s basketball scholarship in 2022. The 5-foot-9 guard from Cochiti Pueblo took a national star turn in May when she hit a half-court shot at the overtime buzzer to lead the Lady Hawks to a 52-49 win over Hobbs for the Class 5A championship.

Chavez is a three-year varsity player for Volcano Vista, which is led by Española Valley graduate and former Capital head girls basketball Lisa Villareal, led the Lady Hawks with 16.5 points per game as the program reached the championship game in her sophomore and junior years.

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Cheyenne Smith, a 2021 Santa Fe Indian School graduate, announced Thursday she committed to play softball at North Platte, (Neb.) Community College for the 2021-22 school year. Smith played at SFIS from 2018-20 before spending last year at Santa Fe High because SFIS canceled its sports season.

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Peñasco High School is seeking applicants to be its head boys basketball coach. Javier Roper coached the Panthers last year, leading them to a 7-5 overall record and a 6-4 mark in District 5-2A in his first year as a varsity head coach.

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