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Wuerffel Trophy awarded to UNM football player

Teton Saltes, an offensive lineman for the University of New Mexico football team, was presented with the Wuerffel Trophy during the Home Depot College Football Awards on Jan. 7. The trophy is given to an individual that “best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.” Saltes is the first individual to win the award from the Mountain West Conference and the first UNM player to be given a major award in the history of Lobo football. After graduating with a degree in political science and Native American studies, Saltes spent his senior season with UNM while enrolled in the School of Law, spending his free time giving back to both the New Mexico and South Dakota communities.


UNM Athletics expects to run a deficit again

In a move costing the University of New Mexico an additional $70,000 a week in Athletics department costs, the relocation of the 1-5 Lobo football team to Las Vegas, Nevada, is slated to increase its already-multimillion dollar deficit. Athletics director Eddie Nuñez told the Daily Lobo in a phone interview that the cost of housing the football team out of state will likely result in the department outspending its budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year. “At this point, if you’re asking me today and the challenges we have faced — with not being able to have fans in the stands, and COVID affecting the revenue — I would anticipate a deficit this upcoming year,” Nuñez said.


Lobo men’s basketball season opener postponed

On Nov. 30, the Mountain West Conference announced in a press release that the two game series between the University of New Mexico and Boise State, which was slated to happen on Dec. 3 and Dec. 5, has been postponed. The conference statement gave some insight into when those games could happen.   According to the conference, “The rescheduled dates will be announced once finalized by the Mountain West and both institutions.”


Lobo football’s second half deficiencies continue in Nevada loss

The University of New Mexico football team came into Saturday night’s game against undefeated Nevada looking to snap their 11-game losing streak and pick up their first win of the season. The Lobos came up just short of stopping their lengthy winless stretch, falling to the Wolf Pack 27-20. With the loss, the losing streak for UNM now sits at 12 games, and the theme of second half collapses continued for the third game in a row. Both teams got off to sluggish starts, as the first three possessions of the game resulted in punts. Momentum shifted to the Lobos, though, when UNM’s defense forced a turnover on downs following a sack of Nevada quarterback Carson Strong by Joey Noble.


Lobos drop 11th straight, ‘broken record’ skips on in Hawaii

The 2020 edition of the University of New Mexico football team continued its winless start to the pandemic-plagued season as the Lobos (0-2) lost 39-33 to Hawaii on Saturday, Nov. 7. While the Lobos looked to end their losing streak — which is now up to 11 consecutive games starting with a Sept. 28, 2019 loss at Liberty — that hope would fade by the end of the evening. Things seemed to be in UNM’s favor at the start of the game, as the Lobos flew out to an early 7-0 lead after a three play, 65-yard drive, capped off by a Tevaka Tuioti pass to Jordan Kress for 52 yards.

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UNM football returns, 38-21 defeat in San Jose extends losing streak

It’s been 335 days since the University of New Mexico football team last took the field, and a lot has changed since their last game. The most noteworthy change that occurred during the offseason was the departure of former head coach Bob Davie, who was later replaced by Danny Gonzales, a defensive coordinator for Arizona State and former UNM football player. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic initially canceled the 2020-21 Mountain West football season and delayed the start of the Gonzales era. The first game in the Lobo’s truncated season, meant to be played on the road against Colorado State on Oct. 24, was canceled due to the surging coronavirus case count in Bernalillo County.


United’s yearlong road trip ends in heartbreak in El Paso

After 240 minutes of overcoming USL Championship postseason adversity in the role of the underdog — as indeed it has been all year for a homesick, road-weary club — New Mexico United finally found its kryptonite in the form of its neighbors to the south. New Mexico’s unlikely playoff journey was cut short after falling to El Paso Locomotive FC in heartrending fashion on Oct. 17, as the Texas club ended New Mexico’s dream season 5-3 in penalty kicks after extra time saw the scoreline knotted 1-1.

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Mountain West releases women’s, men’s conference basketball schedules

On Oct. 9, the Mountain West released the basketball schedules for both the women’s and men’s programs in the 11-school conference. Each team will have an 18-game conference schedule. The women’s regular season will begin on Dec. 31 and conclude on March 2, while the men’s regular season will start on Dec. 29 and conclude on March 6. The women’s and men’s basketball schedules feature nine home and away games apiece and will have two bye weeks over the course of the season.


Albuquerque’s Holm and Condit revive careers with unanimous wins

On Saturday, Oct. 3, Albuquerque’s Holly Holm and Carlos Condit both won their respective fights via unanimous decision. Holm and Condit both showed Saturday night that they’ve still got more left in the tank and aren’t giving up on their careers just yet. They’ve both had their recent struggles, but their performances give them something to build on. Holm, who owned a overall fight record of 13-5 going into the fight and is currently ranked No. 2 in the bantamweight contenders rankings, fought the No. 6-ranked contender Irene Aldana, who was 12-5 all time. Holm won the fight in a unanimous decision, securing her 14th career victory.


Wehan captures first playoff victory for New Mexico United

One more, for the road. That has been the mantra for New Mexico United since March, when the coronavirus pandemic mandated a four-month hiatus of play and altered the trajectory of a year that eventually manifested as a sensational season devoid of home matches. The mantra will see at least one more recitation in 2020 after New Mexico — via a superb Chris Wehan goal in extra time — defeated San Antonio FC 1-0 on Saturday night at Toyota Field in Texas.


Mountain West reverses course, to play 8-game season

The Mountain West Conference released its revamped fall football schedule on Oct. 1, with 8 games to be played in the span of a month and a half. For the University of New Mexico, the first game of the regular season will be played on Oct. 24, and the final regular season game will be played on Dec. 12. The Lobos’ season consists of four away and home games apiece, with the season starting on the road at Colorado State. UNM’s first home game will be on Halloween against San José State.


New Mexico United rolls into playoffs with 1-0 victory

In an extraordinary season, New Mexico United has met every challenge with tenacity and remarkable verve. Those efforts paid off after a team performance sent New Mexico into the playoffs with a style-affirming flourish in the club’s second season. French winger Joris Ahlinvi scored in the 57th minute, Real Monarchs SLC put on a woeful performance and United punctuated its regular season finale with a victory at Zion’s Bank Stadium on a late September evening. With the win, United kept its sparkling record against the Monarchs in 2020 unblemished, finishing the season 4-0 against its neighbors to the northwest.

football is back

Mountain West resuscitates 2020 football season

The Mountain West Conference announced on Thursday, Sept. 24 that college football will return before the spring semester. In a statement released on the Mountain West’s official Twitter, it states that the season will begin on Oct. 24, with the conference championship game on Dec. 19. New University of New Mexico football head coach Danny Gonzales posted a statement to the Lobo football Twitter just after the announcement espousing excitement for the upcoming — and seemingly unexpected — fall season. “We are excited about the opportunity to compete and represent our University, the city of Albuquerque and the great state of New Mexico!” Gonzales said.

New Mexico United vs. Colorado

New Mexico United loses first ‘home’ game of road warrior season

COLORADO SPRINGS — Over 800 New Mexicans took the trip up I-25 to Weidner Field to attend the first “home” game of the season after the Colorado Springs Switchbacks allowed its southern rivals to rent out their stadium.   New Mexico United allocated tickets to United fans and gave the players and fans a “home” game experience on Saturday, Sept. 19. The stadium was set up to adhere to coronavirus guidelines — seats were spaced out, masks were required in and around the stadium, and elbows and fist bumps replaced more up close and personal celebratory gestures. Still, fans were able to come together and celebrate their club for the first time since last October.


Former UNM football coach son's murder remains unsolved

Mike Locksley, whose brief tenure as the University of New Mexico’s head football coach ended in 2011, and his wife Kia held a joint press conference with the Howard County Police Department on Sept. 3 to announce renewed efforts in the pursuit of knowledge about the murder of Locksley’s son Meiko. The day marked the three-year anniversary of Meiko Locksley’s murder. The 25-year-old was shot once in the chest on the 5500 block of Harpers Farm Road in Columbia, Md. He was later pronounced dead at the University of Maryland’s Shock Trauma Center.


Black Student Union condemns Brian Urlacher post on Jacob Blake shooting

On Aug. 27, perhaps the most famous football player ever to wear the cherry and silver uniform of the University of New Mexico posted an incendiary screed on Instagram denigrating NBA players’ brief strike of playoff games in protest of police brutality and structural racism. The players’ boycott was in response to the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Aug. 23. Blake is paralyzed from the waist down, according to his lawyer, and remains hospitalized as of the publication of this article. UNM’s Black Student Union (BSU) followed with a strongly worded statement, released on social media on Sept. 2, rebuking what they said was Urlacher’s “horrific” interpretation of the events leading up to the near-fatal police shooting of Blake.


UNM club hockey fall season suspended

The University of New Mexico’s men’s club hockey team has decided to suspend the fall portion of its season. The team announced the decision on its official Facebook page on Aug. 18, becoming the latest UNM team sport to fall victim to COVID-19’s effect on the competitive sporting landscape. In the post, head coach Grant Harvey cited the team’s decision to comply with the University’s policy regarding contact sports as the reason for the fall season’s postponement. “It's with heavy heart that I relay that Lobo hockey will be suspended for fall to comply with our school's policy with contact sports,” Harvey wrote. “I know that many conferences have followed suit, and I have to support UNM's decision and hope to face a spring semester in a safe manner.”

Football Cancelled

Mountain West to indefinitely postpone fall sports

Multiple reports have come in that the Mountain West Conference will suspend its fall 2020 sports season and will instead attempt to resume in the spring. The extraordinary move comes after weeks of speculation and concerns that moving forward with collegiate athletic events would exacerbate the coronavirus pandemic currently wracking the country. According to 247Sports, league presidents have decided to cancel the 2020 season due to player safety concerts and health concerns. “"I fully understand the impact of this outcome on our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and staff who work so hard daily to play the sports we all love, and I share in their disappointment,” Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson said in a statement. “We will continue to navigate this pandemic together, overcome the obstacles and return to intercollegiate athletics at the earliest opportunity.

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Nehemiah Cionelo holds fundraisers to help the disadvantaged

Nehemiah Cionelo, a redshirt sophomore on the University of New Mexico’s cross country team, held a virtual fundraiser called Footsteps for Families on Saturday, July 18, providing school supplies to low-income New Mexican families that have been negatively impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 145 people attended the virtual event, according to Cionelo. Participants logged in 848 miles, and local businesses and individual donors contributed school supplies for every mile logged.  Cionelo said participants logged their mileage online after they finished running, and also were told to follow the social distance guidelines imposed by the state. “Personally, I ran solo with a mask and encouraged those participating to do the same,” Cionelo said. 

United x Locomotive

Late Sandoval PK rescues point for United in El Paso impasse

EL PASO — For the majority of Wednesday evening's USL Championship tilt between El Paso Locomotive FC and New Mexico United, the Albuquerque club displayed the crispness and confidence of a team who — in a fair and just existence — would have returned to the Land of Enchantment with a comfortable victory. "Man stands face to face with the irrational," wrote French journalist and philosopher Albert Camus in The Myth of Sisyphus. "The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world." United (1-1-1) may take some solace in the position of the absurdists after controlling the better part of a match drenched in south Texas sweat, yet settling for a 2-2 draw with El Paso (1-0-2) at Southwest University Park in front of a sellout crowd of cardboard cutouts.

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