Nine Coronado Cheerleaders Named All-American





Top row -- Kelly Kay Moore, captain Veronica Franco and Kristen Barrow




Middle row -- Ashley Rook, Kelsey Shinaut and Lexi Johnson






From left: front row -- Brittany Holbrook, Daryl Stein and Morgan Taff




The Coronado High cheerleaders, coached by Amy Stell, piled up more honors at the National Cheerleaders Association competition in Dallas recently. The T-Birds, already acclaimed as one of the best cheerleaders squads in the nation, garnered team honors and individual accolades. Nine of them were named All-American. One of the cheerleaders, Kelly Kay Moore, was even invited to become an NCA staffer,


Among individual award winners:


Junior varsity- --Alex Rico, Chelsea Reiter, Brittany Holbrook. All-American honors were awarded to Brittany Holbrook, Morgan Taff and captain Daryl Stein.


Varsity --  Kelsey Shinaut, Stephanie Estrada, Karly Porras, Ashley Rook, Lexi Johnson, Lauren Gute, Shelby Broaddus, Veronica Franco and Amanda Mitchell.  All-American honors were awarded to Veronica Franco, Kristen Barrow, Kelly Kay Moore, Ashley Rook, Lexi Johnson and Kelsey Shinaut.



TRIVIA QUESTION:  Remember the “Fearsome Foursome” of the Los Angeles Rams? Can you name them? Answer at end.



JEFF HAAG, as we have noted before, is writing a book about the late Chuck Hughes, one of the greatest wide receivers ever to play for UTEP. He died of a heart attack during a National Football League game while playing for the Detroit Lions.


Haag recently sent me some notes he collected for his book of Hughes’ involvement in the Miners’ “Turning Point Game” against Utah in 1966. Those of us who were around then remember the game well but Haag describes it and the winning play in which the Miners pulled out a last second victory in such minute detail that it’s even more thrilling to read today. He places key players on both teams in the exact spot they were in as the play developed.




THE EXCERPT also includes some tidbits that haven’t been published before or have been forgotten. Like, for instance:


That the Miners had won their first four games that season then lost three in a row and went into the game against Utah with their confidence shaken; that there had been a horrific airplane crash at the Utah airport the day before UTEP arrived and when the Miners’ plane landed the players had to taxi by the wreckage, shaking them even more; that the Miners were stinking up the place with turnovers until that unforgettable 92-yard pass play from Billy Stevens to Bob Wallace that gave the Miners a 20-19 victory, changed everything and sent the team to a great season; that Miners basketball coach Don Haskins was at the game and was so happy after the winning play he almost broke Miners public relations director Eddie Mullens’ back with slaps of joy.




ANOTHER BOOK that I’m waiting eagerly for is El Pasoan Joe Shepard’s upcoming recount of quarterback Jim Wardy and Cathedral High School’s legendary football team of 50 years ago. The 1949 Irish won eight games and pulled the school’s biggest upset by beating Austin High, the powerhouse of the district then, 21-0.


Alan O’Brien, who was a member of that team, writes, “ I keep in touch with the guys that are left, now 15 out of the original 33. My teammates like Francisco Flood and Joe Shepard and I still talk and relive our great 1949 team. Bob Ingram (El Paso Herald-Post sports editor at the time) called it the school’s greatest victory. Joe’s upcoming book is full of our stories. I have a bottle of Christian Brothers wine that will go to our last survivor.”



ANSWER to trivia question: Rosey Grier, Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen and Lamar Lundy.


Veteran sports journalist and author Ray Sanchez welcomes suggestions for his column. Contact him at (915) 584-0626, by e-mail at or online at