A recap of Taos County sports teams who are well into their respective seasons
The Lady Cats have begun their 2018 fall season with a road game win and a home game loss, resulting in a 1-1 start.
The loss occurred Aug. 31 during the home and season opener when Questa fell to the visiting Des Moines Lady Demons. The Lady Cats grabbed the first set, winning 25-22, but dropped the next three sets to lose the match 3-1.
It was the mirror opposite when Questa traveled to Springer to take on the Lady Red Devils Sept. 8, losing the first set to their hosts, but rebounding to sweep the next three. The win marks the inaugural victory for Coach Diane León, who is in her first year as a varsity coach.
In the two matches so far, the Lady Cats are scoring an average of 21.25 points per set, up two points from the same time last year.
The Questa volleyball team was idle throughout the week but will resume play when they travel to Albuquerque to take part in the Evangel Christian Academy Tournament Friday and Saturday (Sept. 14-15). The Lady Cats have attended the eight-team tourney the past two years and have yet to lose a game, yielding just one set in that six-game stretch. The trip to Albuquerque is the start of a series of road games that will keep Questa away from home for the remainder of September, including stops in Antonito, Colorado Sept. 27 and Gallina for the district opener against the Coronado Lady Leopards Oct. 2.
Questa returns to the "Mini-Pit" to continue the District 5-2A season against the Mesa Vista Lady Trojans on Oct. 4.
The Questa Wildcats soccer team began their 2018 season with a 2-1 win at home against the Santa Fe Waldorf Wolves Aug. 30 before making the long trip to the Gallup area for their district opener against the Rehoboth Christian Lynx Sept. 1. In that second game, the Lynx dominated their home pitch and pumped in a flurry of points for the 7-1 victory.
Questa traveled to Santa Fe to play the second half of the home-and-home arrangement at Santa Fe Waldorf Sept. 11. The final score for this contest was not available as of press time.
The team will be in action this coming weekend as they travel to Santa Fe to participate in the Desert Academy Wildcat Invitational Friday and Saturday (Sept. 14-15). It will be Wildcats versus Wildcats as Head Coach Bill MacDonald and his squad challenge the tournament hosts in the opening game. Start time for that game is 6 p.m. at Alto Field.
The Wildcats continue their District 1-A/3A play when they return home to take on the Tierra Encantada (Santa Fe) Alacranes Sept. 18.
In Coach Daniel Gallegos' debut at the helm of a varsity football program, his Questa Wildcats team delivered a solid win in front of the home fans, beating the Raton Tigers (JV) 37-8 Sept. 8. The victory snapped an eight-game losing streak (not counting forfeit wins or losses) that stretched back to Sept. 24, 2016.
The return of Questa Wildcats football comes after an abbreviated 2017 season produced only five games and did not extend past Oct. 7. Questa has struggled the past two seasons to field a team either at the start or near the end of the football season. Most teams around the state have already played two or three games thus far.
Next, Questa is scheduled to play the Cloudcroft Bears in a class 2A divisional match today (Sept. 13). The game is slated to take place on the campus of Estancia High School, a neutral-site contest for both teams. The Bears were in the 8-man division last year and have gone back and forth from 11-man to 8-man through the years. Cloudcroft currently holds a 2-1 overall record.
The Wildcats are due to begin their District 1/5-2A season against the Newcomb Skyhawks on the road Sept. 28. Questa returns home on Oct. 5 when they welcome the Dulce Hawks.
For the second week in a row, the Peñasco Lady Panthers placed first in two cross-country meets, claiming the Mora Invitational Sept.1 and the Peñasco Panther Invite Sept. 8. Teams in attendance at the Peñasco meet included East Mountain (Sandia Park), Estancia, Moriarty, McCurdy (Española) and Santa Fe Prep.
Top runners for Peñasco included Maricela MacAuley, who placed third overall with a time of 22:19. Carly Gonzales followed closely in fourth place with a time of 22:23. Scoring in the third position for Peñasco was Martina Tafoya, who finished eighth overall with a time of 23:06. Newcomer Elisha Mustache came in 10th overall with a time of 23:18, and Adrianna Tafoya rounded out the scorers in the 11th overall spot with a time of 23.38. As a team, the Lady Panthers garnered 36 points. On the boy's side, freshman Gilbert "Gilly" Valdez placed second overall.
The Panthers and Lady Panthers are on the road again as they travel to the Jemez Valley Invite Saturday (Sept. 15).
The Lady Panthers volleyball team lost back-to-back matches in three days to start the 2018 fall season, losing twice to the Pecos Lady Panthers 3-1 in both matches.
The Peñasco Lady Panthers were on the road against the Cimarron Lady Rams Sept. 10 and at home against the Tierra Encantada (Santa Fe) Lady Alacranes Sept. 12, but the final scores for these contests were not available as of press time.
Peñasco will be on the road for the next two matches as the team travels to Española to take on the McCurdy Lady Bobcats Tuesday (Sept. 18) and Tierra Encantada Thursday (Sept. 20). The Lady Panthers begin their District 5-2A season with a home match against the Mora Rangerettes Oct. 2.
Peñasco is helmed by new head coach, Maxine Abeyta. She inherits a seasoned squad from InezAnna Gonzales who stepped down during the off-season. Peñasco returned every position from last year and is the defending district champion.