Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Highs, lows

Lets look back at the 2008-09 sports year at NMSU and reflect on some of the year's high points, and some of the low ones as well

Aggie baseball team pounds 10 home runs, yes 10 home runs, in a 28-2 win over Chicago State:
I honestly couldn't even believe it when I was looking through the year's archives at the office tonight. 10 homers? I remember putting it in the paper, but I kind of forgot about it and can't believe a bigger deal wasn't made of it. Honestly. Leo Aguirre hit two bombs. As did Mike Sodders. Oh, as did Bryan Marquez. Steven Anderson, Chuck Howard, Nate Shaver and Max Taylor got in the act as well. Many of these guys weren't even regulars during the year. It was a school record for a team that belted tons of homers in 2009. Just for the record, in another game this year, first baseman Ben Harty went deep four times. This team just went yard.

NMSU football cancellation of Week 1 game against Nicholls State:
I was ready for some football. And I'm sure some fans out there were too. To have Week 1 canceled was deflating at the time. The Aggies ended up going to Nebraska for their opener instead two weeks later and got steam rolled.

Aggie football team winning at UTEP:
The year was still fresh and the Aggies won at UTEP. The Miners were without their starting QB Trevor Vittatoe, who got hurt early on. Marcus Anderson scored three TDs and the defense forced some key turnovers. Chase Holbrook tossed five TDs. Hope was in the air.

Aggie football team winning at Nevada:
Had to bring this one up, probably because I was there. Hell, it was definitely because I was there. NMSU lights up the Wolf Pack in one of the craziest football games I had ever seen in person. The Aggies went for it three times on fourth-and-20. In the first half. Defensive lineman Oren Long returned a fumble in the late in the game, 83 yards for a touchdown. Wes Neiman made an insane catch in the second quarter, a twisting and tumbling grab in the back-right corner of the endzone. Marquel Colston got into a fight with a Nevada ROTC student. Lets see, what else happened? Mumme did the helicopter with his towell. Holbrook tossed three TDs and the defense rocked and rolled Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick, who I praised to the sky going into the game. The Aggies squashed him like a pancake and win 48-45 in a good old western shootout.

The Aggie basketball team was up and down all year. Well, that could be an understatement. Just take a snapshot of conference play. High: Sweeping first road trip of year - at Fresno State and at San Jose State. Coming home and then back out on the road - at Boise State and at Idaho. Swept by them. Return home, win two, fall at Utah State and then win, on ESPN, at Nevada. Crazy. Win three straight after that before falling twice, one a dispirited effort against Boise State at home. Win the finale, go to the WAC tourney, beat Boise State, and fall by just one to Utah State, the No. 1 seed. You know what, looking at it this way, there were more highs than lows. But it sure felt like a roller coaster.

Aggie golf team winning the WAC tournament last season:
This is becoming a recurring theme folks. Scott Lieberwirth is bringing in some talent. They lose there best player, Clovis native Travis Reid, who carried them in the conference tournament last year. But look out for Gaston De La Torre, who will be looking to build off a solid freshman campaign.

40 years at the Pan Am:
The basketball history at NMSU speaks for itself.

Football team getting blasted at home by Boise State:
This game was an embarrassment. NMSU did not come out to play what-so-ever despite Mumme's insistence on running the ball. The Aggie backfield was J.J. McDermott at QB and Donovan Roberts at running back most of the night. It was so strange. The game still feels like a weird dream. More like a nightmare for Aggie fans.

Mumme gets canned:
This was a low for Aggie football. The team needs to be successful and firing a coach is never a good sign. It means the team stunk. Mumme's team often showed flashes of promise but were wildly inconsistent. There was some talent, particularly on offense. I still think Chris Williams can return kicks and punts in the NFL. He's in Dolphins' camp by the way. But, ultimately, it was a make or break year in football for the Aggies and they broke.

Aggie volleyball team advancing in NCAA tournament:
This really should be higher in my entry. This team just keeps on winning and building confidence. Really, what they've done is set a standard of winning that everyone within the program feels they have to live up to. That's not easy to do. NMSU won in the NCAA tourney, which was groundbreaking for the program. Next year will be a rebuilding one, to a degree. But, I expect the team to remain very competitive and surprise many. Look out for Whitney Woods, who is primed for a big campaign.

James Hall Jr. singing with the Aggies:
Signing the local kid was a good move.

Swimming and diving team fares well in the WAC:
The program finished third in the conference meet and the reality is that McKinley Boston did not stop talking about Rick Pratt and company during an interview the other day. Pratt won WAC coach of the year, the team fared well. It's definitely a high point.

Lots more high points than low ones. Maybe I'm an optimist. I'm sure some would disagree.


Anonymous said...

Harty did not hit 4 HRs in one game, it may have been in one day, in baseball that is called a doubleheader!

Anonymous said...

In regards to the football programs success, or lack there of, during Mumme's tenure, it was a low point. But I think most fans on here would disagree that his firing was a low point. On the contrary, I think that his firing sparked an interest in the fans. There was more football talk during this offseason than any of the other years he was in charge.

We got the coach most fans wanted, and are excited to see what he can do to rebuild the program. Plus when you get rid of a loner who never really did much in the community and replace him with someone who wants to be involved, that's always a good thing.