Photo by ROBERT NARANJO/valleydailypost.com
CVMS’s Football Field Outstanding Facility For YAFL
By ROBERT NARANJO
The football field at Carlos Vigil Middle School (CVMS) is a far cry from “Sticker Stadium” where the football teams from the old Espanola Junior High School Cardinals, also known as the “Hill Jr. High,” and at one time served as the Espanola High School. Recently, it served as the Espanola Public Schools Administration Building and school bus parking location. Today, it is the home of Carinos de los Ninos Charter School.
On the north side of the the old junior high campus, across Hill Street, is a field that had the dubious title of Sticker Stadium, where the long ago EJHS Cardinals football teams practiced on the dirt lot, yes complete with stickers, but played their football games at Hunter Field at the old Espanola High School which was razed earlier this year (former District Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez never gave PED’s 80-20 rule a chance–that is if a school facility costs more than 80 percent to remodel as opposed to buiding new, then the PED will not fund it, it it costs less that 80 percent to renovate, then PED will fund renovation, and new high schools are costing 85 million these days, so the old EHS, using the PED’s formula, had about 50 million dollars from the state to renovate but it was razed fairly quickly without any attempt to save an important landmark), after a little more than 80 years of service to the school district. The old EHS was actually given to the Espanola /Rio Arriba public schools by a sitting U.S. President as the building was built by WPA labor.
The Espanola YAFL players were out in force on October 1 at the well-groomed and maintained turf at CVMS. The YAFL 10-12 year-olds playing on the Sundevils, Lil Devils, Lobos, “Da Bears” and more teams all in age groups that make the teams evenly matched. And, the surprising thing was that both teams were executing plays that looked impressive. The Sundevls quarterback was calling the signals with a loud enough voice that would have been heard in the classrooms below the slope at the middle school. YAFL is giving young players a chance to play like junior high and high school teams do, except in slightly more controlled version, like having the coach on the football field behind his own team calling plays and coaching. Other than that, it’s pretty much the same, and this type of experience on the gridiron can only help the middle school and hgh school teams in the Espanola Valley.