Looking back: Clovis High year in review

Staff report

Although Clovis High failed to produce a team champion, the 2013-2014 school year produced plenty of highlights.

Clovis teams produced a combined record of 88-70, led by the girls basketball team with a 29-1 mark.

The football team made its 13th consecutive state playoff appearance, but lost in the quarterfinals.


How they fared: 8-18 overall, third in District 4-5A  at 3-5. The Cats did not make the 5A playoffs.

Season review: After starting off 4-4, a 1-11 stretch put the Cats’ postseason hopes in serious jeopardy. Still, they may have sneaked in with a sweep of Hobbs in the regular-season finale at Bell Park, but after winning the opener 6-0 they dropped the nightcap 4-1.

• Noteworthy: While they were last in their three-team district, the Cats were close to perhaps winning it. They lost one-run decisions on the road to Hobbs (4-4 district) and Carlsbad (5-3).

Go figure: 1 — seniors on the roster at season’s end, to go with eight juniors and five sophomores.


How they fared: 12-15 overall, third in District 4-5A  at 0-4. Did not advance to postseason play.

• Season review: Hard-hit by graduation after a runnerup finish the previous season, the Cats won five in a row to improve to 6-2 in late December. But they struggled much of the remainder of the season, ending the campaign on a six-game losing streak.

• Noteworthy: Coach Matt King took a high school coaching job in Glendale, Ariz., after spending three seasons at CHS. Longtime assistant Scott Robinson was named the new head coach.

Go figure: 9 — seasons since the Cats last failed to reach the postseason (2004-05).


How they fared: Girls, 6th out of 15 teams in the 5A state meet. Boys: 12th out of 15 teams.

• Season review: The young Lady Cats cruised to the district title but failed to medal at state as senior Rebekah Gallop, who was under the weather on race day and struggled to a 55th-place finish. The boys, led by senior Max Santarosa, finished third behind Hobbs in the district meet. Santarosa ran 13th in the state meet.

Noteworthy: The Lady Cats’ top four finishers in last year’s state meet consisted of a sophomore (Samantha Meza), two freshmen (Jaci Sievers and Catherine Hisel) and an eighth-grader (Kelsey McNaughton).



How they fared: Third in the 5A state boys meet, sixth on the girls side.

Season review: While the Lady Cats earned the three necessary legs early on to qualify for state, the boys took it down to the wire — getting their third leg in the regular-season finale, the Last Chance Open in Roswell on May 2. At state, the Cats were fifth after the first day, but made up 12 strokes earn a state trophy. Meantime, senior Emilio Romero shot 76-79 — 155 to tie for fourth with La Cueva’s Kevin Kim and earn an individual medal.

Go figure: 3 — state team trophies for the Cats (third or higher) over the past five seasons. They also finished third in 2010 and 2011.


Staff photo: Joshua Lucero Clovis coach Jeff Reed addresses his team during a timeout of a Class 5A state tournament game. The Lady Wildcats stared the season 29-0 in their quest for a Class 5A repeat, but were upset by Volcano Vista in the semifinals.

Staff photo: Joshua Lucero
Clovis coach Jeff Reed addresses his team during a timeout of a Class 5A state tournament game. The Lady Wildcats stared the season 29-0 in their quest for a Class 5A repeat, but were upset by Volcano Vista in the semifinals.


How they fared:  29-1 overall, won District 4-5A  with 4-0 mark. Lost in the state semifinals to Volcano Vista.

• Season review: Led by junior Division I prospect Danni Williams, the Lady Cats blitzed through most of their opponents and appeared on the way to a second consecutive 5A title. But in the state semifinals they fell behind 7-0 against Volcano Vista, a team they beat at home in January by 15 points, and never recovered in falling 52-45.

 Noteworthy: The Lady Cats were ranked No. 1 in 5A virtually all season — they went as high as No. 7 in one national poll. … Williams  averaged 24 points a game.

• Go figure: 39 — consecutive victories for the Lady Cats at The Rock, dating to late in the 2010-11 season.



• How they fared:  6-6 overall, won District 4-5A on a tie-breaker with a 1-1 mark. Lost in state quarterfinals to then unbeaten, top-seeded Valley.

• Season review: The Cats were in danger of missing the playoffs before routing Carlsbad 66-39 in the regular-season finale at Leon Williams Stadium. Highlighting an up-and-down regular season was a 42-24 shellacking of Sandia, which went 9-3 and may have been knocked out of a top-four seed and first-round home game with that loss.

• Noteworthy: More than 90 percent of the Cats’ rushing offense during the season (3,556 of 3,778 yards) came from the senior class.

• Go figure: 13 — consecutive playoff appearances for the Cats, dating to their unbeaten run to the 5A title in 2001.



• How they fared: 14-8 overall, won District 4-5A with 4-0 mark. Lost to Mayfield in a first-round state match.

• Season review: The Lady Cats started 3-5 before winning 11 of 13 heading into state, including their usual domination of the district. But, seeded ninth in the 12-team state tournament, they couldn’t get past 11th-seeded Mayfield in a first-round match, losing in four games.

• Noteworthy: The Lady Cats have made it to the 5A state tournament in all five seasons under coach Gabe Apodaca, reaching the quarterfinals in each of the first three years and losing in the first round in 2012 and 2013.

• Go figure: 10 — Seniors on the 2013 squad.



• How they fared: Boys: 8-13 overall, 3-1 District 4-5 (1st), lost to Cibola in the first round of state competition. Girls: 11-9, 0-4, did not make state.

• Season review: It was a tough go for the Cats, starting with the opener at Alamogordo in which they saw a 4-0 halftime lead turn into a 5-4 loss in double overtime. They did just enough in district play to qualify for state, though, capped by a winner-take-all, 2-1 victory over Hobbs at home that settled the district title. Meantime, the Lady Cats posted a solid pre-district record, but simply couldn’t overcome rivals Hobbs and Carlsbad.

• Noteworthy: The boys were district champions for the second consecutive season.

Go figure: 8 — Losses by one goal for the boys in 2013.



• How they fared: 11-16 overall, 3-5 District 4-5A. Lost to second-seeded Onate 8-2 in the first round of the 5A state tournament.

• Season review: The Lady Cats lose two of their better players to graduation in outfielders Andrea Aguilar and Kyleigh Guthals, but their strong finish gives them hope of perhaps taking the next step in 2015. The win over Carlsbad and a late-season sweep of Hobbs at home propelled them into their first state berth since 2006.

• Noteworthy: After dropping seven of their first eight games, Clovis put together a winning record (10-9) the rest of the way.

• Go figure: 2 — wins over District 4-5A rival Carlsbad in the program’s history, including a 3-2 decision in April at Lady Wildcat Field.



• How they fared: Seventh in state girls competition at Albuquerque Academy H.S. in late February, while the boys were eighth.

• Season review: Coach Vincent de Maio, who started the girls program in 2003 and the boys program the following year, sees continued progress in his squads. The Cats and Lady Cats have had a hard time competing due to smaller rosters, but with the bulk of this year’s team is returning.

• Noteworthy: The girls squad doubled in size last year — from four in 2012 to eight. All eight qualified for the state meet.

• Go figure: 12 — School records set by the Cats and Lady Cats in the state meet, 10 of them coming in Friday’s preliminary round. Junior Everett Ward was involved in five of them.



• How they fared: Boys and girls each went 0-2 in District 4-5A duals.

• Season review: The Lady Cats got off to a fast start, winning titles in their first two tournaments of the season, but couldn’t overcome Carlsbad and Hobbs in district play. Meantime, the relatively inexperienced boys team made progress during the season, capped by Richeson and Pautler’s trip to state, and should be more of a factor next year with a senior-laden roster.

• Noteworthy: Neither team qualified for state play, but the boys sent one doubles team (juniors Kousei Richeson and Tristen Pautler) while the girls had two (senior Meera Shah and junior Rylie Lee, juniors Breanna Smith and Shaylee Warner). Shah and Lee won their first two matches and went on to finish fourth.

• Go figure: 7 —Juniors on the boys’ nine-player roster. The others are a freshman and a sophomore.



• How they fared: Clovis won both District 4-5A team titles, and the boys and girls each finished fourth in 5A state competition at Albuquerque.

• Season review: While the boys won a number of meets during the regular season, the Lady Cats settled for six second-place finishes before posting their first win of the season in the Ross Black Relays at Lovington on May 2. Both teams went on to dominate their district meets and fell a spot short of team trophies at state.

• Noteworthy: CHS claimed four individual titles in the state meet — senior Kamal Cass won the 100 and 200 for the boys, while senior Sasha Pollard-Smith took the girls 200 and junior Shelbi Jones the shot. Cass in just the third boys state 100 champion from CHS all-time, joining Michael Thompson (1990, 1991) and James Parker (1972, 1973).

• Go figure: .05  — combined margin of victory in seconds for Cass in his two winning races at state.


— Compiled by sports writer Dave Wagner