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By Kevin Wilson

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February 10, 2019

Clovis’ Mason, Wright ink college letters

CLOVIS — All season, Clovis seniors Jaylen Mason and Montez Wright found ways to help a young Wildcat team try to compete in Class 6A.

They found a little time to help each other along the way too.

Their hard work was recognized Friday morning, as a ceremony was held to mark Mason signing on with West Texas A&M and Wright joining Aurora College in Illinois.

Clovis coach Cal Fullerton called both the “epitome of a Wildcat” during Friday’s ceremony for how they carried an inexperienced team to a 4-7 record where the pummeling largely came from a three-week stretch of Lubbock schools.

“At the end of the year, we were playing our best football,” Fullerton said. “We got better each week. A big part of that was due to Jaylen and Montez.”

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Mason chose the Buffs from a handful of schools, and pointed Aurora Wright’s way when coaches asked about any talented teammates.

Choosing the Buffs seemed like the right move to Mason, a second-team linebacker and defensive end on the NMHSCA team after leading Clovis with 84 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

“It’s just like home,” Mason said, noting the Buffalo defensive scheme is similar to Clovis. “The coaches made me feel welcome, the players made me feel welcome.”

Fullerton said Mason has great potential for college.

“Jaylen, ever since he started out, just comes to work,” Fullerton said. “He fell in love with the weight room and it shows. Plus he moves well. You put that together, and you’ve got a good linebacker.”

Aurora would have liked both Mason and Wright, and honed in on Wright after Mason was off the table with a verbal commitment. The Spartans, coached by former Buffalo Bill Don Beebe, clearly liked what they saw. Wright was a first-team defensive back on the New Mexico High School Coaches Association Class 6A team, plus a USA Today High School Sports All New Mexico team defensive selection. He had 28 tackles, with a team high five tackles and two fumble recoveries.

“I think with Montez’ speed, he’s got a good career in front of him,” Fullerton said. “You can’t teach speech, and he’s got that.”

As a junior, the 5-foot-9, 160-pound Wright finished second in Class 6A in the 100-meter, 200-meter and eighth in the long jump while helping the 800 relay team take second in state.

“All of the support I’ve gotten has really helped me get my speed up,” Wright said. “My coaches have always pushed me to be better, made me the player I am.”

Clayton signs with Westerners

CLOVIS — Steve Speck knew Logan Clayton could be a college golfer before she was technically a high schooler.

About two years after that, Clayton figured that’s what she wanted to do. And now two years after that, she will be one after signing a letter of intent with Western Texas College.

Clayton, a member of the Clovis High golf team since her eighth-grade year, signed Wednesday morning and was honored with a small ceremony attended by family, friends, teammates and coaches.

The senior had considered a handful of schools, but felt Snyder was the right place to let her golf clubs pay for her tuition.

“I really liked the coach and the program at Snyder,” said Clayton, decked in her green Westerner Golf T-shirt, “and it’s close enough I can make a quick trip to see family.”

College golf has been a goal since “sophomore year, when I won district,” Clayton said. “That’s when I realized I wanted to.”

Speck said she showed potential much earlier than that.

“Her eighth-grade year, we went up to Farwell and she hit a hole in one,” Speck said. “I know a hole in one is a lot of luck, but you have to be good enough to get it near the cup. Then she did it again. I’ve never hit one in my life, and she hit two in three years.”

“I think she’s one of the big reasons we’ve won three district championships.”

Clayton said the biggest thing she can do to get ready for college golf — not to mention her senior season of high school golf, which starts March 20 — is to simply practice every day.

Speck is sure she will.

“She’s one of those players who will stay after practice to work,” Speck said, “not because I told her to but because she wanted to. She’s willing to put in the time, and that’s the kind of person college programs like.”

Urioste signs with Greyhounds

PORTALES — Julian Urioste considered a home away from home. In the end, the Portales quarterback decided home was a pretty good option.

On Wednesday, the first day he could do so, Urioste signed a letter of intent to play football at Eastern New Mexico University. He is the only member of ENMU’s 2019 signing class from a school within a 90-mile radius of the Green and Silver.

“I liked the school,” said Urioste. “I liked that I’d have a chance to play in front of hte same crowd I’ve had my whole career. I liked the coaching staff and where the program is heading.”

He chose the Greyhounds over seven other schools, ranging from New Mexico Military Institute to a handful of schools in Kansas — where he lived until he was 6, and still has family in the area.

Looking at Urioste’s senior stat line, it’s hard to argue he doesn’t fit ENMU’s option offense. He had 1,317 rushing yards on 170 carries for 21 scores, but did more than enough to keep defenses honest with 92-of-170 passing for 1,740 yards, 13 TDs and three interceptions.

WIth Urioste behind center, the Rams went 8-4 and made the semifinal round for their fourth-consecutive season before falling to eventual 4A champion Taos.

Greyhound coach Kelley Lee is familiar with Urioste, having seen him in Ram games and various team camps. He praised the senior’s competitive nature.

“He wasn’t concerned where he was lined up,” Lee said. “He wanted to make plays. That’s more than anything what we liked about Julian.”

Urioste is currently busy with the Ram basketball team, but will have one more chance to be a high school football player at he large-school (Classes 4A-6A) North-South All-Star Game in June. He was the only quarterback selected that didn’t play for a Class 6A school.

Then comes August, and he aims to be better than the player who signed in Feburary.

“I want to get into the weight room, add some muscle, maybe 10 to 15 pounds, get a little bit stronger and faster,” Urioste said. “College is much different. You need to put in work.”


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