By Dave Wagner
Perry Jackson liked the golf program at New Mexico Junior College. Just as important was the interest Thunderbirds coach James Black showed in him.
The Clovis High senior recently signed a national letter of intent to play at Hobbs-based NMJC next year, and said it wasn’t a tough decision.
“Coach Black was recruiting me harder than anybody else had,” Jackson said. “It’s a good opportunity. I’ve liked New Mexico Junior College, and knowing that they had an interest in me was something I really liked.”
Jackson has qualified for Class 5A state competition with his Wildcats teammates each of the last three years. He had his best finish in 2003, shooting a 36-hole score of 152 to place ninth.
Junior teammates Travis Reid and Guillermo Chavez finished ahead of Jackson at state last year, and the Wildcats hope to put together another strong run this spring.
“We’re excited about the opportunities for this year,” Jackson said. “One of our main players (Mike Speicher) moved away, but we’ve got a good group of guys behind us.”
Black, who has taken a team to the National Junior College Athletic Association nationals eight times in his previous 12 seasons at the school, said other CHS grads who have been mainstays over the years for the Thunderbirds include Jason Carlyle and Jimmy Jameson.
“We’re real excited to get another player from Clovis,” Black said. “Perry has a tremendous amount of potential, and a great golf swing. He seems like a good competitor, and a fine young man.”
The Thunderbirds missed out on last year’s nationals as a team after finishing third in 2002. They will have some openings next season, Black said, adding that they’ve gotten commitments from several other quality prospects.
“I can’t wait to get started,” Jackson said. “I think they’re going to have a really good team.
“It’s going to be a tough team to make, but I’m going to go down there and try my best.”