July 4 activities draw crowd

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Members of the Heritage Dairy team dash to the lake during Saturday’s Matt 25 Boat Race at Greene Acres Park. The team finished the time portion of the race with a time of 2.36.20.

By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico

The 14th annual Smoke on the Water got underway with the 3rd annual dairy boat race and live music at Greene Acres Park on Saturday.

“It was a blast,” Thousand Year Reign drummer, Cassie Paden, said. “It was a lot of fun.”

The group played at Smoke on the Water for the first time.

The threat of rain was in the air and sporadic announcements about the weather came in between sets.

Rick Tenorio of Clovis has been attending Smoke on the Water for a long time. He came to see an old high school friend, who was playing in one of the bands.

“For the past few years Smoke of the Water has been good,” Tenorio said. “It’s gotten better and better each year I think.”

Tenorio’s friend has played the Clovis event before, but with a different band.

Greg Von Hoene of Farwell and his family came to see Tenorio’s friend play also. They go traveling every few years and Clovis was the place they wanted to go for fireworks.

“I like the bands especially when they do tributes to the veterans,” Von Hoene said. “We tried to come early to catch the boat races.”

In boat races, a growing crowd gathered to watch a team sponsored by Dairy Farmers of America take the Milkman trophy. The team included Clovis High School soccer team members.

Clovis High School soccer coach Greg Trujillo said conditioning was what helped the team earn their victory.

“I’m proud of them. They have been working hard,” Trujillo said. “They been working on conditioning, basically running and lifting.”

“We just worked as a team and didn’t pay attention to anything else,” Collin Guthals after the win. “We just did our best, all of us.”

Kristian Arrington said they made sure they had strong rowers on the sides.

The biggest upset was the soccer team beat out the football team in the time trials to earn a higher seeding.

Arrington said the soccer team showed them that size didn’t matter.