By Kevin Wilson
Chris Smith’s senior year at Portales High School was in all probability going to go down as a frustrating one, as injuries took their toll during the football, basketball and track seasons.
“The year was one of the worst years, as far as I was concerned,” said Smith.
Smith’s year took a dramatic change Tuesday night, as his work throughout his four years at PHS resulted in the Greatest Ram award at the conclusion of the school’s annual athletic banquet.
He shared final honors on the night with Rachelle Self, who was chosen the Greatest Lady Ram.
Smith, a member of the Ram basketball team that finished second at state, suffered through a variety of injuries from his junior year on. He partially tore a posterior cruciate ligament in his junior year, and had it tear completely in his senior year during basketball season because it never healed right. He also missed much of his senior football season after he tore a hamstring.
Smith just worked through his injuries and did what he could to help Ram teams win.
“It wasn’t really a goal (to win the award),” Smith said. “I just worked hard through my entire life in sports.”
Smith intends to go to Eastern New Mexico University, where he will major in history.
He’ll be joined there by Self, who intends to study psychology. Most of Self’s achievements came on the tennis court. Self won a state doubles title in 2004, finished second in 2003 and finished third in 2005. She was part of three state champion tennis teams in her five years.
“It was a surprise, but it was exciting,” said Self, who figured a three-sport athlete would more likely win the award.
The awards were presented by the 2004 award winners, Kassandra Richards and Seth Clabaugh.