Congrats to Castillo

Longtime “right-hand woman” to the athletic director at Cleveland High School, Annette Castillo, will be honored with the New Mexico High School Coaches Association’s Distinguished Service Award at the annual coaches clinic in Albuquerque in July.

Each year, the NMHSCA recognizes an individual who has gone beyond the call of duty to help the organization or New Mexico coaches.

This award is for those individuals who believe in the value of great coaches and the impact coaches make on the lives of others. Castillo is an assistant coach for Storm softball head coach Angel Castillo, in addition to making life easier for CHS Athletic Director Matt Martinez.

Former Rams assistant has new job

Lubbock Independent School District named one-time Rio Rancho High School assistant football coach Lou Mora as its assistant athletic director.

Mora held the same position in Austin ISD since 2010, overseeing baseball, football, swimming and diving, water polo and wrestling. Mora was also director for track and field and cross country meets.

Mora was an assistant to Rams head coach Phil Lopez (2003-06).

“He was our assistant head coach and defensive coordinator,” Lopez said. “He was an excellent coach and an even better person. I met and coached Lou over at Eastern New Mexico University.”

Latest on the local lanes

Two more bowlers added their names to the entry list for the $60,000 New Mexico Open tournament at Tenpins & More in Rio Rancho.

Eric Carriaga and Eric Vanderlip are among 39 bowlers entered so far for the 18th renewal, expected to reach bowlers by the start date of Aug. 19.

Carriaga, a smooth-stroking right-hander, and second to early leader J D Nance with two games to go, finished with a flawless 268-255 for a winning six-game total of 1,470.

Vanderlip, a speedy, heavy-rolling southpaw, was even more brilliant, closing with 276-264 to steamroll Native American Aaron Johnson (236-245), while Nance struggled somewhat with 237 and 204 to finish fourth.

Final placings: Carriaga (1,470); Vanderlip (1,442); Johnson (1,417); Nance (1,409); Dan Brenning (1,371); Dominique Muller (1,339); Karen Barcal (1,328); Matthew Tran (1,324) and Joseph Sanchez (1,305).

* The Summer Games Center Championships have started a two-weekend run at Tenpins & More, featuring teams of four, doubles and singles in men’s, women’s, mixed and youth divisions.

 RRHS has another volleyball camp

The second of two volleyball camps is planned at Rio Rancho High School in August.

Ram Camp 2 is 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 Aug. 1-3 from 6-9 p.m. each day. 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, his assistants and area coaches will instruct.

Wrestling camp for girls only

Girls in grades K-12 are invited to attend a two-day wrestling camp at Rio Rancho High School July 30-31.

The cost is $50, with registration closing July 30.

On the 30th, after a meet & greet that starts at 8 a.m., session 1 runs from 9:30-11:30, followed by lunch, provided by the RRHS wrestling program.

Session 2 runs from 12:30-2 p.m.

On the 31st, session 3 takes place from 9-11:30 a.m., followed again by lunch provided by the RRHS mat team, with session 4 running from 12:30-2 p.m.

For more information, contact Rams wrestling coach Mike Santos at [email protected] or 505-417-0039 (or JoAnne 505-907-4557).

Fore! Chamber holds annual tourney

The Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce is holding its “Rio Rancho Open” golf tournament Aug. 12 at Santa Ana Golf Club with an 8 a.m. shotgun start.

Registration at is due by Aug. 5. Entry fee includes breakfast and lunch, plus a goodie bag, a raffle and prizes, plus fun.

Sponsors have until July 22 to get on board.

CLL signs players for fall season

Cibola Little League’s fall season runs July 1-28.

The registration fee is $50. The league only provides shirts and hats for the fall season.

It is important that players register ASAP. Teams/players will be limited to ensure a successful fall season. Once the spots in each division fill-up, players will go on a waitlist. If CLL doesn’t fill teams in other divisions, more teams in the filled divisions will be opened.

There will not be a skills assessment or try-out for the fall season at any level, and requests may be made for coaches/teams, but the league is unable to guarantee that your player will be placed on the team requested. This fall, CLL will balance the teams specifically in the minor player pitch division and above. This is designed to help with the development of players that are moving up to the next division in the fall to be ready for the spring.

Practices will begin Aug. 8. Games will be played Sept. 6-Oct 29.

Registration will be online only at

If you need assistance with registration costs, reach out to see what options are available. Registration costs should not prevent your player from being part of the Little League experience. Plus, volunteers are needed. Select how you can help volunteer when you go through the registration process.

Gladiators ‘rattled’ by Arizona

A 24-3 outburst in the second quarter by the visiting Arizona Rattlers spelled doom for the Duke City Gladiators June 18 at the Rio Rancho Events Center.

Arizona (10-3), beating the Gladiators (6-7) for the third time this season, had a 30-17 lead at halftime and the Gladiators dipped below the .500 mark while seeing their four-game winning streak end.

Duke City scored two of the game’s first three touchdowns, but that second period scoring binge put them behind to stay.

Of four Duke City losses this season in which the Gladiators scored 38 or fewer points, three of those losses have been to Arizona.

Duke City faced the other Arizona team this weekend, traveling to Prescott Valley to meet the Northern Arizona Wranglers (10-2), the IFL’s Western Division leaders, who are on a seven-game winning streak. It’s the first meeting of the season between the Gladiators and Wranglers.

The Gladiators’ final home game, following a bye week the first weekend in July, is on July 9 vs. San Diego Strike Force. The regular season ends July 16 at the Rio Rancho Events Center, where the Gladiators will have a chance to avenge their June 18 loss.


Rio Rancho High School boys soccer coach John Shepard and some of his returning players oversaw a camp Wednesday-Friday on the school’s pitches. It was one of many youth camps going on this summer, and the Cleveland football team has one that starts June 27.  (Gary Herron/The Observer)