Clovis High School soccer team wins Matt 25 boat race

CNJ photo: Gabriel Monte The Clovis soccer team runs to its milk boat Sunday at Green Acres park during the Matt 25 Hope Center’s milk boat race. The team won first place, which it also won last year.

Freedom New Mexico

The Clovis High School soccer team claimed its first victory of the year, and it didn’t make a single goal.

The team won the Matt 25 Hope Center boat race Sunday at Greene Acres Park. The team also won last year’s race.

The team was one of 12 competing in the race, according to organizer Tim Garner.

The race is the Matt 25 Hope Center’s primary fundraiser, he said. Local businesses donate $2,000 to sponsor a boat and teams are either selected by the business or by race organizers, Garner said.

The center provides local churches support for developing various projects, according to its website.

The race raised $25,000 for the center, short of the $60,000 Garner was hoping for.

“We’re short of our goal this year; but it is what it is,” he said.

“We’re going to have to do a better job of soliciting from businesses.”

The team that wins the race receives a trophy and a $1,250 cash prize. Second and third placers receive $750 and $500, respectively.

The prize money goes to the businesses who sponsored the boat, Garner said.

Second and third place prizes went to Hilmar Cheese, whose boat was manned by Dutch Valley Farm, and Carpet Tech, who sponsored the boat powered by Clovis Public Works employees.

All teams run a primary heat, which determines the bracket during the main, single-elimination races, Garner said.

Each team consists of six members, who carry the 70-pound aluminum boats to the water. Then, three members push the boat in the water while the remaining three row the boat to a buoy 75 yards away and back.

The Clovis High soccer team’s boat was sponsored by Wilbur Ellis, a distributor of agricultural products such as feed and chemicals.

The team finished with a time of 1 minute and 29 seconds, a few seconds faster than last year, according to Charleton Guthals, a parent of a soccer player and a member of the boat race team.

“They’re already coming together as a team, which is good,” he said.

CHS soccer coach Greg Trujillo said he was pleased with the team’s victory.

“Conditioning’s paying off a little bit,” he said.

Trujillo said his team has been working out to prepare for the season and considered the race as a conditioning exercise.

The soccer team’s first soccer game of the season is Aug. 16 at home against Rio Rancho, Trujillo said.