By Arnie Leshin
Can’t dispute the New Mexico Overtime Sports Center’s (NMOTSC) recent voting for the state’svolleyball and football teams as well as the others seen through the school year.
These are individual votes. No body tracks them down. They’re set into place until the next voting comes around. That’s all that matters, although some schools feel that what does matter is where they stand in the polls.
Let’s start in 3A volleyball. Last season, Robertson swept St. Michael’s twice, but that was last season. This time around, the two district rivals have played in the annual Tournament of Champions, where pool play results don’t count in the won-lost column.
So despite St. Michael’s (7-1) winning the tournament played at Santa Fe High and at Capital, and disposing of the Cardinals in what was no doubt the toughest of the four pools, Robertson is still 7-0, but the Lady Horsemen have a dent on their record after losing in four sets at Albuquerque St. Pius X, which puts them at 7-1.
In fact, you can finish fourth in the pool and still maintain your overall record, which occurred with Pojoaque Valley and Piedra Vista, the others in Pool D. They, too, lost to St. Michael’s, but are still among the top teams in their respective class groups.
Go figure and the Lady Horsemen figure they can make their case again when they play host to the Cardinals on Oct. 11, and then play at Robertson on Oct. 25.
The current poll has Robertson No. 1 in 3A with 102 votes that includes four first-place votes, and right on its heels is St. Michael’s with 97 votes and three-first place votes. Also receiving votes in 3A is Santa Fe Indian School and Santa Fe Prep.
Otherwise, Albuquerque La Cueva is on top 5A with 16 first-place votes and a total of 189. Santa Fe High and Capital also picked up votes in this group.
In 4A, Albuquerque Hope Christian is inches ahead of Artesia. The Huskies received 99 votes, two more than the Bulldogs, and both picked up five first-place votes. Right behind the two is St. Pius with 83 votes. Also receiving votes here was Pecos and Desert Academy.
Breaking it down, you win a tournament, your record doesn’t budge. You lost a tournament, same thing. But if you win a state tournament, nothing matters except hoisting the championship trophy.
. . . As for football, some of the voting is also questionable, but stays in place, just like volleyball, until the next voting.
The one tough to figure is where undefeated district rivals Taos and Bernalillo have been placed. The 4-0 Tigers on top of the heap with 89 points and eight first-place tallies. The Spartans, also 4-0, sit in the ninth spot with only 21 points and not a single first-place one.
It doesn’t figure. Bernalillo has allowed six points in the opener and nothing after that, which amounts to 90-6. Taos doesn’t come anywhere near that, but has handed Los Alamos its lone loss with a 49-0 whooping, and began the season with a rout over St. Michael’s in Santa Fe.
So it could come down the final regular-season contest to be played at the home field of the Spartans. Before that, only unbeaten district foe Grants (3-0) stands in the way, but doesn’t figure to block it.
Now why is Lovington, at 2-2, second, five votes behind Taos. The Wildcats are coming off a huge setback for the second time, although their wins were one sided. They have scored 107 points and allowed 106, and it’s difficult to believe they rank ahead of Bernalillo or deserve two first-place votes.
In 4A, unbeaten Albuquerque Hope Christian (4-0) is on top with 178 votes that include seven of the first-place variety. Unbeaten Dexter, which defeated the same Santa Rosa team that stunned Robertson, 35-0, is second, eighth votes ahead of the Cards, with undefeated Socorro (4-0) heading for a non-district showdown Friday night at Robertson, (3-1).
At an unusual 1-3, St. Michael’s did gain 61 votes for the seventh spot, 18 behind West Las Vegas.
In 5A, Roswell is 2-1 but first in the voting with 91 votes to go with seven first-place tallies. Next is Artesia (2-2) with one first-place vote and 85 overall.
Santa Teresa is unbeaten in for starts, but somehow does not rank among the top 10. And Los Alamos, at 3-1, did receive votes, the same with 3-1 Roswell Goddard.
In 6A, Rio Rancho Cleveland is 4-0 and holds down the top spot over Albuquerque La Cueva, also 4-0. The Storm collected 166 votes, 13 of them for first place. La Cueva collected six first-place votes and 157 in all.
Defending state champion Albuquerque Manzano is not even on the list with its 1-3 record, as well as scoring 75 points and yielding 125.
What a difference a year makes after the Monarchs won their first state football title, while Las CrucesCentennial is third with its 4-0 mark.
Go figure. Right or wrong, these are the official votes, so live with them.