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Bowyer to enter Carlsbad Hall

The relatively new Carlsbad Hall of Fame is ushering in some familiar sports names this fall.

Today, legendary Cavemen coach Ralph Bowyer, for whom Carlsbad High School’s football stadium is named and who remains one of the most famous coaches in New Mexico’s history, will be inducted formally.

The Albuquerque-born Bowyer was a decorated multi-sport athlete at the University of New Mexico and later coached Carlsbad to eight state football championships between 1943 and 1967. He also coached the school to titles in basketball and track and field.

Bowyer retired in 1972 after a stint as the athletic director at New Mexico Highlands. He died in 2005.

Shane Andrews was a first-round draft pick of baseball’s Montreal Expos coming out of Carlsbad High in 1990 and enjoyed over half a dozen years in the majors, mostly with the Expos. He hit 86 home runs in 569 major league games. He will be inducted next month.

One of Bowyer’s former players in Carlsbad, John Wooten, who later played professionally in the NFL for Cleveland and Washington and won a championship with the Browns in 1964, is a recent inductee. Wooten – a two-time All-Pro guard with Cleveland – was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012, and also worked in the front office for the Cowboys, Eagles and Ravens. He retired in 2002.

The Carlsbad Hall of Fame is about a year old.

Among the other inductees (Carlsbad is not limiting this to just athletes): former Canadian Football League quarterback Sam Etcheverry; Becky Thompson, who made her name playing basketball and softball in Carlsbad and who is a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Tennessee, the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame and the New Mexico ASA Softball Hall of Fame; and local racing legend Dickie Harrell.

Formal inductions have been staggered over the past year, based on family availability. About half of the 24 have been inducted.

METRO CROSS COUNTRY: The 11th annual Albuquerque Metro Championships are Saturday on a new course at Nusenda Community Stadium.

The city’s 13 public high schools will be joined by Albuquerque Academy, Cleveland, Rio Rancho and St. Pius. The individual pre-race favorites figure to be Jasmine Turtle-Morales of Eldorado and Yonas Haile of Cleveland.

The girls varsity race begins at 11:30 a.m., followed at noon by the boys.

THIS AND THAT: Centennial’s girls soccer team (15-0) is ranked No. 24 this week in USA Today’s national weekly poll. … Santa Fe-based Sports Primo will be the vendor streamlining the Oct. 26 football game in Española between the Sundevils and St. Pius. Fans are being barred from this contest. … Rio Grande baseball player Adam Sanchez has given a commitment to New Mexico Military Institute. … Former Valley High quarterback Bo Coleman has signed with the Basil Gladiators of Switzerland’s National League for the 2019 season. … The third annual Gunther Strong Golf Tournament is Oct. 20 at Arroyo del Oso Golf Course. A portion of the proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. The event is named for John Gunther, a former Matadors baseball coach who succumbed to cancer last year. The four-person, shotgun start begins at 8:30 a.m. Entry fee is $125 per person. … Longtime public address announcer Gary Chavez, who announces games at Cleveland High and for the New Mexico Activities Association, is one of this year’s NMAA Distinguished Service Award recipients.

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