Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Johnson offered by regional college programs

(Mayfield quarterback Kavika Johnson carries the ball last season against Gadsden High School/Photo by Robin Zielinski)

Wrote a story this week on Mayfield quarterback Kavika Johnson, who's received offers to play college football from New Mexico State University, the University of New Mexico, the University of Texas-El Paso and Brigham Young University.

With Johnson as arguably New Mexico's top prep quarterback, expect the Trojans to be right there in the State Championship conversation once again in 2014. He's a big reason why, along with the Trojans having some of the top coaching in state, headlined by their head coach Michael Bradley.

Quarterback play and quality coaching. It's obviously a recipe for success, and I'd expect it to be a theme this season like many others. The same can be said at Las Cruces High (with quarterback Kameron Miller under center, and his father Jim Miller manning the sidelines) and Eldorado (with the combination of quarterback Zach Gentry and head coach Charlie Dotson).

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg

Friday, June 13, 2014

LINK: ESPN story on former Aggie coach DeWayne Walker

(An ESPN story focused on former New Mexico State head coach DeWayne Walker, and his departure from the football program/Associated Press photo)

A recent ESPN story from Andrea Adelson looked at two college football coaches who recently walked away from head coaching jobs to assume assistant coaching roles with other programs.

One was former Alabama-Birmingham head coach Garrick McGee, who became offensive coordinator at Louisville. The other was former New Mexico State head coach DeWayne Walker, who, as we all know, returned to the NFL to become defensive backs coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Walker's story has been hashed over before. Still, it was a good rendition from Adelson, who I thought was fair in her analysis while also speaking with Aggie Athletics Director McKinley Boston.

For Walker at NMSU, it was a resource issue. He made no bones about it during his tenure at the school, from his first couple years with the program until his last.

Yet I will also say this: If Walker had stability at offensive coordinator in all four years with the Aggies, I believe he would have turned it. If Doug Martin - who did a quality job as offensive coordinator in 2011 - returned in 2012, would the Aggies have been a bowl team? I obviously can't say that but, regardless, I know they would have been more competitive. A three-to-five win team in my estimation, not 1-11.

Instead, Walker had four coaches in four years at that key coordinator post, with little chance of developing continuity or consistency.

I still believe Walker's chance will come again, either as an NFL defensive coordinator or as a college head coach somewhere. And, yes, I believe he will be successful with it.

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

PREP BASEBALL: Rosters for 2014 Bob Ogas All-Star series

The Bob Ogas North/South All-Star Baseball Classic is this Friday and Saturday at Apodaca Park in Las Cruces. We'll have stories in the coming days on the All-Star series, but for now, a look at the 4A/5A North and South rosters:

4A/5A North
Colby Brown, Abq. Academy
Reed Cunningham, Abq. Academy
Ryan Dow, Cibola
Ambrose Romero, Eldorado
Trey Alexanderson, La Cueva
Connor Calvert, La Cueva
Jeff Deimling, La Cueva
Alex Howard, La Cueva
Chad Smith, La Cueva
Jake Downs, Los Alamos
Othon Delacruz, Rio Grande
Eli Cappello, Rio Rancho
Victor Chavez, Rio Rancho
Marcus Martinez, Rio Rancho
Grant Templin, Rio Rancho
Kent Keeling, St. Pius X
Kyle Piersol, St. Pius X
Tristin Rizek, St. Pius X
Bo Coleman, Valley High
Daniel Herrera, Volcano Vista

4A/5A South
Richard Adler, Alamogordo
Caleb Prentiss, Carlsbad
Luis Sonora, Carlsbad
Jared Rodriguez, Carlsbad
Dev'n Ortiz, Carlsbad
Sergio Ortega, Carlsbad
Ben Koerper, Centennial
Bobby Gannaway, Deming
Isaiah Almanza, Deming
Anthony Acevedo, Gadsden
Josh Wagone, Goddard
Taryn Nunez, Goddard
Cody French, Goddard
Mitchell Weathers, Goddard
Josh Gomez, Mayfield
David Montoya, Mayfield
Justin Rivera, Mayfield
Kevin Harris, Santa Teresa
Josh Baca, Valencia
Tyler Klein, Valencia

Friday, June 6, 2014

Local 2014 football schedules

A look at high school football schedules for local city schools Las Cruces High, Mayfield, Oñate and Centennial. Keep in mind there is district realignment this year in New Mexico high school athletics, with the Bulldawgs, Trojans and Knights moving into the newly-formed District 3-6A, while the Hawks become a member of the reconfigured District 3-5A.

Las Cruces High
Aug. 28 vs. Montwood 7 p.m.
Sept. 5 vs. La Cueva 7 p.m.
Sept. 12 at Volcano Vista 7 p.m.
Sept. 19 at Rio Rancho 7 p.m.
Sept. 26 vs. Centennial 7 p.m.
Oct. 3 at Artesia 7 p.m.
Oct. 9 vs. Deming* 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 at Gadsden* 7 p.m.
Oct. 24 BYE
Oct. 31 vs. Oñate* 7 p.m.
Nov. 7 at Mayfield* 7 p.m.
* District 3-6A game

Aug. 29 vs. Hobbs 1 p.m.
Sept. 5 at Franklin 7 p.m.
Sept. 12 vs. Carlsbad 7 p.m.
Sept. 19 vs. Alamogordo 7 p.m.
Sept. 26 at Eldorado 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 vs. Manzano 1 p.m.
Oct. 10 at Onate * 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 BYE
Oct. 24 at Deming* 7 p.m.
Oct. 30 vs. Gadsden* 7 p.m.
Nov. 7 vs Las Cruces* 7 p.m.
* District 3-6A game

Aug. 29 at Centennial 7 p.m.
Sept. 4 vs. Eastlake 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 vs. Cleveland 1 p.m.
Sept. 19 at Hobbs 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 at West Mesa 1 p.m.
Oct. 3 vs. Rio Grande 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 vs. Mayfield* 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 at Deming* 7 p.m.
Oct. 24 vs. Gadsden* 7 p.m.
Oct. 31 at Las Cruces* 7 p.m.
Nov. 7 BYE
* District 3-6A game

Aug. 29 vs. Oñate 7 p.m.
Sept. 5 at Gadsden 7 p.m.
Sept. 12 at Del Norte 7 p.m.
Sept. 18 vs. Socorro (Texas) 7 p.m.
Sept. 26 at Las Cruces 7 p.m.
Oct. 3 BYE
Oct. 10 at Los Lunas* 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 vs. Chaparral* 7 p.m.
Oct. 23 vs. Valencia* 7 p.m.
Oct. 31 at Belen* 7 p.m.
Nov. 7 at Santa Teresa* 7 p.m.
* District 3-5A game

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Aggies will try to capitalize - and surprise - against a more manageable 2014 schedule

Early reviews on the New Mexico State football team haven't been standout in national magazines such as Athlon Sports and Lindy's Sports, where the Aggies are ranked at or near the bottom of the publications' national rankings.

In a way, it's tough to accept. In another, we're aware the 2014 season will be a transitional one with plenty of new faces both on the team's roster and amongst the program's coaching staff.

Then again, one look at the schedule also sees a substantially easier docket than last year's independent slate of games.

The first four games, in my estimation, are of critical importance. And the first two are paramount - I believe they could make or break the Aggies season.

That would be the season home opener against Cal Poly - a program from the Football Championship Subdivision - and then a road game at a Georgia State team that went winless a season ago. A 2-0 mark would provide NMSU with a necessary boost going into the team's two rivalry games at UTEP (Sept. 13) and vs. New Mexico (Sept. 20). A loss or two, however? It could do just the opposite.

It might not seem substantial, but if the Aggies can go 2-2 in those first four games, there are some contests further down their schedule they could possibly steal. A road game at Idaho stands out (NMSU beat the Vandals last season 24-16) and the team has four home games down the stretch against Georgia Southern, Texas State, Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe.

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg

Monday, June 2, 2014

PODCAST: New Mexico State 2013-14 Year in Review

We sat down with for our final New Mexico State athletics podcast of the 2013-14 academic year. Of course, we recap everything from Aggie baseball and softball, to NMSU men's basketball and football, and much more.

Click here to listen.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Trashaun Nixon joins the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL

Former Aggie linebacker Trashaun Nixon is now with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. Nixon confirmed to the Sun-News that he has in fact signed with the Argonauts, and is listed on the the team's current roster.

Nixon, listed at 6-foot-1, 235 pounds, had a tryout with the New Orleans Saints following the 2014 NFL Draft. He will now hope to stick with the Argonauts.

A transfer to NMSU from Ventura College, Nixon was one of the Aggies top defensive players the past two seasons. Last year he played outside linebacker before moving inside. He finished second on the team with 93 tackles and led the way with 13 tackles for a loss. Nixon has a nice blend of size and speed, and he led the Aggies last season with three sacks.

Two other Aggies signed as undrafted free agents this past offseason - wide receiver Austin Franklin and offensive lineman Davonte Wallace - are still on NFL rosters with the St. Louis Rams and Miami Dolphins, respectively.

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg