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Francesca Cicconetti

 Francesca Cicconetti is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached on Twitter @fran_cicconetti


 Savannah Bananas

The Savannah Bananas peel into Albuquerque

The social media and baseball stars, the Savannah Bananas and Party Animals, made their Albuquerque debut to a sold-out crowd at Isotopes Stadium, bringing Bananaland to the Land of Enchantment. The teams played on April 20 and 21, selling out the stadium both days. Banana Ball is different from your typical game of baseball. There’s a pitcher and a batter, and the goal is to make it around the bases and back to home plate, but there are many different rules and flares in the game that make it the show it is.

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Finding work-life balance as a student-athlete

Being a student-athlete is a full-time job and a demanding status to maintain – student first, athlete second. But often the separation between the two roles can be blurred. The best way to stay on track and not fall behind is to establish a healthy work-life balance. Work-life balance is “equal time or priority to personal and professional activities,” a  Forbes article states. For student-athletes, personal and professional activities become one; their sport is their passion but they have to learn to balance it with academics. University of New Mexico senior and catcher for the baseball team, Kyle Smith, said that his work-life balance emphasizes defining time for his personal needs and not getting tunnel vision when it comes to baseball.

New Mexico Ice Wolves vs. Amarillo Wranglers

Hockey in the desert

Home to a hockey team in the desert, the Outpost Ice Arena is where the New Mexico Ice Wolves reside – a Tier II junior ice hockey team in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) in the South Division. The team was founded in 2019, and since then they have been getting down and dirty competing against nine other teams across the South Division from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Colorado. The organization has recruited players from all over, including defenseman Luca Ricci from Montreal, Canada who is amazed at the amount of support the team received when he first arrived in New Mexico.

First Impression Rodeo Club

The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo

The rodeo – the quintessential showcase for cowboys and cowgirls. Anyone can be a cowboy, but the rodeo hasn’t always been considered an inclusive space for Black Americans. The search results for “famous cowboys” include names like Billy the Kid, Jesse James, or Buffalo Bill. The similarity between these individuals is that they’re all white. Bill Pickett, also known as the Dusky Demon, came along and changed that. Born in 1870, Pickett was an African American cowboy who introduced bulldogging, or steer wrestling, to the modern rodeo, according to Britannica. Today, most rodeos in the United States and across the world showcase this event. Pickett was one of the first Black cowboys to break into the traditionally white space of western rodeo.

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Opinion: Lobo football transfers to watch

After what felt like a mass exodus via the transfer portal for Lobo football at the end of the 2023 season, the official mid-year transfer class was announced on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Hailing from the Power 5, Football Championship Subdivision and Junior University College, 19 players have been added to the Lobos roster. With the spring semester in full swing, the new coaching staff has wasted no time whipping the team into shape on the field and in the training room. In no particular order, here are five new rostered athletes to watch in spring ball and the 2024 season later this year.

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JT Toppin claims his Lobo fame

JT Toppin has been named the Mountain West's Freshman of the Week four times this season and was recently ranked at #12 in Andy Katz’s top freshmen. However, he said basketball wasn’t always his sport of choice. He started playing football but after watching basketball with his grandparents, he decided to switch it up. From Dallas, Texas, freshman forward for the Lobo basketball team, Toppin, has been making his mark at The Pit. With his ability to produce on both ends of the court, Toppin has a talent that is helping push the Lobos basketball ahead this season. Toppin has continued to excel on the court and work to make a name for himself. With 17 points and 11 rebounds at No. 13 Colorado State on Tuesday, Jan. 2, Toppin is the second Lobo freshman to get a double-double against a ranked opponent.


The Bronco Mendenhall era begins

On Wednesday, Dec. 6, The University of New Mexico announced Bronco Mendenhall as the new head football coach. Mendenhall signed a five-year contract, making him the 33rd head coach for the Lobos. This is not Mendenhall’s first time in Albuquerque, as he was the defensive coordinator and associate head coach for the Lobos under Head Coach Rocky Long from 1998-2002. Mendenhall has been coaching college football for 32 years and has been a head coach for 17. Out of his years as a head coach, his teams were bowl eligible 16 out of 17 seasons and snagged seven bowl victories. 

volleyball vs Fresno

Volleyball: Lobos fall in four to Fresno but win senior day against Nevada

The Fresno State Bulldogs beat the Lobos 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 18-25, 25-20) at home on Thursday, Nov. 9.  Going into the game, the Lobos, the Bulldogs and the Colorado State Rams were in a three-way tie for second place in the Mountain West Conference. This was University of New Mexicou2019s second loss against the Bulldogs this season. The Lobos are now 10-6 in conference and 18-9, and are currently tied for second place in the conference. With two games left in the season, the Lobos need to win one to clinch a spot in the conference tournament.

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