The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

North-South teams chosen

Las Cruces to host all-star games in June.


January 19, 2020

Winning championships, even just having a chance to compete for them, is the ultimate reward for a team’s season and offseason of hard work.

So are the all-star games that come during that offseason. Announced recently, local programs big and small were honored with numerous selections to the 2020 North-South All-Star Games, which will be held this June.

The large- and small-school football games are scheduled for the weekend of June 5-6, with the large-school game slated for Friday June 5 at Las Cruces’ Field of Dreams, the small-school contest for Saturday June 6 at the same place. 6:30 p.m. is the scheduled awards time, 7 p.m. the scheduled kickoff time for both.

In each case the athletes are due to report three days earlier — so June 2 for the large-school football players, June 3 for the small-schoolers — the North players at the Field of Dreams, the South at the Las Cruces Turf Field.

Football had the most local 2020 honorees, not surprisingly considering the success of area teams. From Portales’ 4A and Melrose’s eight-man state championships, to state-title-game appearances for 2A Texico and six-man Elida, and semifinal runs for 6A Clovis and 2A Fort Sumner, it was a productive autumn for area football.

On the large-school South team, which will be coached by Centennial’s Aaron Ocampo, four players from Portales’ state-championship squad and four from Clovis’ state-semifinalist team were selected. For the Rams are: Texas-Tech-bound Philip Blidi at defensive lineman; Kellan Hightower at receiver; Wromiah Gbassagee at running back; and Jalen Allen for the secondary.

For the Wildcats, offensive lineman Bryce Cabeldue followed up his all-state selection with a spot on the South All-Star team and receiver Malik Phillips added an All-Star nod to being named District 2-6A Offensive Player of the Year. Clovis defensive backs Ethan Culiver and Brandon Mason were chosen for the secondary.

Defending 6A champ Cleveland, which beat Clovis in the semis, has four representatives on the large-school North team, coached by Farmington’s Jeff Dalton: inside linebacker Tress Villapando; offensive lineman Parker Pulley; outside linebacker/defensive end Colten Madison; and running back Dorian Lewis.

On the small-school front, eight-man champ Melrose has three selections for the South team, coached by Jal’s Caleb Aldridge: defensive lineman Chazz McAllister; inside linebacker Jake Pierce; and quarterback Tristan Sena. Selected from 2A finalist Texico are offensive lineman Collin Haakma and outside linebacker Robby Clauss. Outside linebacker Will Haley was chosen to represent six-man finalist Elida.

Fort Sumner, which lost to eventual 2A state champion Eunice in the semifinals, will be represented by defensive lineman J.D. Candela, receiver Isaiah Padilla, and running back Francisco Chavez.

2A champ Eunice has five selections: inside linebacker Felix Gonzales; offensive lineman Angel Caudillo; quarterback Mason Caperton; receiver Avante Stevens; and running back Tayveon Mitchell.

The small-school North team will be coached by Santa Rosa’s Mario Trujillo.

The volleyball all-star contests for large- and small-schools will each be held June 5 at Las Cruces High School, the small-school match at 4 p.m. (awards at 3:30 p.m.), the large-school clash at 6 p.m. (awards at 5:30 p.m.), with the athletes for each team due to report two days earlier at 2 p.m.

Neither Portales nor Clovis has a representative for the large-school team, somewhat surprising in the Lady Rams’ case, because they finished 19-7 last fall, with a 15-match win streak along the way.

Also a bit surprising was Texico only getting one selection — leftside/rightside hitter Ashley Hill — for the small-school South team after winning the state 2A championship.

Melrose rolled undefeated into the Class A title match before getting swept by Logan. But for their 22-0 start, the Lady Buffaloes had three selections for the South small-school team: leftside/rightside hitters Brette DeVaney and Deajha Downey, and middle blocker Nataley Mondragon.

The Melrose and Texico players will be coached by Mescalero’s Alice Velasquez.

The champion Lady Longhorns are represented on the small-school North team by leftside/rightside hitter Karli Webb and middle blocker Jordan Hines. They will be coached by Monte del Sol’s Graciela Butler.

In soccer, the boys and girls games are June 6 at the Field of Dreams, the girls at 10 a.m. (awards at 9:30 a.m.), the boys at 1 p.m. (awards at 12:30 p.m.). Athletes report two days earlier.

Clovis midfielder Sofia Rico is the only local soccer player selected for any of the all-star teams. Her girls South team will be coached by Centennial’s Alex Reyes.


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