The Primero Veterans Memorial Gymnasium made its formal debut at a middle school boys and girls basketball tournament held on Friday, Nov. 15, featuring teams from Aguilar, Kim, Raton and Primero.

“Our first event in the new gym was exciting and extremely successful,” said Athletic Director Jose Esquivias.

Games ran simultaneously, with teams playing in both the old and new gyms at the same time. “This allowed us to hold an effective tournament with excellent time management,” said Esquivias.

The tournament was a group effort for Primero’s students and staff. “Our high school athletes helped with concessions and hospitality,” said Esquivias. “Our middle school athletes played in the tournament or participated in game day responsibilities such as filming, photos, bookkeeping, and running the game clock.”

“We had families donate concession items and cheer on their team. We had numerous teachers helping out, such as English teacher Patricia Johnson who led the photo club throughout the venue, and art teacher Stephanie Warren who coached the Primero girls team.” 

Raton swept the tournament, with both the boys and girls teams finishing in first place. The Primero boys took second, as did the girls team from  Aguilar.

“It was amazing to see our Primero teams have over 15 players on each team, and for our coaches to rotate the players consistently,” said Esquivias.

This was the start of a 19-game season for the Bulldogs. “We are going from six games last year to 19 games this year,” said Esquivias. “We are growing in all aspects of the athletic department, from maximizing scheduled games to participating in many community activities.”

Two standout players for the middle school Bulldog teams were Isabella Maldonado for the girls, with outstanding defensive hustle and blocks, and Brett Kendall, with strong offensive scoring and team leadership. “It was awesome to see Isabella step up and take on such a big roll for our girls team. And it is exciting to watch a player like Brett Kendall; he is an explosive, high speed game changer that motivates his team to get better and try harder,” said Esquivias. 

“Please come out and check out our games; see Facebook for our schedule. You will enjoy the new concessions, facility, and games.”

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