Saturday, January 28, 2006
Soccer Teams Get Honor
By Rick Wright
Journal Sports Writer
Soccer teams and coaches dominate the Albuquerque Sports Hall of Fame's annual awards for 2005.
For the second consecutive year, the University of New Mexico soccer team is the Hall of Fame's team of the year. The Lobos reached the NCAA Division I championship game, finishing as the national runner-up.
UNM will share the honor, however, with the Sandia Prep boys soccer team. The Sundevils finished the '05 season undefeated and were ranked as high as fourth nationally.
The Lobos' Jeremy Fishbein and the Sundevils' Tommy Smith will share coach-of-the-year honors.
Smith's Sandia Prep teams have won 40 games in a row and have won five straight Class 1A-3A state titles. Fishbein, a repeat ASHOF honoree, has had 61-16-8 record the past four years.
Soccer also gets one-third of the Hall of Fame's Male Athlete of the Year Award. Lobos senior Jeff Rowland, who also shared the award last year, is joined by former UNM basketball star Danny Granger and Lobos baseball player Jordan Pacheco.
Rowland, who scored 16 goals for the Lobos last season, was a finalist for the Hermann Trophy collegiate soccer's equivalent of the Heisman.
Granger, a first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection, led UNM to an MWC tournament title and its first NCAA Tournament berth in six years. He was drafted in the first round by the NBA's Indiana Pacers.
Pacheco, the former La Cueva star, earned third-team All-America honors as a freshman by hitting .408 with 15 home runs and 52 runs batted in.
Albuquerque boxer Holly Holm is the Hall of Fame's Female Athlete of the Year. Holm, the WIBA welterweight champion, defeated women's boxing legend Christy Martin and the popular Mia St. John before sellout crowds in 2005.
As previously announced, this year's Hall of Fame inductees are:
Shelia Burrell, two-time track-and-field Olympian from Albuquerque's Rio Grande High School. Burrell is a heptathlon national champion and World Championships bronze medalist.
Bobby Gibbs, longtime Albuquerque coach and sports administrator. Gibbs, who began his coaching career as an assistant to fellow ASHOF member Bill Gentry in 1963, served as executive director of the Albuquerque Boys and Girls Club from 1970-99.
Ralph Tasker, the late Hobbs High School boys basketball coach. Tasker won 1,222 games during his career and was named to the National High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.
Lou Henson, New Mexico State men's basketball coach from 1966-75 and again from 1997-2005. Henson ranks sixth all-time in NCAA Division I career victories with 779.
Tasker and Henson are the first Albuquerque Sports of Fame inductees from beyond the Albuquerque area. Last year, the ASHOF board of directors voted to expand and encompass the entire state.
The annual Albuquerque Sports Hall of Fame banquet is scheduled for Feb. 21 at the Marriott on Louisiana NE. Tickets can be purchased at the UNM athletic ticket office at the Pit. Tickets can be reserved by calling 925-5858.