It’s high school basketball season again. Finally.
In New Mexico that means a lot of things. There are gymnasiums all over the state where teams are spending at least an hour after school running laps, sprints, drills, and, best of all, plays. Somewhere tonight there’s a kid nursing a bad case of shin splints while another high fives her dad and says, “I made ten free throws in a row during practice! I really did it!”
For me, it means only one thing. I’ve printed the Logan Longhorn Basketball schedule and have it on my bulletin board over my desk. I’m studying it daily. Somehow I need to find my way to a game in the next week or so.
EPAC? That’s a hard one – I’d have to drive to Melrose for the games. Could I make it to Santa Rosa next week to watch Logan play the Lions? Is Wagon Mound closer? Yes. Will I be in Logan for any of the Friday games? (Almost certainly…)
Until I figure all that out, I’ll probably have to spend an evening watching “Hoosiers.” When I see Gene Hackman introducing himself to his new team, blowing his whistle and starting a passing drill, I feel like I’m back in high school in Grady’s old gym. Hoping the coach doesn’t put me in. I loved the social aspect of being on the team. Not so much the playing part. I still love the social aspect.
I also love living in Santa Fe. It’s a dream. But during high school basketball season, I get very nostalgic for concession stand Frito pies and sitting on hard bleachers through two JV games and two varsity games. I miss wearing my Longhorn red. I miss seeing everyone in the community and chatting it up during halftime while we watch the Little Dribblers practice their drills.
I’m open to suggestions, other than that I should change my class 1A allegiance to the Logan Longhorns. Is there a game this weekend that I can catch that’s closer to Santa Fe? Anyone have a nephew playing who will inspire me to cuss a ref over a bad call? Should I hunt up a Santa Fe Prep girls game to tide me over?
Part of New Mexico’s magic is the population. We’re a pretty tiny state, especially when you take Albuquerque out of the mix. If I go to a high school basketball game this weekend, the odds are likely that I’ll run into someone I know in the stands. Maybe even a cousin. The odds are even more likely that there will be an amazingly good Frito pie in the concession stand.
But come March, all bets are off. I’ll be at the state tournament wearing my Longhorn red and yelling at the opposing team whenever they step up to the free throw line. Logan’s girls won the Class 1A State Championship last year against Melrose. The boys’ team won the year before last. Against Cliff (That dang Cliff. Good grief. They’re in that championship bracket every single year. Do they do anything down there besides play basketball?).
I’m thinking this is the year when both Logan Longhorn teams could bring home a trophy. Now THAT would make me very happy.
High school basketball in New Mexico. Just one more reason I love where I live.