No More Flying Under
Hot Springs Basketball Head Coach Bailey
By Tony A. Archuleta
Marc Jimenez, a senior at Hot
Springs making his varsity debut this season under first-year Tiger boys
basketball head coach Brad Bailey, began his playing career as a
seventh-grader at Deming Middle School.
His eighth grade year, Jimenez
and his family moved to Sierra County, and he joined the Tiger Cubs
basketball team at Truth or Consequences Middle School.
Entering his fifth year with
the local program, the former Wildcat is all Tiger now, but it came as a
mild surprise when Bailey singled out Jimenez for pre-season accolades.
all, Jimenez was flying slightly under the radar last year as a junior
playing exclusively on the JV team under former head coach Trampus Pierson
and assistant coach Derek Bean.
It’s not uncommon for
standout sophomores, even freshman, to work their way up to the varsity
ranks. And sometimes for impatient juniors, it’s the varsity ranks or
But here's the deal.
First, last year’s team was
loaded with talent, including an abundance of seniors. Second, there’s a
new coach, it’s a new season, and it's the same hardworking Jimenez.
“Marc has been steady and
faithful in the preseason,” Bailey said during an interview before
practice at Tiger Gym Friday, Nov. 9. “He’s worked hard, he listens,
he does everything I ask him to do. He’s the kind of person that, as a
coach, you want 25 guys like that. We’ve got a lot of kids like that,
but he’s one of the seniors.”
For his part, Jimenez doesn’t
bother to contemplate the whys and wherefores of playing on JV last season
as an upperclassman.
Jimenez played JV last year; he’s
playing varsity this 2012-13 campaign. That’s his quick and direct take.
His businesslike demeanor on the subject suggests he’d play JV this year
too if his coached asked him to (and if it was permitted).
Jimenez fits the mold of the
student-athlete around whom Bailey wants to build the boys basketball
program at HSHS.
“He’s come out and really
busted his tail,” said Bailey. “He plays really in-your face D, he’s
working really hard, and I feel he deserves a big pat on the back, because
that kind of thing needs to be noticed.”
Jimenez will mostly play the
guard position. He said his favorite aspect of the game is protecting the
“I like defense, I feel like
I’m good at it,” he said.
Expanding on Jimenez’s
on-court role, Bailey said, “He’ll be in a ball handling capacity. Our
offense runs in such a way that we can run four – or five – guards if
we wanted to.”
Earlier in the week when Bailey
sent an e-mail suggesting an interview with Jimenez, he wrote, “Marc has
been a steady leader and a positive force for our early season work.”
Admittedly, a Herald reporter
roughly interpreted this as meaning there’s a new super kid on the
block, maybe a transfer from a 5A school with a 30 points per game scoring
That’s exactly the basketball
mindset Bailey wants to reset.
But one of the early questions
was: will Jimenez be an impact player with a capital 'I'?
Bailey’s definition of impact
players: “Guys that are here every day, when there’s an open gym, or
they’re going to the weight room with me, they’re taking it seriously;
when I tell them something they do it.”
Even before the first stat is
logged in, Jimenez is that kind of player in Bailey’s view.
“He’s here every day for
practice, he’s got a good attitude, he plays hard, and he’s got
physical skills,” said Bailey. “So, to me, that can be an impact
player, if we keep going in the right direction. He’s not there yet, but
he’s making an impact with leadership.”
Jimenez, when asked to describe
his strengths on offense, said driving the lane and scoring mostly off of
lay-ups are his fortes.
But he sees a bigger picture
beyond his offensive and defensive skill sets, mainly, “Trying to help
my teammates out, getting them where they need to be, helping them
Official practice started
Monday, Nov. 5, and the Tiger football players, whose varsity season ended
Friday at Silver, are making the transition to basketball starting this
That means Bailey is nowhere
close to announcing a starting five – not even Jimenez.
“He sure has a good shot,”
Bailey allowed. “He’s definitely one of our top six guys.”
With plenty of big men in the
lineup last season, Jimenez’s more slender frame also might have dimmed
any varsity aspirations.
“I think he’s a little slow
in maturity in terms of his body strength, and I think he’s a late
bloomer,” said Bailey. “Offensively, he’s improved quite a bit.”
That a youngster can stick to a
program when many a contemporary would succumb to impatience is what
impresses Bailey the most.
“He strikes me as a kid who’s
willing to be back here,” Bailey said, placing one hand in front of the
other. “He doesn’t show off or push himself to the front, and yet he’s
been doing all the right stuff.”
$6 Million Bond Election
By Tony A. Archuleta
When voters go to the polls
on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, they will also vote on three school board seats
up for election currently occupied by Ann Filosa, Cathy Vickers and Louis
this year, Filosa announced she will not seek reelection. Vickers and
Schwab have yet to announce whether they plan to seek another four-year
The date for filing a
declaration of candidacy at the Sierra County Clerk’s Office is
Wednesday, Dec. 19.
Loretta Brush (left), associate
vice president of municipal finance for Albuquerque-based RBC Capital
Markets, was on hand to present the resolution and informational
documentation related to the bond issue:
Bond authorization is $6
million to be sold over a four-year period with $1.5 million bond sales.
•Currently Truth or
Consequences Municipal School District has $10,175,000 outstanding bonds,
which represents 59.9 percent of bonding capacity.
•Assuming a successful
bond election, the district would remain at 55 percent level of bonding
capacity for the next four years.
•The property tax rate
related to the bond would remain at its current level of $5.67 per $1,000
of assessed valuation.
The ballot question will
read in part, “Shall the school district be authorized to issue general
obligation bonds for the purpose of erecting, remodeling, making additions
to and furnishing school buildings, purchasing or improving school
grounds, purchasing computer software and hardware for student use in
public schools, providing matching funds for capital outlay projects…”
Projects completed with
past bond issues include construction of Hot Springs High School &
Vocational Complex, Arrey Elementary School classroom additions, HVAC
installation district wide and roofing repairs at TorC Elementary.
Project needs include
district-wide health and safety upgrades, including playgrounds, fencing
and air-conditioning; district-wide ADA compliance upgrades; TCES
upgrades, TorC Middle School upgrades; athletic training facility;
technology; science labs; and transportation.
Other key dates: Jan. 8,
2013 (voter registration deadline) and Jan. 11 (early voting starts).
Robert Vise, the
district’s data coordinator, reported the 40th day student
count stands at 1,362, up from 1,350 the previous school year (2011-12).
The district is just two
students short of being 1 percent above last year’s 40th day
count, meaning it won’t qualify for accelerated funding through the
Public Education Department’s complex State Equalization Guarantee
“Maybe we can find two
extra kids,” Interim Superintendent Craig Cummins half-jokingly
“I’ll do my best,”
Cummins presented the board
with copies of the district Staff Handbook that has been merged with the
newly-signed collective bargaining agreement.
After months of acrimonious
talks between NEA-TorC and former Superintendent Tom Burris (now in
Roswell), Cummins, along with Assistant Superintendent Loren Cushman,
appear to have solved what had been a major PR and staff morale crisis
within the schools.
Cummins said he and Cushman
have been visiting each school to explain the new leave policy, which was
a major sticking point.
During public comment,
NEA-TorC Co-President Barbara Pearlman stated union reps and members alike
are “very pleased we got over that hurdle.”
Pearlman also announced
that that NEA-TorC “wholeheartedly” supports the upcoming bond issue.
administrative assistant at Central Office, said the district is in
serious need of substitute teachers. She invited interested individuals to
call the district at 575.894.8150 for information on applying for a
part-time, on-call position.
Wickstrom said the district
currently has 34 individuals on its substitute teacher roll but everything from
state and county fairs to
illness have left the district scrambling to find available subs.
Wickstrom also announced
her resignation from the school district effective the end of December.
“Her resignation hasn’t
been accepted yet,” Cummins quipped.
The board approved
Cummins’ recommendation to approve all students eligible for bus
transportation services. The change to policy largely affects students
living within two miles of Hot Springs High who were previously ineligible
to ride a bus to and from school.
Cushman explained the two
factors, which make all HSHS students eligible. First, the primary
pedestrian walkway – the recently installed sidewalk along New School
Road – is officially considered a hazardous walk zone because it leads
to a heavily trafficked commercial zone, the signalization-less North Date
Street intersection. Second, North Date’s posted speed limit is a
pedestrian unfriendly 40 mph.
Department also stands to benefit financially from the policy change.
“We can get 100 percent (funding) eligibility if you pass this,”