For the first time in three decades, there is a new face of Albuquerque Academy football.
The private school has chosen 39-year-old Shaun Gehres to be its next head football coach. He replaces Kevin Carroll, who had a 30-year run with the Chargers before stepping away a few weeks ago.
“I’ve always respected what coach Carroll has been able to do, given the lack of numbers that he’s had to work through,” Gehres said. “For me, my goal is now to look at the future, and try to figure out different ways to help the program grow – and ultimately, figuring out ways to make the numbers grow.”
The Chargers have been hindered for many years by a lack of athletes. Gehres said he hopes current players can possibly help him recruit other potential athletes from around the campus to contribute to the program.
“How do we utilize more athletes that are maybe more one-(sport athletes)?” Gehres said.
Gehres teaches ninth-grade history at the Academy. He coached under Carroll for several years before leaving coaching for a spell. This is his first varsity football head coaching position. He is a former varsity wrestling coach in Memphis, Tenn.
He joins Chad Adcox (Sandia) and Ty House (Belen) as new varsity head coaches in the metro area for the 2019 season.
FOLLOWING POP: Valley High baseball standout Nolan Kuhn had been planning to play his college baseball in Arizona.
He’s changed his mind.
Kuhn, the Vikings’ third baseman, will instead attend and play for the hometown University of New Mexico Lobos. His father, Chad, Valley’s head coach, was a standout for the Lobos in the mid-to-late 1980s.
ALL-STAR WEEKEND: All-Star basketball games will be held later this week around the metro area – with an interesting new twist.
Gone is the traditional North vs. South format. In basketball (for larger schools and for smaller schools), there are four regional teams: Northwest, Southwest, Southeast, Southwest, each with its own roster.
Friday at Valley High for the boys, the small school regional games are at 2 and 4 p.m., with the larger schools at 6 and 8 p.m. It will be Northwest vs. Southwest and Northeast vs. Southeast.
The two winning teams will meet on Saturday night at 8 – the small schools division at Valley, the larger schools at Manzano.
The Northwest large-school boys roster features the most familiar names among metro talent, including David Patterson of Rio Rancho, Jalontae Gray of Volcano Vista, and Aamer Muhammad, Jalen Munn and Nakqi Smith of Cleveland.
The girls on Friday will be at Manzano, at 2/4/6/8 p.m. The large-school girls final is 6 p.m. Saturday at Manzano. The small-school final is 6 p.m. Saturday at Valley.
• In football, which retains its regular North-South configuration, there are 16 players on the North roster from state champion La Cueva (including tailback D’Andre Williams), runner-up Cleveland (including UNM signee, linebacker Dion Hunter) and semifinalist Volcano Vista (led by quarterback Jake Deatherage).
The large-school game is Friday night at 7 at Nusenda Community Stadium. The small schools are 7 p.m. Saturday at Community. Also this weekend is all-star tennis, which is Friday and Saturday at Albuquerque Academy.
Softball is Monday and Tuesday at Cleveland High, large-school baseball is next weekend in Las Cruces, and volleyball is next weekend at Valley High.
STEVENS IN AT HOBBS: Just a few months after leading Eunice to the Class 2A state football championship, Ken Stevens has left the Cardinals to become the head coach at Hobbs.
He will replace Charles Gleghorn, who recently resigned.