Con el crecimiento de ligas amateur de fútbol en El Paso, también hay una creciente preocupación entre jugadores y entrenadores respecto a las malas condiciones de los campos en los que se practica este deporte. “Hay muchos campos que si están en mal estado y los jugadores corren muchos riesgos, sobre todo los jugadores que trabajan, tienen su familia, chavos que juegan en la escuela”, dijo Joel García, de 36 años, entrenador y jugador de fútbol en la liga Del Valle Soccer League. “Y, sí, es muy riesgoso jugar en esos campos.” Esta es parte de la razón por la que varias de las ligas amateur locales, requieren que sus jugadores sean mayores de edad. Estas ligas estan conformadas por 18 a 22 equipos, cada uno con un promedio de 15 jugadores.
El Paso is not known for being a fencing city but through the efforts of Master Margaret De Long that is changing. Tucked away on the corner of Octavia and Yandell streets in Downtown El Paso is the Salle De Long Fencing studio. The clang of foils striking is ever present, along with the beads of sweat rolling off hard-working students’ foreheads. The classes are taught by fencing master Margaret De Long who has been in El Paso for the past 30 years and instructing students at the Salle De Long Fencing and Wellness Center since 2002. In order for her to attain the title she had to master the foil, épée and saber which are the main weapons of the sport. Her specialty is the foil, which is one of the most fundamental weapons and most technical of the sport.
From running after a soccer ball to running on a track, the kids and adults in Segundo barrio have been given the feel of getting a fast break off the starting line of a track. Former Guillen Middle School student Angel Luna made a vow to himself. He promised to run everyday of the year after work to be fit and healthy. “I had made a goal for the year. I made a promise for myself to come everyday, for the whole year now,” Luna said.
EL PASO, Texas — The sound of rolling thunder in this border city’s convention center signals that the conference venue has once again been transformed into a bowler’s paradise for the 2015 USBC Open Championships. With the tournament in full swing, the United States Bowling Congress expects more than 7,000 teams – bringing about 100,000 visitors all told – to visit El Paso throughout the 128 days of competition from March 7 to July 12. This is the first time in the tournament’s 112-year history that it will be hosted in El Paso, following the USBC Women’s Championships that was held here in 2010. Albert Williams Jr., from Prince George, Virginia, a first-time tournament participant, said he was pleasantly surprised with the unique venue. “I knew El Paso was out here, but I didn’t think that there would be anything here big enough to host this kind of event.
EL PASO — With fading tattoos over his body and muscles giving way to extra body fat, the once middleweight underdog champion coaches young kids in a brand new downtown Juarez boxing gym arguing with himself whether he should fight one last time to say farewell to his longtime fans. “I don’t really care for being a champ or regaining fame,” said Juarez boxer Kirino Garcia. “What I need is a good offer to have a farewell fight.”
The prospect of getting back into shape after five years without stepping into the ring is challenging and expensive. The 46-year-old Kirino says he’s waiting for the right offer to resume his training regimen. The beloved underdog boxer grew up in the poorest colonias of Juarez and was able rise up to the top of his profession by acquiring a bunch of prestigious titles: Mexican light middleweight title, WBB light middleweight title, WBC International Light Middleweight title, and the Mexican Light Heavyweight title.
EL PASO — To his dad, he is one who will have “many hurdles to cross”. To his University of Missouri teammates and coaches, he is first-team all-American and Associated Press defensive player of the year in the SEC. To athletes and sports affiliates he is a “courageous young man” and a football player. To some though, he is the gay football player. He is Michael Sam.
EL PASO — Ray Sanchez, considered the first Hispanic sports writer in El Paso, has a long view of local sports history and he remembers the stories that made him laugh and cry in his latest book. “I had a lot of happy parts in my book that I enjoyed. There were so many games, so many great ones,” said Sanchez about his latest book The Good, The Bad, And the Funny of El Paso Sports History, “But I guess the biggest thrill I got, and it was so emotional that I almost cried when I would write it, was when the Miners won this 1966 championship.”
He has written seven books, all of them about sports. He was a sports writer for the El Paso Herald-Post from 1950 to 1990. He was a columnist for the El Paso Times, and currently writes for El Paso, Inc. He has won numerous awards for his coverage.
CD. JUAREZ – She remembers everything about that Thursday afternoon in 2004 at the cycling track of Ciudad Juarez. The training was going perfectly. She was confident about her speed, her movements, her pedaling. She was five-years-old and new to the cycling sport, but loved riding.
EL PASO – The mambo jumbo conference-switching going on in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is crazy. With all those schools switching conferences for various reasons, I can only just scratch the surface in this column. There are many schools changing for the better, but maybe switching conferences can be harmful if the school is not really ready for the change. A change can be for good, for better, or for worse. More recently the NCAA Division 1 had many teams switching into other conferences such as WAC, Conference USA, Big East, BIG TEN, ACC, and others for various reasons, such as fame, more money, more national exposure or just to cut back on travel time and costs.
EL PASO – On a recent March morning, 76-year-old Armando Uranga sat on the gymnasium bleachers dripping sweat and catching his breath. He had just played a strenuous 20-minute game of basketball with three other competitors as part of this year’s El Paso Senior Games. After playing in the games for the last 12 years, Uranga considers them his fountain of youth. “I felt like I was in my backyard like when I was a kid, it was so much fun,” said Uranga, who has already competed in the 5K walk, the 3K walk and plans to participate in Saturday’s track and field event at Montwood High School. In its 31st year, the El Paso Senior Games are a beacon drawing residents to get out and be physically active or go watch the community’s senior athletes compete. With a variety of events, the games are for persons 50 years of age and older who participate in activities ranging from swimming to cycling, basketball to track and field.
EL PASO – Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, arguably two of the greatest athletes of all time, started their pro careers right after high school, skipping college. But for college athletes shooting their last basket or throwing their last touchdown, the end of a season means a transition from a life of organized athletics to a real world of hope and frustration. Although they have one advantage – a college education – in reality a lot of players who do exceptionally well on the college field or court struggle with the fact that they’re out of the limelight once their senior season is over. “It was a hard adjustment at first because you’re used to a routine of practicing and being with the guys,” said Trevor Vittatoe, former University of Texas at EL Paso (UTEP) star quarterback. “After trying for two years, I’ve fallen short of making an NFL roster.”
While Vittatoe waited to get picked by an NFL team, working to make ends meet slowly became a part of his life.
EL PASO — It’s third down and eight and wide receiver Isaac Perez needs to make a play for the Burges High School football team. He just hopes he can see the ball. For Perez, the play won’t be just pitch-and-catch like it is for any other player. Catching the ball and running for the touchdown is a process of complex decisions that are made from the moment of the snap, to the instant the ball leaves the quarterbacks’ hand. Perez has to twist his body so that his right side faces the incoming pass.
EL PASO – Entering a room packed mostly with women can make some men feel threatened and realizing that they have to join in and exercise to the rhythm of sexy music can be even more intimidating. “I was very very scared the first time because there were like 40 girls and I was the only man there,” said Marco Lopez. That’s how Lopez, 23, described his first Zumba class at the University of Texas at El Paso. Men are usually less attracted to aerobics classes for exercise and a class where all you do to work out is dance can become a big challenge for most men. Zumba has become the newest trend in exercising.
EL PASO – Stadium lights beam down on a high school Friday night football game as the ball is snapped, shoulder pads clash and the crowd roars when the wide receiver dodges, turns around and reaches for the ball only to be blindsided by a crushing tackle that floors him with a concussion. Concussions are the most common injury athletes face and it is an injury that has lifelong medical consequences for young athletes. Sports-related concussions rank second in the number of brain injuries after motor vehicle accidents according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We deal with some kind of concussion about two to three players a game,” said Casey Austin, a graduate assistant and athletic trainer at the University of Texas at El Paso. UTEP’s football team experiences some 24 concussions per season, he said, but “that’s not including practice concussions.” The number of concussions would be higher, he said, if practices are included.
EL PASO, Texas — Donald Buckram played his career breakout season in 2009 knowing that he needed exactly that to let the NFL scouts know that he has what it takes to shine on Sundays in the big league. The senior running back from the University of Texas at El Paso compiled 1,594 yards and 18 touchdowns in his junior season with the Miners. Not only did he run the ball, Buckram, broke a UTEP record that stood since 1948, held by former Texas Western (now UTEP) running back Fred Wendt. Buckram didn’t always aspire to play football. Growing up in Copperas Cove, Texas, he idolized another sport other than football.
BRISTOL, Tenn. — Un grupo de jóvenes corre por el campo de fútbol en Bristol, Tennessee, gritando jugadas y palabras de aliento a los demás. Lo que están diciendo es comprensible, pero su acento no suena igual. Eso es porque este grupo de varones es un crisol de estudiantes de todo el mundo. Muchos jóvenes de todo el mundo vienen a los Estados Unidos cada año para asistir a la universidad, una oportunidad que no es una hazaña fácil.
EL PASO, Texas — Many have often wondered why soccer (football in the rest of the world) popularity in the United States has never been the same as that of the world. I lend a theory to this. Low scores, no real off-season, too many events already happen here that do not happen elsewhere and flopping. Americans like entertainment, they like high scores and dramatic finishes. The bottom line comes down to the fact that soccer’s simplicity may be the contributing factor to its lack of popularity and exposure in the United States.
EL PASO, Texas — New talent may have to put their pro dreams on hold a while longer if the NBA goes on strike for the 2011 season, which would be a new example of another professional sports letdown. Unless a new agreement is reached, the second NBA work stoppage in about a decade would take place in September 2011. How will the players who are still in college feel about this situation? From my personal experience as one of these college basketball players I find the NBA lockout as a true misfortune. I can’t help but question why this is happening at the time of my graduation.
EL PASO, Texas — Dribble, swish, slam, fly and dunk. That describes Randy Culpepper —Conference USA’s 2010 Player of the Year. Although the junior shooting guard at the University of Texas at El Paso didn’t start out wanting to play basketball, Culpepper has turned into one of the best players ever to don a Miner uniform. That is a great accomplishment in itself since an array of great talent has played at the school, including Nate Archibald, Bobby Joe Hill and Tim Hardaway. Growing up in Memphis, Tenn., Culpepper originally started training as a gymnast long before touching a basketball.
EL PASO, Texas — Taking a page out of Peter Griffin’s book of “you know what grinds my gears?” is our fan base here at UTEP. Our fan base has to be one of the worst fan bases in all of sports! You ask why? Well it’s because we have a fan base that is made up of a bunch of complainers and fair weather fans. We have the only fan base that I know of, that calls into a sports show and complains about an extra surcharge on tickets.
EL PASO, Tex. — As a student at UTEP for almost three years, I have never witnessed a basketball season as successful as the one this year’s UTEP team accomplished. For the first time in five years, the Miners’ regular season victories earned them an NCAA tournament bid. This season was a wild ride for the team as well as the fans. The Miners closed out the regular season with an impressive (15-2) record at home this year and an impressive (24-5) overall.
EL PASO, Texas — I was introduced to the outdoors as a child. I would go on hunting trips with my father and would go with my family on month-long excursions in the wilderness. I was also a Boy Scout and my road to Eagle Scout really gave me a connection to the land. Despite having a loving upbringing with values and morals, I lost my way somewhere along the line as a teenager and failed to realize my true potential. After many failed attempts to get my life together, I accidentally discovered while wandering in the Franklin Mountains that nature was my touchstone to finding meaning in my life. I found the solitude of nature very therapeutic, and the rocks and trees to be the best listeners to a world of emotions and problems I was facing.
EL PASO, Texas — The charisma and the poise of El Paso basketball legend Nolan Richardson resonated in the entire room with the first few words he spoke in a deep commanding voice. “There was times when I wished I could just take my skin and just peel it off and turn white so I could be accepted because I knew I could do the job,” Richardson said. From a very young age, life was not easy for a young African American boy growing up in a predominantly Hispanic city
The former college basketball national champion coach and El Paso’s Segundo Barrio own son returned to The Sun City to keynote Black History Month at the University of Texas at El Paso and to help promote his new biography, “40 Minutes of Hell” by Rus Bradburd. Richardson addressed Miners of the past, present and future on his heritage, where he came from and how those things led him to become the sports star and humanitarian he is today. Richardson, famous for his powerful and motivational speeches delivered a message reminiscent of Martin Luther King Jr. He said King was influential in his life.
BRAWLEY, Calif. – Heart beating wildly, crowd cheering madly, Trevor Smith climbed over the bucking chute and carefully balanced his weight on a two-ton, half-crazed-bull. His gloved hands quickly worked the bull rope that would allow him to maintain balance. As his name was announced over the loud speakers, Smith, like any bull rider, was focused on an adrenaline rush to get him through the next eight seconds. The chute flew open and the two-ton bull bolted straight out the gate.
EL PASO — Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the lawn prove that students have been drinking at a tailgate. Two arrests for public intoxication October 21 at the University of Texas at El Paso prove that alcohol creates problems at campus tailgate parties. “Tailgating is a tremendous problem on this campus,” said Lieutenant Michael Hanna, a 22-year veteran on the UTEP police force. Hanna told UTEP journalism students recently that violence and underage drinking at tailgates is exacerbated by extended tailgating time. “Part of the problems with tailgating is that before [tailgating time was restricted] you could tailgate anytime, anywhere, whatever.
CIUDAD JUÁREZ, México — Más de dos mil personas se unieron al reto de una carrera ciclista de 100km donde a pesar de caídas, raspones, fracturas e insolaciones, vivieron experiencias que cambiaron su vida. “Como dice el lema, es un reto que te cambia y terminar el Chupacabras es el reto principal de casi todos los participantes,” dijo David Olivas de 26 años quien recorre la pista de Chupacabras desde hace tres años. El sábado 10 de Octubre, como cada año, se llevó a cabo una carrera ciclista de 100km en el lado mexicano de la frontera con Estados Unidos a lo largo del Río Bravo y la sierra de Juárez bajo condiciones extremas de terreno y clima. En 1994, Jorge Urías Cantú junto con su compadre Luis Villarreal compartían el sueño de llevar acabo el ciclismo de una manera formal, por lo que junto con varios amigos salían a recorrer la sierra de Ciudad Juárez en busca de nuevas pistas. Durante uno de los recorridos por la sierra, según cuenta Luis Gabriel Sosa, director de mercadotecnia de la organización, alguien mencionó la posibilidad de que el chupacabras (leyenda sobre un misterioso animal que chupa la sangre de los animales hasta matarlos) se apareciera por ahí, por lo que el recorrido comenzó a adoptar ese nombre y cuando se formaliza la carrera, obtiene oficialmente el nombre de Chupacabras.
EL PASO — A bead of sweat hits the mat. Adrenaline is pumping through every vein in my body as I am trying to choke out my opponent with rear naked choke. Looking for an arm bar, rear naked choke, guillotine, or kamora, any opening that my opponent gives me I will take.