Demons baseball players have bling-powered motivation | Sports | – Santa Fe New Mexican


You’ve seen The U’s turnover chain and probably heard about the various rip-offs like Kennesaw State’s turnover plank, Florida State’s turnover backpack or even the San Diego Padres’ swag chain that comes with its own bedazzled spinner logo.

Santa Fe High’s baseball team has its own MVP chain.

Demons pitcher Nick Sandoval got to wear it home after tossing a complete game one-hitter in Saturday’s finals of the Jim Pierce Memorial Tournament at St. Michael’s. The team votes on a player of the game after each contest and the winner has the previous chainholder bestow upon him the bling that makes the entire team sing.

“My second time getting this,” Sandoval said, tilting the coach-made plate-sized medallion so he could get a better look at it. “It’s great, isn’t it?”

The chain is the brainchild of coach Ian Farris and his staff as a way to motivate the team. They began passing around a WWE-type championship belt after instrasquad scrimmages in practice, but that quickly morphed into suggestions of something else like a trident similar to what the Oakland A’s pass around.

“Then somebody mentioned the swag chain the Padres do with spinners,” Farris said. “I went online and couldn’t find a way to buy it, so we just made it ourselves. Now it’s something fun to look forward to. They know if they do something special, they’ll get to wear it.”

New Mexico State’s run in the NCAA Tournament wasn’t the only foray for the state in the Big Dance. The East Regional included No. 13 seed Akron, the champion of the Mid-American Conference tournament and a first-round opponent of perennial power UCLA.

The Zips hung tough but were ultimately sent home with a 57-53 loss Thursday while playing in Portland, Ore.

Akron’s coaching staff includes Santa Fe’s own Isaiah Brooks, a Capital High and University of New Mexico graduate who was hired as a graduate assistant with the Zips prior to this season. Brooks, who’s identified on Akron’s basketball website as Isaiah Brooks-Sena, spent four years as a team manager with the Lobos and officially broke into the coaching ranks with the Zips.

New Mexico School for the Deaf’s Bruce Brewer Jr. did a lot on the basketball court for the Roadrunners in four years (it would have been five, if not for the coronavirus pandemic for the 2020-21 school year). He is hoping to do more this spring.

The senior was recently named to the Team USA for the 2022 Deaflympics, to be held in Caxias do Sul, Brazil, from May 1-15. Brewer earned the spot, thanks in part to a sterling senior year in which he averaged 27.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.

However, Brewer is now in fundraising mode, and his school is helping …….


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