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Francesca Cicconetti

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


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. 

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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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Football: Lobos slip up in second half against Spartans

The University of New Mexico Lobos lost 52-24 at home against the San Jose State Spartans on Saturday, Oct. 14. A disappointing second half led to a 28 point loss for the Lobos, earning them their 14th conference loss in a row. The Lobos are now 2-4 overall and 0-2 in conference play. Early in the game, the Lobos began to switch between senior quarterback Dylan Hopkins and freshman Devon Dampier. Dampier went in for the first time midway through the first quarter and continued to play periodically throughout the game.

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Opinion: 2023 men's basketball non-conference predictions

Richard Pitino’s second year as Head Coach at the University of New Mexico proved to be a success. The Lobos were 14-1 in non-conference play and 22-12 overall – a major improvement from the 2021-22 season. Although the Lobos fell behind in conference play last year, they dominated in non-conference and are on track to do so again this season.


Lobos take Boise State in four

Lobos finished off set three on a three point scoring run, winning the set 25-20. UNM’s Libero Giselle Groe showed out in the last set. She got an ace, bringing the Lobos up 9-5 and later on had an amazing save, allowing the Lobos to maintain a five point lead against the Broncos, 14-9. The Lobos won the set and the match on a three point scoring run to end the set 25-20. The match was won on a service ace by Guereca, closing out the day with another win for the Lobos.

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