Pecos awarded prestigious Director’s Cup

Pecos awarded prestigious Director’s Cup

By Glen Rosales / For Journal North

Friday, October 14th, 2016 at 12:02am

Pecos High school accumulated a number of athletic and academic achievements last year in order to earn the New Mexico Activities Association’s Director’s Cup.

There was a time not all that long ago that Pecos High School was not exactly known for its successes.

Not anymore.

Room will have to made in the Panthers’ trophy case for a new bauble that trumps all the rest.

Earlier this week, the New Mexico Activities Association awarded Pecos the Director’s Cup for Class 3A, signifying athletic and academic excellence.

“The Subway Director’s Cup is given annually to schools based upon their overall performance in athletics, activities and sportsmanship,” said the NMAA’s Dusty Young. “Each school honoree has demonstrated excellence in the areas of character, teamwork, and creating a successful athletic and activities program during the course of the school year.”

“We’re pretty proud,” said district superintendant and athletic director Fred Trujillo. “We’re pretty excited.”

Although the current version of the award has been in existence just since the 2004-05 school year when Gary Tripp took over as NMMA executive director, earlier versions, known as the All Sports trophy, go back even longer, Young said.

This is the first time Pecos has received either version. Los Alamos received the 5A award for the third time since 2007.

“It is a great honor to receive this coveted trophy because it requires our member schools to build well-rounded programs through both athletics and activities, while also putting a heavy emphasis on our Compete with Class initiative as part of the process,” said NMAA executive director Sally Marquez.

Pecos truly had a banner season athletically in 2015-16, with the boys winning state championships in cross-country, and track and field. The school has only won two prior state championships total.

“Last year was by far our best athletics Pecos has seen in its many years of existence,” Trujillo said.

Defending 3A individual cross-country champion Julian Garcia of Pecos also helped the Panthers win the cross-country, and track and field state championships.

In addition to its blue trophies, the Panthers were runners-up in cheerleading and baseball, and both the boys and girls basketball teams reached the semifinals.

“That in itself helped accumulate quite a bit of points for the school,” Trujillo said.

In reality, however, Trujillo said the award can be attributed to the entire school community, from administrators, teachers, coaches, staff and school board all the way through the students.

Even the community of Pecos has stepped up, he said.

“We’ve all joined together to support the school district tremendously,” he said. “Attending games, showing up at academic awards night and pushing how important it is to be in school.”

A big turning point, Trujillo said, was five or six years ago when the town passed a school bond that provided for a new track, new baseball and softball complex, and a new computer lab, as well as upgrades for the classrooms.

“This is something the community is going to celebrate,” he said. “We do have an outstanding community. As the school goes, the community goes, and we’ve turned that corner. We’ve had very good academic output.

“We’re very proud of our dual credit program. We bus our juniors and seniors to New Mexico Highlands, Luna Community College and Santa Fe Community College so they’re getting college credit. Some of our kids get enough college credit that some go into college as sophomores or juniors.”

And that holds for the athletes, as well, Trujillo said.

“The bulk of our student athletes have very high (grade-point averages), which is great when they’re applying for colleges and scholarships,” he said. “Pecos has come a long way in the past five or six years in terms of academic and athletic output.”