Shooting for district

Kevin Wilson

The Portales High golf teams are at Roswell today, in search of something they don’t need, but want just the same.
Roswell, more specifically New Mexico Military Institute, is the site for the District 1A-3A championship. The spoils of victory? An automatic berth to next week’s state tournament in Kirtland. Both Portales teams have already qualified.
“Our goal is to win the district,” boys coach Greg Poynor said. “Even though it has nothing to do with state, it’s still a big goal for us, especially playing NMMI at NMMI.
“That presents a big challenge.”
Sophomore Chris Adkins thinks winning the district title can give the Rams momentum as they drive for the program’s first state championship.
“It would give us a huge boost. I think it would help our confidence a lot to beat NMMI at NMMI,” Adkins said. “We’ve got a lot of confidence right now, but that would take our confidence to another level.”
The challenge is not quite so big for the Portales girls, who only have to worry about Lovington in the team competition. Portales and Lovington are the only teams in the district with enough players to qualify for a team score.
“We’ve just got to get better,” Portales coach Brenda Gomez said. “That’s the good thing about golf. You can work on improving yourself — you don’t have to compete against anybody.”
Gomez has felt all along that senior Cassidy Merrick gives Portales a good chance to win at any tournament, but the team success depends just as much on how well the other three players shoot.
“Our goal is just to keep our scores below 100 and not have ‘blowup’ holes,” junior Michelle Miller said. “You don’t want to have 9’s or 10’s — just try to stay out of trouble.”
Dora, meanwhile, is just trying to stay competitive. The Lady Coyotes have only three players — Allison Field, Kelsey McKinney and Jennifer Bolin — and one of them would need to win today’s tournament to qualify individually for state.
Coach Bill Stockton felt the tournament was a chance for his players to improve and get some experience.
“We’ve got two kids that are playing their first year,” Stockton said regarding Field and McKinney. “They’re just trying to learn the game.”