As I was flipping through the tv the other night, I stopped at the Olympics Trials. It was swimming. To my surprise, Will Licon, former El Paso swimmer was in the trials. Will represented El Paso well. He made it to the 100M breaststroke finals but finished 6th place. Now wait and think about this. An El Pasoan finished 6th at the Olympics trials. WOW! How many of us saw Will swim in El Paso? El Paso swimming community is strong and we should pay attention to the kids that excel here in El Paso.
I did a search of how many players from UTEP football are in the NFL. 5 players are on active NFL roster including Aaron Jones and Will Hernandez. And don’t forget about Steven Montes who played at Del Valle high school, then college at Colorado and last year was with the Washington Redskins.
UTEP track program has been world class for years. Many have participated in the Olympics, marathons, etc. Yet, many of us do not go to track meets at UTEP.
Kayla Thornton from Irvin High School and UTEP is still playing for the Dallas Wings in the WNBA. Omar Salgado played for the Locomotives and attended Cathedral High School.
We may watch these world class athletes on Saturday or Sunday or we might see them in the Olympics but not locally.
We have world class talent in high schools around the city. We have UTEP sports that has world class talent. Sun Bowl and WestStar Basketball Tournament that hosts players that will move to the upper levels of their sports. It is time we support our youth in this city, watch talented athletes and be prepared to talk about the old days of seeing our world class athletes.
Story by Bill Coon