Newcomb, 'Prep at top of District 1-2A volleyball standings
By Sunnie Clahchischiligi
FARMINGTON, N.M., Oct. 24, 2013
It is a philosophy that local coaches in northern New Mexico districts are constantly reminding themselves as their teams roll through the district season.
In District 1-2A, the largest district in the state that is made up of eight teams, players are stepping up as opponents become more unpredictable.
Navajo Prep head coach Rainy Crisp said after two district losses, one to Newcomb and the other to Crownpoint, her team knows better than to head into a match overconfident.
"Now that they're starting the second round of district they know now not to take anybody for granted," Crisp said of her team. "Those two losses I think was a great eye opener for us. That's probably what we needed to come out and play more aggressive."
In the team's most recent 4-1 win over district contender Ramah, the victory put them 6-2 in district and No. 2 in the standings.
Crisp said her team has lacked consistency in recent weeks but believes there is still time to fix those kinks.
"We have to play smart and everybody just has to come out ready to play mentally," Crisp said. "We're a great team, we have many options that we can go to -- we have all of it, it's just more of our mental aspect."
As of deadline, Newcomb is leading the district with an undefeated record of 9-0, Navajo Prep follows in second, Crowpoint's in third with their 6-4 record, Ramah in fourth at 5-4, followed by Zuni, Rehoboth, Navajo Pine and Tohatchi.
The Shiprock Lady Chiefs might not be leading the district but that doesn't mean they should drop off of anyone's radar.
Like district 1-2A, the 1-3A district is also a place for unpredictability.
Shiprock head coach Rae Collins said her team faced some adversity at the beginning of the season but they have improved just in time.
"That's one thing about our district, they're always, always improving," she said.
"We always have to constantly be on guard and make sure we're always one step ahead. We never know who's going to show up."
That could include them.
Sitting No. 3 with their district record of 1-2, the Lady Chiefs have already made some changes to an inconsistent regular season.
Collins said if her team continues to make vast improvements they too will be a team to look out for come district playoff time.
"I think we still have areas to improve on and the girls realize that," she said. "They're still hungry and I'm still hungry for them to learn everything that they need to so that way they're always, always not letting their guard down."
Wingate leads the district with a district record of 2-0, Thoreau is in second with a 2-1 record, Shiprock in third and Bloomfield in fourth with a 0-2 record.
Piedra Vista has long dominated the 1-4A district and this season doesn't seem to be any different.
The Lady Panthers lead the district 2-0 so far.
Piedra Vista head coach Ron Becker said he's content with the way his team is playing but will not take any district opponents lightly.
"We've got some challenging games," he said. "Farmington is playing really well. I'm really looking forward to how deep we can go into the season. The girls are doing a good job."
Becker said the team has run into a few close games in their district especially with Farmington.
"If we can go out and do our best like I know we can, I really don't have a doubt in my mind we can win state," he said.
Farmington and Aztec trail Piedra Vista in the standings with a record of 1-1 each and Kirtland Central sits in last place with a record of 0-2.