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Sports for July 10, 2008

Smithey resigns, Berger hired

WALSENBURG- As we were the first to report last Thursday in our internet edition, Chuck Smithey, Assistant Principal and Director of the Re-1 Opportunity and Enrichment School, tendered his resignation July 3 to be effective August 3, 2008 per his contractual arrangement. This is but one in a series of problems facing the school district in recent weeks.

    The primary reason Smithey gave for resigning was the school board’s vote of no confidence in turning him down as athletic director.  He said, “They [the board] sent him a message, loud and clear, that his services are no longer needed at  John Mall High School.”   Smithey is a certified athletic director and served as AD four years ago, managing to keep the program within budget.  Smithey had ben  willing to add those duties to his responsibilities without any increase in pay. 

    He has already accepted a position as Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Rocky Ford High School.  He feels the new job will give him more experience which will enhance his future career.  Smithey wants to leave the district on positive terms and would like to someday return to the district.  “I will miss the kids the most.  They made it a great experience for the past seven years,” he said.  The Smitheys will continue to operate their two businesses in town. 

    At Tuesday’s board meeting, the decision was unanimously made to hire Ken Berger as head football coach.  No decision was made concerning the athletic director or the volleyball coach leaving very little time to plan for a successful season.  All other coaching positions were also recommended and accepted.

Annual junior golf program

WALSENBURG- The Annual Junior golf program will be next week, July 14-23rd at the Walsenburg Golf Course.  Cost is $ 10 per child and registration forms are available at the golf course.  Scholarships are also available. For more information call Art Bobian at 738-2029.

Upcoming Events

HUERFANO- July will be a busy month for duffers because the area golf courses will be hosting several tournaments.  These competitions give the avid  golfer an opportunity to participate and demonstrate their skills.  Walsenburg will have the Coal Miners and Senior Classic July 19-20 followed by the Clovis Invitational July 25-26.  The CO-ED Mixed will be July 27.

    Grandote Peaks will host the Grandote Open on July 12-13, which will consist of 22 two-person teams with a scramble format on the first day and a best ball the second day.

    There is still time to sign up for these events by calling the golf courses directly or visiting their websites at or

La Veta Rodeo was a buckin’ good time

by William J. Bechaver

LA VETA- The 34th Annual Huerfano County Rodeo was held in La Veta last weekend, as part of the traditional Fourth Of July festivities. Rodeo performances were held both Friday and Saturday evening, with top prizes awarded in ten events at the end of the two-evening competition.  The rodeo has always taken steps to include a few events not regularly found in all professional rodeos, to include and allow the involvement of the youth of the community.

    Here are some of the top winners in the individual events. Travis Weber won in bull riding handily with an 83 score on his draw. Nathan Oetter scored a 75 point ride to walk away with the top prize in saddle bronc riding. Shibil Davis won the bareback competition with a score of 77 points. Dustin Pratt managed to come out handily in steer wrestling with a time of 5.4 seconds.  Jack Hadley won the calf roping, tying his calf in an impressive 10.2 seconds.  The team of Randy and Scott Morlan won the team roping, heading and heeling their steer in 6.6 seconds.  In barrel racing, Kashley Karney won with a blazing speed of 17.29 seconds.  Kristen Spencer won the breakaway roping competition with a time of 3.8 seconds, nearly a full 2 seconds faster than the next qualifier, and the team featuring Teresa Brevick won the mixed team roping run with an 8.4 second run. Prize money was awarded in each event for each performance, and the top individual winnings for a single event was $543.86.

    It wasn’t all over- the bucking continued on Sunday, with the Annual La Veta Mud-Bog Race. Thirty-five drivers participated in the competition, and the spectators were treated to quite a display of driving skill and prowess. Drivers consisted of both men and women, many of whom hailed from our local communities. In recent years, the event has also attracted a wider range of competitors, some coming from as far away as Questa, New Mexico. Prizes were awarded to the top drivers in several categories at the conclusion of the event.

Bertha Trujillo

  Bertha Trujillo, 97, from Gardner, Colo., entered her eternal home on Feb. 12, 2024. She was born in Gardner, Colo., on Sept. 30, 1926,

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