The Portales Rams had to forfeit their first two games of the football season on Wednesday — wins over West Las Vegas and Tularosa — due to the use of an ineligible player.
“There was a mixup in the residency of one of our players,” Portales coach Glenn Johnson said. “It’s been cleared up. We reported it to the NMAA (New Mexico Activities Association). It wasn’t our fault or the kid’s fault. We dealt with it and now it’s time to move on.”
Johnson would not disclose the name of the player, but did say that from the third game on the player has been eligible. He is still on the team.
Portales, which beat West Las Vegas 19-7 and Tularosa 22-14, fell to 2-5 for the season with the forfeits. The Rams open District 4-3A play at 7 p.m. Friday at defending district champion Ruidoso.
The forfeits will not impact the Rams’ chances at the playoffs, officials said.
Lady Rams vie for district top seed
Portales is down to the final week of the regular season and the Lady Rams are looking to add another District 4-3A title tonight when they host the Lovington Lady Wildcats. The junior varsity game tips off at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity game.
With a win Portales can wrap up the top seed for the District 4-3A tournament, which begins on Oct. 30. A victory would put the Lady Rams at 4-0 in district. Portales defeated Lovington in four games the first time they met.
“They played us really good in Lovington,” Chavez said. “It’ll be good to be at home. Their fans are tough in Lovington. If we can win, it will put us where we want to be. We will have the title game at home and we wouldn’t have to play on Thursday.”
The Lady Rams won the state championship in Chavez’s first season as head coach and were runner-ups last season when they lost to the St. Michael’s Lady Horsemen in four games. Portales has finished first in district in each of Chavez’s three seasons as head coach.
“I don’t ever take anything for granted,” Chavez said about the frequent trips to the state tournament. “There’s a lot of good teams that come out of this district. If we play our game, we should be able to win.”
Elida owns tie-breaker
Elida controls its destiny in District 3-1A despite Tuesday’s five-game loss to the Fort Sumner.
If the Lady Tigers (7-1) win their final two games, they will earned the district’s top seed in next week’s 3-1A tournament on a tie-breaker.
The teams split two matches, with Elida winning in four games. Fort Sumner is 8-1 in district.
Melrose Lady Buffaloes appears headed for the third seed, while Dora has locked up the fourth seed.
“We need clicked in the last three games of the match,” Dora coach Myra Skinner said about Tuesday’s five-game match loss to Melrose. “Next week will be as good as any to click.”
Conquerors seek strong finish
Faith Triumphant ends its football season with two games against Holy Cross and Conqueror coach Shawn Kelly is looking for a strong finish.
“I’d be really disappointed if we didn’t win our last two games,” Kelly said. “We have been playing really well, lately. They (Conquerors) have a win-only attitude. They never feel like the least-talented team on the field. Even if there’s only seven players on the team and they look across the field to the other sidelines and see 14 or 15 players on the other team.”
The Conquerors are coming off a 40-0 shutout victory against All-Saints of Lubbock.
Faith Triumphant hosts Amarillo Holy Cross at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Lady Conquerors keep battling
Faith Triumphant finishes its volleyball season on Friday against Hereford Community Christian. The team has no seniors and Faith Triumphant coach Betine Adams expects all of her starters back for next season.
“The young girls improved a lot,” Adams said. “I’m as proud of these girls as I am of any of the previous teams. I expect us to be extremely good in a couple of years.”
Setter Victoria Bayen is the lone junior while Danielle Turner and Casie Paden are the only sophomores. The rest of the players will be freshman and below.
“Our school mascot is the conqueror and I feel our girls have done that,” Adams said. “They have been able to overcome and conqueror, even if the record doesn’t indicate it. We talk a lot about our young girls, but our high school players have improved a lot also.”