Balzis bails… for now
Longtime Rio Rancho High School varsity girls soccer coach Uwe Balzis will retire from RRPS effective July 1.
He plans are to return to RRHS and teach German on a part-time basis; he also would like to return to RRHS in the future to coach girls soccer, and says he wants to “leave the door open.”
He is one of four original RRHS coaches still coaching here since the 1997-98 school year; Toby Manzanares (volleyball), Ron Murphy (baseball) and Paul Kohman (softball) are the others.
Longtime Rams assistant Todd Doss has been promoted to girls soccer head coach for the 2022 season.
Doss needs a junior varsity coach for the ’22 season, an assignment that comes with a stipend.
If interested, email Doss at [email protected].

Youth basketball camp at RRHS
Two Rio Rancho summer youth basketball camps, hosted by head coach Wally Salata, his assistant coaches and current players, are set for May and June at Rio Rancho High School.
Session 1 runs May 31-June 3; Session 2 runs June 13-17. Each camp runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day, with fundamentals stressed from 9-11 and games played from 11 to noon.
The camps are open to boys and girls in four divisions (fall 2022 grades K-2, 3-4, 5-6 and 7-9, and no experience in necessary. The cost is $125 per session, with a maximum of 120 per session, and 30 campers per division. Every camper receives a camp basketball and T-shirt, and a concession stand with “Ram cones” will be available.
For more information and registration, go to

‘Next Level’ basketball camp at Cleveland
Cleveland High girls basketball will be hosting two “Next Level” basketball skills camps this spring for girls and boys going into grades 3-9.
The first session runs May 31-June 2 from 8:30 a.m. to noon; the second session runs June 13-15, also from 8:30-noon. The cost is $85 for one session or $150 for both sessions.
Sign up at For more information, contact head coach Susan Kubala at [email protected] or 505-550-2523.
Storm boys have hoops camp
An individual summer camp hosted by Cleveland High boys basketball coach Sean Jimenez takes place in the CHS gym, aka the Thunderdome, June 6-8 from 9 a.m. to noon each day.
It’s for boys and girls ages 7-14, costs $85 per camper in advance ($100 on June 6 registration, if spots still available) and includes a T-shirt and prizes.
A concession stand will be open.
For more information, contact Jimenez at 505-730-8878 or [email protected].

RRHS has two volleyball camps
Girls as young as those going into first grade in a few months have the chance to learn the game of volleyball in June.
Ram Camp 1: Designed for players (grades 1-6 in fall 2022) interested in learning the game of volleyball. No experience is necessary. Emphasis of the camp will include introduction of fundamentals and techniques for all basic volleyball skills of passing, attacking, serving, footwork, setting and defense.
This camp will also emphasize volleyball skills and drills to prepare sixth- grade players for Rio Rancho Metro League and middle school tryouts (where applicable). Small group games will be played daily.
The camp runs from 6-8 p.m. June 23-24 and from 9-11 a.m. June 25. The cost is $65 ($75 for walk-ups) and campers will receive a T-shirt and be eligible to win door prizes each day.
Ram Camp 2: Designed to prepare players for tryouts in their respective grade. This camp will emphasize volleyball skills and drills to prepare seventh- thru 12th-grade players for school tryouts. Fundamentals and techniques for all basic volleyball skills will be emphasized. Additional time will be focused on small and large group team play.
The camp runs from 6-9 p.m. Aug. 1-3. The cost per camper is $85 ($100 on day of), and campers get a T-shirt and the chance to win a door prize each night.
Rams varsity volleyball coach Toby Manzanares, whose first season with the Rams was in 1997, and his assistants and area coaches will instruct.

Gladiators lose 42-41 second week in row
The Tucson Sugar Skulls avenged their 57-52 loss to the Duke City Gladiators in the Rio Rancho Events Center on April 16, edging the visiting Gladiators 42-41 April 30 in Tucson.
The Sugar Skulls (3-3) returned a blocked extra-point kick, worth two points, to the end zone with five ticks left on the clock for the Indoor Football league win.
Duke City (2-5) had rallied from a 40-29 deficit in the game’s final minute, taking a brief 41-40 lead, before the blocked kick.
Duke City plays at Bay Area (May 7), has an off week following, and then plays at Las Vegas on May 21.
The Gladiators’ next home game is May 28 at 6 p.m., when they’ll meet the San Diego Strike Force.

Over on the lanes…
It was an initial win for Tenpins & More teams in the first of what is set to become an annual event against teams from Keon Park Wyncity Bowl in Australia, held via email and Facebook last Sunday.
Local bowlers piled up a cumulative average score of 190 to the Australians’ 167 mark for a resounding inaugural win and “bragging rights” for former Aussie Steve Mackie, who has lived in the U.S. since 1991 and owned Tenpins & More since 1999.
“I keep in touch with folks down there on a regular basis. Warren Stewart, who runs the Center in Melbourne, liked the idea and helped make it happen,” Mackie said.
“He’s already planning to live-stream the 2023 tournament and we’ll try to do the same from this end,” he said, adding, “There’s a big-time difference, and different dates, so we’ll have to work through the logistic.”
At Rio Rancho, the highest scorers over three games were Dan Brenning (686), Eddie Dowd (672) and David Burnett (669) for men; Dana Miller-Mackie (669) led the women, followed by Bobbie Vega (657) and Sandra Chavez (629).
The top Australian scorers were 667 for the men, 662 for the women.
• Summer leagues are filling fast at Tenpins & More, with 12 more to get started between now and June 2.
Interested bowlers, and those returning after the COVID-19 shutdown, should drop by the center, 1416 Deborah Road, to fill out a league entry form.
Mackie reported that he expects more than 550 bowlers to be playing in weekly competitions this summer season.

Isotopes back home this week
The Albuquerque Isotopes were on the road in Oklahoma City last week, and are back at isotopes Park Tuesday-Sunday for a six-game set with the Sugarland Space Cowboys (formerly the Skeeters).
Game times are 6:35 p.m. Tuesday and Saturday; 6:05 p.m. Wednesday; 11:05 a.m. Thursday; and 1:35 p.m. on Sunday.
Get ticket information and more at
The first week of May, ’Topes outfielder Wynton Bernard was named the Pacific Coast League Player of the Week for April 26-May 1.
Bernard went 9-for-23 (.391) with three doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs, leading off the April 27 and 28 games with home runs on the very first pitch of the bottom of the first inning.
It was Bernard’s second career Player of the Week honor, as he also received the accolade in May 2015 while with the Erie SeaWolves (Detroit affiliate) of the Double-A Eastern League. He is the second Isotope to garner such honors this season after Tim Lopes earned it for the week of April 12-17.

Second set of siblings to play sports in Hoosier state
Cleveland High twins Carlos “CJ” and Yolanda Muñoz

CJ and Yolanda Muñoz sign letters of intent. (Courtesy photo)

signed their letters of intent last week to play their favorite sports – “sprint football”* and basketball, respectively — at Saint Mary of the Woods College in Indiana.
They’re the second set of twins to do a signing at CHS, following Kendal and Kennedy Ulmer.
(* Sprint football is described as a game for athletes weighing 178 pounds or less and having a minimum body fat of 5 percent to be eligible.)