SI Eyes ’49 Bowie Bears; Haskins over $70,000


One of Sports Illustrated magazine’s top writers, Alexander Wolff, was in town recently talking to members of the 1949 Bowie High School team that won the first Texas high school baseball championship. The Bowie team had so many   

obstacles to overcome it’s been called a high school version of “Glory Road” which depicted UTEP’s march to the 1966 national basketball title. Many hope a movie of the Bears will some day become a reality, too. “Mr. Wolff was very thorough in his questions,” Gus Sambrano, a member of that 1949 Bowie team, says. Wolf has been with Sports Illustrated since 1980.


Trivia Question: How many times has UTEP changed names? Answer at end.


HOW WOULD you like to make more than $70,000 in eight months playing golf?  That’s how much El Paso’s Steve Haskins made this year in the first eight months on the PGA Champions Tour. He made the cut in 12 of the 13 tournaments he played in, averaged 72.1 strokes per round and averaged 267.6 yards per drive. His best finish was in the 3M Championship where he finished tied for 21st and won $19,906.25. His earnings total for the first eight months was $72,563.


JON TEICHER, play-by-play announcer of UTEP football and basketball games, told me before the football season that the Miners’ band had been working extra hard under its new director and was going to wow spectators at home games this year.  He was right. The band drew cheers and applause with its incredible energy and

new formations at the opener against Pine Bluff at Arkansas.  Memorable quote by new UTEP band director T. Andre Feagin: “It’s easy to be good; it’s difficult to be incredible.”


More info on Carson Greathouse as requested by readers: The 17-year-old Coronado  High golfer who recorded a two on the par five, 553-yard 14th hole at Santa Teresa Country Club recently, weighs only 138 pounds, is 5 feet 11 inches tall and scored a 69 the day of his “albatross.” Greathouse is just one of several outstanding Coronado golfers this year. In fact, the T-Birds, coached by Robert Pounds, are expected to win the local high school title.


HONORS GOLF Academy closed recently but owner/teacher Jack Welch isn’t giving up on helping golfers. He has set up a putting green, an area for hitting balls and a video camera in the backyard of his home. He will continue teaching either individuals or groups at home as well on the course at Dos Lagos Golf Course.   There will be no simulator but he smiles when he thinks of the overheard he’ll be saving.


SUNLAND PARK Racetrack and Casino was surprised by how many folks turned out to bet the All-American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs via simulcast last Monday.  Mutuels manager Steve Fedunak had to add several tellers, including a

supervisor, and activate more self-serve machines. It was a problem, but a good one for the track to have, one official pointed out.


AND KUDOS to the El Paso Times for appointing the first woman sports editor in the history of El Paso major newspapers. She’s Margaret Gallardo, who had worked at the newspaper several years before going into teaching. I was the first Hispanic sports editor in El Paso and Ruben Ramirez was the first Hispanic chief photographer. It’s always nice to be the first at something noteworthy.


ANSWER TO trivia question: Three. First it was State School of Mines and Metallurgy in 1914, then College of Mines and Metallurgy, El Paso, in 1919, then Texas Western College in 1949 and finally University of Texas at El Paso in

1967. The latter occurred when the University of Texas in Austin decided to name all its branch schools according to their cities.


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