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Week in Review: A look back at the top sports stories in northern New Mexico

FOOTBALL

Several issues led Medina to resign

Stress-related health issues, personal issues, the elimination of the football class weight training program and the inability of Española Valley School District administrators to find an appropriate position led to football coach Miguel Medina to resign last week.

Medina, arguably the most successful coach in school history, led the team to its first-ever home playoff game in 2015. But he resigned following that season after the athletic department blew up over the status of embattled basketball coach Richard Martinez. Medina came back last season after two seasons, but he said he felt like he was starting over again in terms of discipline.

“It was one of the worst teams I’ve had as a coach in terms of discipline,” he said. “Then there was the whole situation with the fight, and trying to get back on track.”

In a game with Bernalillo less than 24 hours after popular former Española Valley athlete Cameron Martinez was slain, the Sundevils got into a brawl during a game with the Spartans. Medina pulled his squad from the field and forfeited the game.

But it all just became too much.

“It was just one thing after another,” he said. “It was a tough year. It was my worst year as a coach trying to keep it together. Fifteen years ago when I started coaching I was in my mid-30s. But as we get older, we get a little crankier. Not as patient. I just got discouraged. Things weren’t getting any better with the district.”

His dad died shortly before he returned to the field, and he never really had a time to grieve. His wife filed for divorce and attempts at reconciliation were unsuccessful.

And then the school took away the football class that is used for strength and conditioning, and to top it off, he blacked out in Walmart after which his doctor said he had hypertension that needed to be treated immediately to avoid a stroke.

“I had to choose my health, my sanity and get my health under control,” Medina said.

Española Valley athletic director Theresa Flores or superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez did not respond to repeated requests for information, but Medina said he recommended his staff be retained for this season with assistant coach Delfino Quintana taking over as interim head coach.

THINGS TO SEE OR DO

SOFTBALL: The Northern Force softball program is holding tryouts today for its 10-under, 12U and 16U teams at St. Michael’s High School. The 10s go at 9 a.m., the 12s at 11 a.m. and the 16s at 1 p.m. For more information contact coach Maria Cedillo at 795-4951.

SOCCER: St. Michael’s alums who played soccer are invited to challenge this year’s squad in the annual alumni boys and girls games Aug. 3. Those interested in playing should contact coach Mike Feldewert at 570-1360.

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