Onate Knights Baseball Team Takes On New Identity
Fabian Reyes 5.3.2019
Growing up as an influential sports fanatic I pondered the question of what qualities it took to take on the role of a “Cinderella team.” It was referred to so often on Sportscenter, especially when March Madness would come around. Fast-forwarding a decade later and the term became clear. More importantly, how inspiring it can be to see a team that has all the odds against them performs better than the competition.
“A Cinderella team is a team that no one really believes in,” senior outfielder Jaden Diaz described.
Cinderella teams are everywhere, and with the looks of things can be no closer than a high school baseball team in Las Cruces. The Onate Knights may just qualify for the underappreciated label with the season they’ve been having in 2019. After earning a 10-2 victory against the Gadsden Panthers on Wednesday, April 24. The Knights improved their winning record to 13-10 overall and 10-6 in District 3.
According to MaxPreps, the Knights are in second place sitting right behind the number one ranked Centennial Hawks who have had an exceptional season with a 14-1 record. It wasn’t too long ago when the Knights knew what it was like to be on top.
Onate head coach David Reyes has ran his castle for 12 years and is in his twentieth season coaching at Onate. The winning culture for the Reyes era started in 2008 where his team went 22-10 with a devastating 4-3 loss to the number one seeded La Cueva Bears in the New Mexico State Tournament championship game. The heartbreaking loss didn’t stop the momentum for Reyes and his teams. The next two seasons he combined for a 50-9 record with one district championship and another appearance in the 2010 state semi-finals game against the 2008 state champions.
What a story that would’ve been to tell but unfortunately the Knights came up short with a 8-1 loss. Five years later, the winning tradition continued when his
senior heavy group went on a 15 game undefeated winning streak and finished the season with a 25-4 record and entered the tournament as a number one seed and ranked number one in the state for class 3-5A. The 2015 season was the last winning season the Knights had.
“Every team has their different qualities and players that make them unique. But the bond that we have with each other is what makes us unique,” Diaz added.
In this particular case, the Cinderella team had a significant history in being a top 10 power house team for almost 6 years. Like life has taught us, there is always a new day to awaken to and a forgotten past that comes with it. New slates were wiped after that 2015 season. The itch to get the consistent winning feeling again is all Onate has been working for. Coach Reyes shared his thoughts on what it took to improve from the last couple seasons.
It took a lot of patience, determination, creativity from the coaching staff and acceptance. Plus creating a great culture amongst the players,” Reyes described.
For any successful team, team chemistry plays a factor in how well a group can get along and how far they can play into their season. Problems within teams can cause tension, jealousy and cliques. Diaz described how different the chemistry has been from last year’s team to this year.
“Last year we had the talent but lacked on confidence, this year since we’ve known each other forever we have the support from each player and it shows,” Diaz said.
Diaz was right. The 2019 season has been a turnaround from last year after graduating 10 seniors. The Knights went 12-14 overall and 3-9 in conference play in 2018. Now with a winning record and young talent in the lineup the Knights look to push the winning journey into Albuquerque for the state tournament.
“I think we can make it all the way. We can really put these top teams down we just have to finish,” Diaz said.
After a key 8-3 victory over the Cobre Indians on Tuesday, the Knights secured second place for district play and reserved a spot in the best of three games in the 2019 playoff round.
The Knights finished the 2019 season 24-16. Now comes the waiting game, Coach Reyes and the team will find out on May 5 what seed they will receive and who they will face next.
“We will most likely be an 11 or 12 seed. If the kids continue to play well I wouldn’t be surprised to make the quarterfinals in Albuquerque,” Reyes said.
MUST WATCH: Field of Dreams Breakdown
Fabian Reyes 4.19.2019
According to the Odyssey baseball will always be America’s ‘favorite pastime.’ Phil Robinson’s the Field of Dreams has a dramatic theme to the story that doesn’t interfere with the history of baseball in the 1980’s.
It didn’t take long to notice that Ray Konsella who was played by Kevin Costner had that ability to throw and hit a baseball fundamentally. There’s nothing more annoying when an actor or actress is shown throwing a baseball and can’t do a better job than a four-year-old who plays t-ball. It’s a turn off. Konsella throwing batting practice to Joe “Shoeless” Jackson played by Ray Liotta is a punch to the gut moment because of how marvelous the scene is brought together. The beautiful green grass perfectly cut in the outfield with the evening purple sky that watches over. Konsella delivers the easy fastball for Jackson to barrel to the corn stocks that line across the warning track. A speechless moment.
The cheesy moments are placed everywhere throughout the storyline. But hey, it’s a drama would you expect anything less? Baseball enthusiasts know it’s acceptable to be emotional about baseball. Especially with the memorable scene of Konsella having a catch with his dad in the field that he built.
At first the voices Ray was hearing in his head became slightly creepy and uncomfortable. I first assumed that the movie was going in a different direction than what it was. Never heard of a baseball thriller before. Before long, the pattern of when the voices would come drew for a significant rising action. Not only did Konsella have to worry about his house being foreclosed, he knew there was something he needed to do to bring all these questions to an end.
Ray’s father John was a minor league catcher who lived in Chicago. When Ray was growing up he would tell John stories about Shoeless Jackson and the White Sox team that would take part in gambling in the games they played. Sometimes even throwing the games so the team could cash out. It was a huge scandal that has been talked about to this day. John passed when Ray was a young teen. Ray regrets the lack of relationship his father and him had at the time of John’s passing and believes the voices are more than his ego talking.
Hold on tight and pay attention closely to all of the information that is given throughout the story. Even the smallest scenes help build the plot for a heart-filled ending that you won’t expect. From Ray attending their daughter’s book banning on the famous author Terrence Mann to visiting an old washed out Moonlight Graham. The pit stops that are taken help understand why Ray is following the mysterious voice in his head.
A perfect drama that fuels the passion and love baseball has developed throughout history. Following your dream has never been more influenced than in this movie.
Neon Desert Music Festival Fulfilled Expectations
Fabian Reyes 4.4.2019
As a music enthusiast there’s no better way to enjoy listening to an artist by attending a concert or festival. Bumping Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson better known as “YG” while working out almost always results in a good lift that day but watching Lil Wayne perform live at Neon Desert 2018 was a special moment that I’ll cherish forever.
It was in February of the year 2018 when my girlfriend decided to surprise me with a two-day general admission ticket to the seventh annual Neon Desert Music Festival in El Paso, Texas. This was the first festival I attended. To say the least, it was the most exciting event I’ve ever attended.
Efficient Entrance to Festival: We arrived around 5 p.m. at the gates at north Kansas street. There was a line that wrapped around the sidewalk that looked discouraging to stand in from afar. It took us only seven to eight minutes to get to the front of the entrance. They had enough security to check bags and search people in a good amount of time for the lines to keep moving.
Layout of NDMF: Since the festival is held downtown, it provides a spacious area for the thousands of people that attend to get around efficiently and have enough space to breathe. The designers who created NDMF build the event in a box formation. People were able to walk comfortably and get to different stages of the festival on the outer part of the box. All the stages except one are located on corner streets that allow wide-open space for large crowds.
4 stages: There are three main stages and one home grown stage. The Rio Bravo stage is the biggest area in the festival. Throughout the years, these are where the biggest headliners would perform. I enjoyed the creation of the home grown stage because the only artists or bands that could play were from well you get the hint. From that point, I knew the whole identity of NDMF was to host a festival for the city of El Paso.
Silent Disco: This stage is unique than the other stages at the festival. Headliners such as Third Eye Blind, Martin Garrix, Gucci Mane and Playboi Carti were all above average performances but there was just a vibe that Silent Disco provided that you couldn’t experience at any other festival. The stage was no bigger than 20 feet with four DJ’s set up across the stage. Walking up to an area that is covered by a massive white tent with over 100 people wearing headphones is an interesting sight for a first-time attendee. To say the least, it was the more quieter part of the festival. My anxiety was off the wall just waiting to be given the headphones that transported you into another dimension. Being able to listen to four DJ’s at one stage in a switch of a channel was a dream come true. You are in your own world. In the crowd you can spot people that are listening to the same DJ and enjoy hearing a popular top 25 hit and vibe with a complete stranger for a couple minutes till the next track starts.
Art: The main attractions will always be the headliners that are brought in by NDMF promoters but what completes the full experience at the festival is the art that fills in the gaps in downtown El Paso. From the 14 ft. signs that stand as soon as you walk in, to the artists mastering their work in the beating sun, the creativity that is brought to Neon Desert is never easy to miss. When walking around to discover the attractions at the festival you will notice
artists spraying or hand painting their work from the time the gates open to almost midnight. Not only are the artists and bands booked to perform, the promoters contact professional artists to attend the festival and create a piece of work for the weekend. The art gives the creative vibe throughout downtown to help with the overall theme.
Eateries: Although the famous Chicos Tacos are well known in El Paso they have yet to make a food truck and offer service at NDMF. On the south side of the festival are where all the food trucks are lined up. A great idea to have all the food on one side of downtown to keep the flow of people walking around in tact. You can expect the typical greasy overpriced foods you see at any city carnival. Also, there are a handful of bars that are open to people attending the festival right next to the food trucks. This gives an easy escape from the scorching temperatures throughout the day to enjoy a drink inside with air conditioning.
Free Water Stations: Yes, it does get hot and unpleasing throughout the day. Many people might be thinking “well I’ll be spending over $20 just on water bottles.” Well you’re wrong. NDMF offers free water stations on the east side of entering the festival and one on the north side. As long as people bring in camelbacks that are empty or water bottles that haven’t been opened security will let you in with these items to use at the stations. I remember entering and filling my camelback up when I was impressed at how cold the water was. Later on, I went back closer to the evening with low expectations that the water was going to be less refreshing. The water was still as cold as the first time.
Neon Desert 2019 is now a little over a month away. The past experiences that I had will fade a little bit more when May 25 comes. The lineup spotlights a well-known DJ and creator Steve Aoki, it shines on the rap headliners Tory Lanez, Wiz Khalifa, Young Thug and Miguel. Not many better things to start off a summer then attending a festival at a very reasonable price in a neighboring city. Now I know what to expect and what sites and stages I need to focus my time on which will make NDMF 2019 better than the year before.
UNM Allows Pets: Aggies Should We Be Mad?
Fabian Reyes 3.15.2019
For some of us, we know what it means to be a true Aggie. Singing the fight song after a touchdown or a win is one thing but having a hate for those snobby up north Lobos is a significant requirement in being a loyal student. But would it be possible for ‘them’ (UNM) to implicate a program that Aggies would be in favor of at this campus? Possibly.
Starting in the fall of 2019, UNM will introduce a pilot program that will allow students to bring pets with them in certain student housing buildings. The program will be called “Pet Permitted Residence Hall Communities.” The two residence halls that will be used for the program are Santa Clara Hall and one of the Student Resource Center apartments. Dogs, cats, small mammals, and reptiles or amphibians are the animals that are allowed to live in the two buildings. According to Suzanne Helmes Assistant Director of Business Operations Residence Life Student Housing, over 100 rooms will be offered as ‘pet friendly.’
“That is a whole community that will be pet-friendly. Next year, it will have 150 beds. Half of them are singles, half of them are doubles,” said Helmes in February in a KRQE article. For more information click here
Staying in Garcia Hall my first year of college was an amazing experience. Students will nag and complain about how terrible Garcia was or how outdated the rooms were compared to Pinon. I enjoyed them. If I was able to bring my eight-year-old black labrador with me, now that would’ve been on another level of fun. Junior at New Mexico State Nathan Trevizo expressed his thoughts on UNM’s new program.
“I think it’s a good strategy, the science has shown pets alleviate stress in people. Students are going to hear about UNM allowing pets and are going to want NMSU to look into policies such as this,” Trevizo said.
Regardless if it’s a dog or not, a pet can be a great mechanism for support. Even though I was born in Las Cruces, living in a dorm my first year of college was terrifying. There were nights where I felt like crying myself to sleep because I would have to stay up later than 10:30 p.m. to finish homework. Having my dog to play with or entertain me every now and then would’ve made a huge difference. He takes my mind off things when I feel overwhelmed.
According to The American Institute of Stress, in 2008 eight out of 10 college students said they frequently experience stress for a period of three months. Yes, you read that right in 2008. You can only assume that the numbers have went up significantly knowing that it’s been a little over a decade since they conducted that survey.
UNM may be on the right track in accommodating incoming students that are in their first year of college a little more. As a prideful Aggie, I am a little jealous they are testing this out but I am assured that NMSU Housing department is doing everything they can to accommodate our students in providing them with the best experience they can get.
COLLEGE TIP: Don’t Download Apps To External Hard Drives
Fabian Reyes 3.1.2019
There are times in my life where I try to think smarter than computers. Whether I am playing Madden ‘09 on my Playstation 2 against the computer on all-star or trying to save up space on my Mac it never fails that the computer always wins.
I take it for granted how fast it is to access files, surf the web or even download certain items onto a computer. I can admit that I’m the student that has four applications open at once on my laptop while I’m streaming music and doing homework. The cheesy saying, “You don’t know what you got until it’s gone,” hit me in the face this past week.
To start, I was bombarded with two group assignments where I have to report on issues that are going on around campus. Some positive self-talk fixed my mindset about the assignments easily until I decided to listen to my podcast that I recorded last week to find out that I had dead space for almost 30 minutes. Already, relying on the microphone to record like it is “supposed” to do, I totally forgot to record the podcast on my phone as a backup just in case.
The day after that, I begin the process of editing the podcast to make it flow as smoothly as possible. Remarkably, I clipped and moved things around to come out with a half decent project. Earlier that day I decided to download the Adobe Creative Cloud so I could do my work anywhere and I finally had more than 20 dollars in my bank account. I figured, instead of downloading it to my Mac and taking more storage space, I download it on my passport. In my head it sounded like a great idea, I decided to give myself the victory for the day because I finally found a way to cheat the system.
To say the least, I took the L (loss) and lost out on a good amount of sleep. When I downloaded the cloud on my passport I thought, wow that was easy. As soon as I took out the passport from my Mac, it was the last time for a few days that my laptop was going to run as efficiently as it was. Every time I tried to connect my passport to a computer the icon would take five minutes to just show up on the desktop. Once it showed up, I’d open the drive and it would take 10 minutes for the files to pop up. My Mac was running slow, it would turn off every time I’d open an application or try to get on the internet. Meanwhile, I still had two topics that needed to be covered for my journalism classes. How was I supposed to type out a draft with a laptop that doesn’t stay on for only five minutes?
I laugh at how smart I thought I was by deciding to download an application that holds 100 GB of storage with multiple other apps on a passport. Obviously, the download had more than enough space for the passport to hold but for it to respond as quickly as it usually does, I was asking for too much. After getting some help, I was finally able to move the application that was causing problems to my passport onto my computer where it belonged.
Tip to college students: never download a huge application to your laptop unless you want major stresses and loss of sleep. Thank you for coming to my Fabian Talk.
Shaka Boom Invites NMSU Students With Open Arms
Fabian Reyes 2.15.2019
College is a stressful environment, whether you are 24-years-old starting off a Bachelor’s degree or 18-years-old wondering what UNIV 100 class entails of. As college students, we would appreciate a place to rely on that could take our stresses and worries away for a few moments.
Shaka Boom is the getaway every college student needs. The locally owned nutrition club offers protein shakes, teas, coffee, classes and an optimistic environment. All the drinks contain ingredients and supplements of a well-known company called Herbalife. Ray and Sue Lucero are the owners of Shaka Boom and Herbalife distributors.
Ray and Sue have been owners of Shaka Boom for five years. They opened the nutrition bar in December 2014, off of north valley by Mayfield High School. The bar stayed open for four years when Ray and Sue decided to move their location in town closer to attract more customers.
“The gyms were so close, Crunch was close by, Planet Fitness was close by, there was 9 rounds, it made a difference”, Sue said.
But gym junkies and people who enjoyed lifting weren’t Ray and Sue’s primary target audience. There was a higher goal and standard they wanted to reach with their company. Helping a man lean out for the upcoming spring break would help or assisting a client to lose 30 pounds is great and all but Ray and Sue had deeper aspirations for what they wanted their company to be perceived as.
42-year-old Angie Estrada described the club as being a place that encourages you to become a better person.
“They encourage you to become the best person you can be and impact your life in a positive way,” Estrada said.
Living a “better” and “healthier” life is tough to ask of from most college students. We all have our busy schedules that we live by and at times we barely have enough time to stop at a fast food place and pick up an overpriced below average burger. Much less try to maintain a healthy diet of eating the proper foods our bodies need to generate productive energy for the day. Healthy sounds appealing but a four-for-four at Wendy’s is one heck of a deal. What if healthy was cheap?
Shaka Boom offers a tea and shake special for only seven dollars. The tea has ingredients such as aloe and caffeine that will jumpstart your mornings on the right foot. After, you decide on a shake that is offered (various amounts of flavors i.e. vanilla, pina colada, chocolate, wild berry, etc.) at the club with one or two scoops of protein. Keynote to remember is it is never okay to miss a meal, especially breakfast. The combination of the tea and shake provides customers with “good energy” but can never be a replacement for a complete meal out of the day.
Sophomore at NMSU, Daniela Vargas, said she remembers her first experience at Shaka Boom and realized how much they impacted her.
“I just saw a difference in how awake and aware I was in class, it’s a much better feeling than drinking McDonald’s coffee every morning,” Vargas explained.
Awareness is a trait Ray and Sue pay close attention to at Shaka Boom. They don’t put all their focus on trying to push a well-known product in customers faces every other minute or investing energy persuading someone to become a distributor. To say the least, their biggest concern is bringing a community together. Walking through the door when you first arrive is one of the best ways you could possibly start your day. Being welcomed by two owners who put time and energy in listening to what’s going on in your life while making your tea or shake. Sitting at the high chair bar while enjoying the Hawaiian themed scenery that is filled around the club. Engaging in conversations with people you’ve never met before but feeling like they’ve been long distance friends. It is “barber shop” styled atmosphere and makes the club easier to be a part of. Sue explained the positive impact they could make on NMSU students by simply stopping by once or twice a week.
“We could give them really good nutrition, good energy, so they can be more successful in doing their homework and staying awake in class,” Sue said.
In talking to some of the club members about their experience with Shaka Boom they all had one word that was said throughout the interviews, family. Looking from the outside in and visiting the club once a week I could relate to their opinions because it was much like a family. A network of people that come from different jobs and lifestyles to this relaxed club to get away from the stresses that take place in their day. I can say I have my fair share of stresses throughout the day but being in the club with Ray and Sue is uplifting. All college students should have a Shaka Boom to escape to whether it’s the family oriented club or anyplace else. Ray expressed his thoughts on what Shaka Boom meant to him.
“Shaka Boom itself is bringing the community together, we have products to get people healthy which is our goal but we have more to offer than just Herbalife,” Ray said.
The wonderful married couple are the definition of optimism and making an impact in people’s lives. Their goals are to see new people come in everyday and take them in with open arms. They want to make a difference not only in their members’ lives but in the community as well.
“Poor can’t help the poor,” Ray added. A statement that stuck with me through the interview. These are two humble individuals that are selfless in their own ways and can make someone’s day a little better.
I encourage NMSU students to pay a visit to Shaka Boom, whether it is for the nutrition side of things or just needing a person to vent too.
Shaka Boom is located on 555 Utah Ave., Las Cruces NM, 88001 and is open Mondays through Fridays 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.