2.25.2009

Anagrammatic wonders (Column)

By Louie St. George III
The Daily Times

Aztec’s march to regular-season perfection came to a sterling close Friday night at Hutchison Stadium, where the Tigers unleashed their point-a-minute offense in the fourth quarter to stave off Piedra Vista 38-21.

For a little perspective, we turn to the wacky world of anagrams, those ageless purveyors of truth. In doing so, one unmistakable reality surfaces:

The AHS Tigers boast a great hiss.

Regardless of whether Trev Hammargren really is a grammar hen, or whether Ben Livingston doubles as a snob given lint, the Tigers’ excellence is unequivocal. In 10 games, they scored a stunning 504 points, averaging better than 50 a contest.

Clearly, this isn’t your daddy’s brand of football. However, you could say the spread offense is your padre’s offense.

After Piedra Vista — that ruthless collection of avid pirates — closed the gap to two points Friday night at Hutch, Aztec turned to one of its many lightning-bolt playmakers, Jake Espinoza. By helping the Tigers pull away via an 80-yard touchdown reception, Espinoza was able to zap noise from a previously boisterous home crowd.

Aztec, which did an admirable job of keeping PV quarterback Brennon Shay (nab her, sonny) in check, earned its first 10-win, unblemished mark in program history. With such rousing success, it’s easy to see why standout senior running back Mike Hathcock has an unwavering ability to make chick hot (hey, I’m just reporting the anagrammatical findings).

Speaking of Mike Hathcock, it’s doubtful AHS coach Brad Hirsch will need his rugged runner to boot field goals during the state playoffs. But if he did, he’d likely say, “Hath, come kick.”

Cameron Mortensen is the regular kicker, though he hasn’t had much field goal work because of Aztec’s repeated trips to the end zone. For Mortensen, though, that’s OK. After all, men rest, no?

Naturally, regular-season brilliance wasn’t the lone goal for the Tigers when they huddled for the first time in early August. Instead, they’re chasing that elusive Blue Trophy (bro, yelp hut).

And with Artesia losing by 28 points to Goddard on Friday, perhaps Class 4A’s flagship program is destined for a dropoff. Which would make sense, considering Artesia really means “It’s a era.”

If Aztec keeps winning, a high-scoring rematch with Kirtland Central could be on the horizon. The Broncos’ area rich guy, Chay Aguirre, has feasted on opposing defenses, habitually churning out 100-yard games behind a space-clearing offensive line. Aguirre’s a picture of humility, always shoveling praise at his teammates and coaching staff.

His fellow Broncos, including Todd Farnsworth (farts doth drown), love him, in part, because Chay Aguirre gives a rare icy hug.

Congeniality didn’t help Aguirre and the Broncos avoid defeat against the Bloomfield Bobcats on Sept. 12. In all fairness, the Bobcats are one of the elite clubs in Class 3A. They’re a certifiable threat to capture a state crown, an achievement that would thrill coach Bruce Hatch, and at the same time beat church.

Even though the Farmington Scorpions aren’t headed to the postseason, they have established a reputation as ant-forming sonic pros. Quarterback Tyler Hough (RE: holy thug) and Tevin Fulkerson, one of those fluke inventors, will be back in 2009 to help the Scorps continue to grow.

Anagrams aren’t resigned simply to the gridiron. Just the opposite, in fact. Take Piedra Vista’s girls golf team, for example. The Lady Panthers are the defending state champs in Class 4A. They were nearly untouchable at the UNM South course last spring en route to a 40-stroke triumph.

Piedra Vista really was a par visited, and would have been justified in celebrating with avid parties. Depending on the nature of the festivities, Piedra Vista may have paid via rest, while consulting a avid priest.

Anagrams — gotta love ’em. They’re like little puzzles, similar to The Morse Code, which, of course, equals here come dots.

Published in The Daily Times (Farmington, NM) Nov. 9, 2008