SPORTS DIGEST: Kids, hone your hoop skills at a camp near you

New Rams coach plans camp
Lori Mabrey, the new varsity girls’ basketball coach at Rio Rancho High School, begins her second stint at RRHS with a June 13-17 “Lock Down” girls camp at Lincoln Middle School.
The camp, coached by Mabrey and “defensive stars” including former Cibola star Amaya Brown, who will play next season at UNM, is free and includes a t-shirt.
More information to come. Mabrey can be reached at 505-249-3883.

Only one player from the city at the state golf tournament
Neither Cleveland High Schools nor Rio Rancho qualified golf teams for last week’s Class 5A state tournament, held at Twin Warriors Golf Club.
The Storm did qualify one golfer, though: Lillian McKinley played rounds of 97 and 99 on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, and finished 26th out of 47 golfers.
Deming won the 5A boys title; Centennial won the girls blue trophy.

Rams need female JV soccer coach
Uwe Balzis, longtime women’s soccer coach at Rio Rancho High School, will retire from RPPS effective July 1.
He plans to return to RRHS and teach German part-time; he would also like to return to RRHS in the future to coach women’s soccer.
Longtime Rams assistant Todd Doss has been promoted to head coach for the 2022 season.
Doss needs a junior varsity coach for Season 22, an assignment that comes with a stipend.
If interested, email Doss at

Youth Basketball Camp at RRHS
Two Rio Rancho summer youth basketball camps, hosted by head coach Wally Salata, his assistant coaches and current players, are scheduled for May and June at Rio Rancho High School.
Session 1 runs from May 31 to June 3; Session 2 runs from June 13-17. Each camp runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day, with fundamentals emphasized from 9 to 11 and matches played from 11 to noon.
Camps are open to boys and girls in four divisions (Fall 2022, K-2, 3-4, 5-6, and 7-9, and no experience is necessary. Cost is $125 per session, with a maximum of 120 per session, and 30 campers per division. Each camper receives a basketball and camp t-shirt, and a concession stand with “ram cones” will be available.
For more information and to register, go to

Basketball camp in Cleveland too
Cleveland High Women’s Basketball will host two “Next Level” basketball skills camps this spring for girls and boys in grades 3-9.
The first session takes place from May 31 to June 2 from 8:30 a.m. to noon; the second session runs from June 13 to 15, also from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The cost is $85 for one session or $150 for both sessions.
Register at For more information, contact Head Coach Susan Kubala at or 505-550-2523.

The storm boys have a hoop camp
A one-on-one summer camp hosted by Cleveland High boys’ basketball coach Sean Jimenez takes place in the CHS gymnasium, aka the Thunderdome, June 6-8 from 9 a.m. to noon each day.
It’s for boys and girls ages 7-14, costs $85 per camper upfront ($100 at June 6 registration, if there are still spaces available), and includes a t- shirt and prices.
A concession stand will be open.
For more information, contact Jimenez at 505-730-8878 or

RRHS has two volleyball camps
Rams varsity volleyball coach Toby Manzanares, whose first season with the Rams dates back to 1997, and his assistants and regional coaches will host two upcoming camps in June.
Ram Camp 1: Designed for players (Grades 1-6 Fall 2022) interested in learning the game of volleyball. No experience is necessary. The camp will focus on introducing the fundamentals and techniques for all basic volleyball skills such as passing, attacking, serving, footwork, setting and defending.
This camp will also emphasize volleyball skills and drills to prepare sixth-grade players for the Rio Rancho Metro League and college tryouts (if applicable). Small group games will be played daily.
Camp runs from 6-8 p.m. June 23-24 and 9-11 a.m. June 25. The cost is $65 ($75 for walk-ins) and campers will receive a t-shirt and can win door prizes each day.
Ram Camp 2: Designed to prepare players for tryouts in their respective category. This camp will focus on volleyball skills and drills to prepare players in grades seven through 12 for school trials. Basics and techniques for all basic volleyball skills will be highlighted. The extra time will be spent on team play in small and large groups.
Camp runs from 6-9 p.m. August 1-3. The cost per camper is $85 ($100 daily), and campers receive a t-shirt and the chance to win a door prize each night.

Gladiators win on the road
The Duke City Gladiators scored the first 23 points of the game on Saturday May 7 and never looked back, earning their third win of the season, 43-20, over the Bay Area Panthers.
Bay Area (1-7) never got closer to 16 points after that, as they fell to the Gladiators (3-5) for the second time this season, after losing, 50-28, in their April 9 meeting at the Rio Rancho. Events Center.
Gladiators quarterback Ramone Atkins led the way, completing 11 of 23 passes for 108 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception.
Jared Elmore was on the receiving end of two of those touchdowns; Grego Dent Jr. also caught one.
Duke City’s defense limited Bay Area to just 95 yards on offense.
The Gladiators sit fourth in the IFL Western Conference, half a game ahead of the Vegas Night Hawks, where they play on Saturday when the Hawks host the Gladiators.
Duke City’s next home game is May 28 at 6 p.m. against the San Diego Strike Force.

The locals wear blue for the Little League World Seriesare
Little League International recently announced over 90 volunteer referees who will take to the courts for the July and August events.
“The impact of not having World Series events at full capacity for the past two years (due to the pandemic) had a major effect on players and coaches who were looking forward to playing on the most great scene in youth sports, but which has also left a profound impact on the volunteer umpires who dream of working at our World Series events each year,” said Tom Rawlings, Director of Umpire Development for Little League.
“We are honored and excited to welcome these dedicated individuals back onto the field this summer as they continue to work to provide the best possible experience for Little League players around the world. Their commitment and dedication as regular season and tournament umpires over the years has not gone unnoticed and we are proud to recognize their efforts with this honour.
Appointment as a member of the officiating team for a World Series is the highest honor Little League can bestow on a volunteer umpire. The referees who have been selected are based on nominations received since the 2019 season. Little League International will support all volunteer referees at all seven World Series events with a travel allowance to help offset costs for men and women. women attend their respective World Series events.
Rio Rancho’s Walt Gross was assigned to the Softball World Series in Greenville, North Carolina; Ronald Thompson, also of Rio Rancho, was assigned to the Senior League Softball World Series in Lower Sussex, Del. The two will also compete in the Southwest Regional Playoffs.