The Taos County All Stars
Alex Waggoner Taos (freshman)
You know sometimes when you see an athlete participating in his or her respective sport, and you can tell that they’re above most of their competition on the field most of the time? Well, that’s the feeling you quickly get when you watch Alex Waggoner, a freshman on the Taos varsity team, play soccer. Waggoner started all games in his freshman season, and he led the Tigers in scoring — by a large margin — with 40 goals. In eighth grade, when he was also on varsity, Waggoner led the team with 34 goals.
It’ll be likely that, next season, Waggoner will lead his team again in scoring, and the season after and then the season after that. Likely, in that scenario, Waggoner will be a future winner — and maybe soon — of Taos County Athlete of the Year. Players like Waggoner set themselves apart — and it’s for the high level of play he is in control of, the level that most athletes only dream of playing at.
Armando Valerio Taos (senior)
Armando Valerio led the Taos football team in rushing, even though he typically didn’t start. He finished the 2019 season with 1,289 yards and 15 touchdowns. If the offense was moving, it was most likely due to Valerio’s ability to find open holes, which then led to more passing opportunities for Armijo. He was named First Team All-District on both sides of the ball.
More impressive, however, was Valerio’s third-place finish at the state wrestling tournament. He’d wrestled before, but not in a while — and for him to be as dominant as he was on the mat proved
he was strong-willed
even without a team behind him.
Angel Limas Taos (senior)
Angel Limas, a senior at Taos High School this past school year, played both football and basketball — and did both extremely well. In football, Limas led the Tigers in receiving with 782 yards and seven touchdowns this past season. It was Limas’ second season leading the Tigers in receiving, too. He was also a big cornerback, swatting away plenty of passes. For that, he was named First Team All-District.
In basketball, Limas wasn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty, spending plenty of time in the post eking out rebounds or scoring in tough spots. He did the job not many wanted to do — but one that needed to be done.
Abdul Khweis. Taos (junior)
Without a doubt, Abdul Khweis was a dominant force on the basketball court for the Taos Tigers in the 2019-20 season. In fact, he was the most dominant force on the court for the Tigers.
Leading the Tigers in scoring last season with 19.6 points per game, Khweis was the offense. On many occasions, he led fast breaks and scored in transition, including
during a game
at Los Alamos that tied the game up and sent it to overtime — a game Taos went on to win.
He helped his team take home the District 5-2A championship at Española Valley, finding an open Isiah Jeantete on a nice assist for a last-second game winner.
While Khweis didn’t get to run during the track and field season because it was canceled, he was sure to do big things there, too.
Adrianna Tafoya. Peñasco (senior)
Adrianna Tafoya isn’t a demander of attention by any means, but she sure is a silent killer on the hardwood. She was the second leading scorer behind Carly Gonzales and she led the team in steals, averaging 4.4 a game.
In fact, she was the biggest representation of Peñasco’s offense, which is to get down the court and score in transition. Her steals led to many of those for Peñasco over the course of the season, and it helped with her assist, too, as she led the team averaging 4.9 per game.
Tafoya was named Second Team All-State and First Team All-District in basketball. And in volleyball, which she also excelled at, Tafoya was named to the All-District team as well. She had 229 assists and 302 points overall during the volleyball season.
Alyx Mastor Taos (sophomore)
Alyx Mastor truly is a master of long-distance running. Only a sophomore, Mastor finished the Class 4A State Cross-Country Championship in third place — her second third place in state in a row — with a time of 19:13.45.
In a lot of her races, she finished in the top 10 — and in some, she took first like the Northern New Mexico Challenge.
Mastor, who will be a junior next school year, may well end up winning first place in state in the near future.
Kiana Passino. Questa (senior)
Kiana Passino, without a doubt, was a leader for the Questa girls basketball team. The senior helped lead the Lady Cats to the Class 2A state playoffs and an above .500 record, the first time in more than a decade. She was named to the Second Team All-District in basketball.
Passino also played volleyball.
Ariana MacAuley. Peñasco (senior)
Ariana MacAuley, a senior, has a dominant serve in volleyball. So dominant that, usually, it ends up hitting the floor on the opposing side for a point. She had 228 kills total last season and ended up with 283 points.
But MacAuley also played the perfect inside duo with Gonzales during the basketball season, acting as the other tall, lanky forward. She averaged 6.5 rebounds per game and was the fourth leading scorer for Peñasco last season. She was named to the All-District teams in both volleyball and football.
AnnaLiz Duran. Taos (senior)
A first-place medal was on the mind of senior AnnaLiz Duran her senior season, the same season that girls wrestling was finally recognized officially by the NMAA. Instead, she finished in fifth place in the girls 106-pound division.
But that didn’t matter much. Throughout the season, Duran had lost just once to a girl; that same girl went on to win it all. Duran also faced a handful of boys and, almost always, held
Isaiah Padilla. Peñasco (senior)
If you needed a 3-point basket and you were on the Peñasco boys basketball team, Isaiah Padilla was sure to get you one. Besides handling point guard duties, Padilla, a senior, had a smooth shot and a quick first step — and he was a big reason why the Panthers were able to win at least a few games.
In one instance, Padilla had hit two-first half 3-pointers on his way to scoring 23 points in a homecoming victory in January over Cimarrón.
Dominic Montaño. Taos (senior)
Dominic Montaño was only able to play in three baseball games his senior season before the pandemic put a halt to spring sports. But Montaño was going to be a big part of the offense for the Taos baseball team.
Indeed, Montaño was a big part of the Tigers football offense, where he started as fullback. In that position, Montaño was a big run and pass blocker — and he did it well. He also was able to score three different times throughout the season. He emerged as a leader on both teams he played on.
Montaño was named Second Team All-District in football.
Santiago Salazar. Taos (senior)
Santiago Salazar played center and linebacker for the Taos Tigers during the 2019 season, his final one before he graduates. On offense, Salazar, without a doubt, was a vocal leader for the offensive line, guiding his teammates on who to block. On defense, Salazar made it hard for teams to drive the ball down the middle of the field. He was a solid tackler — perhaps Taos’ best all season long.
Salazar was named First Team All-District on both sides of the ball, and he was named Second Team All-State.
Jordan Cisneros. Taos (senior)
Jordan Cisneros, a senior who played on the Taos hockey team and who also played baseball for Taos, is an athlete as humble and respectful as they come. On the ice, though, he is a terror to other teams, gliding up and down the ice with relative ease. When you watch him play hockey, you right away can distinguish him from the rest.
When it came to baseball, Cisneros was able to notch three runs in a game against Silver on Feb. 28, including an inside-the-park home run before the pandemic put a halt to the spring sports season.
In order to read our site, please exit private/incognito mode or log in to continue.