Editorial: ‘Cats’ success on gridiron a team effort

Last week's sports spotlight was on Clovis High School football coach Eric Roanhaus as he became New Mexico's all-time winningest football coach.

But as he's mentioned — about 500 times — he really doesn't want the attention. And as he's mentioned — another 500 times — he didn't reach this milestone alone.

So while we join the rest of the state and region in congratulating Coach Roanhaus on his success, this seems a proper time to applaud everyone who's had a role in the Wildcats' winning 311 games under Roanhaus' direction since 1978.

That includes two generations of players, from — let's see if we can bring back memories — Gus Williams and Spider Beachum to Michael Thompson, Brian Ainsworth, Darren Kelley, Hank Baskett, Nathan Nuttall and Joey Garcia to today's stars, Marshall Winn and Kamal Cass.

Roanhaus' success can also be attributed to Wildcats' fans, said school Superintendent Terry Myers, whose career has spanned 10 school districts.

"I've never been anywhere that has this kind of community support," Myers said on Friday.

"Clovis is a special place in that sense. We have had really good kids, good athletes, and of course there is the fact that he (Roanhaus) is a good coach. But we've also had a lot of people in the community who truly support this program and this school."

That said, we cannot dismiss another fact: Roanhaus is the catalyst for Clovis' great football players and its supporters.

His no-retreat, no-nonsense, no-apologies approach to the game, and to life itself, have not always been popular with everyone he's encountered. But his style, his tenacity, his dedication to winning, has bred loyalty and, now, more victories than any New Mexico football coach before him.

We don't want to put you alone under that spotlight, Coach, but we do want to congratulate you and all those who share in bringing respect and pride to the east side of the state through our football program.

Gattis Middle School off to good start

Another Clovis Municipal Schools success worth trumpeting is the district's handling of redistricting related to its new middle school.

An issue that easily could have led to division in the community was completed last week with nary a whisper of controversy.

Myers said he's had only "one or two calls" from concerned taxpayers about the issue. He attributes the smooth sailing to transparency, easy access to information and plenty of opportunity for community feedback.

"Also, we hired an independent group to (present options), and so I think the community felt like there was no personal agenda in developing those lines," he said.

School board members unanimously adopted "Option C" for filling W.D. Gattis Middle School, which opens next fall.

The school district's website for weeks has posted maps of the four redistricting options so parents can see exactly how each would impact their children. The district also held two meetings specifically to gather public input and answer questions before the board voted.

School boundaries can be emotional issues, but it seems CMS officials have successfully avoided public outcry with their approach to creating these for Clovis' three middle schools.

Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the Clovis Media Inc. editorial board, which includes Publisher Ray Sullivan and Editor David Stevens.

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