2011-09-07, Blair Quinn, NMSU Soccer

After President Ross Ramsey led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and Mel Parish’s invocation, Janet Green led the a capella singing of “America.” After visiting a few minutes, we discovered that Andy Taylor was the mystery greeter on his return from Korea for the fall semester. 

President Ross announced the September birthdays, club anniversaries, and wedding anniversaries.  Ross and Chris Ramsey were celebrating their 52nd anniversary on the 7th; they were junior on the day both to Jim and Wanda Bullock (55) and Jim and Marta Scott (61).  There were some appropriate contributions to the club project.  Elaine Szalay remembered her father’s September birthday with a can contribution. 

We marked the fall semester’s beginning with the return of high school student guests.  Mel Parish introduced Ryan Stultz, whose LCHS activities include AP classes, band, and video games.  Mel also introduced Isaac Merry from Oñate, who enjoys golf and basketball, and plans to study business management.  Keith Houser introduced Bethany Blundell, Mayfield’s senior class president, planning to study journalism.  Ana Mangino presented Derek Davidson, an Eagle Scout at Mesilla Valley Christian, who participates in FFA, Praise Team, and Students Leading by Service.  President Ross reminded them about their brief talks at the end of the month. 

Barbara Couture and Jay JordanNext, President Ross had Wanda Mattiace introduce her guests; who included Becky Veitch, impersonating a Loman Realty employee, and the university’s assistant soccer coaches.  Dave Lemen presented Sun-News publisher Frank Leto.  Jay Jordan noted the presence of honorary member Barbara Couture, whose busy schedule does not permit her to attend often.  Past Assistant Governor Deb Widger also attended. 


Past President Richelle Ponder announced the new date for the postponed Great Day of Service project to be October 1; she will be seeking volunteers to plant plants on West Picacho.  More details to come soon.  President Ross reminded us about the Preciado Park picnic for international students hosted by the Mesilla Valley Club at 4:00 p.m. September 11.  Matt Holt told us again about the Dress the Child gourmet dinner on October 2 at the Convention Center; tickets are still available, and so far, the Rio Grande club has outspent us.  (Yes, that was a challenge). 

NMSU soccerThe Program—Blair Quinn, NMSU Soccer

September program chair Wanda Mattiace introduced new NMSU soccer coach Blair Quinn, who introduced his assistants, Cortney Sobrero and Jill Shoquist.  He noted the emphasis in his hiring process on community service, and that he was giving more talks and interviews this week than he has previously in his entire life.  He was raised near Kansas City, and likes that Las Cruces folks are also polite and courteous drivers.  Las Cruces is much like his home, but with better weather, and a real focus on NMSU sports. 

The third-year soccer team has 27 players, 15 of whom are freshmen, with only one senior.  He believes that the university and the athletic department have provided a good foundation for success.  Fan support for soccer is excellent here; the average attendance of about 1,000 per match is among the nation’s leaders.  The team is still seeking on-field leadership, but is on a four match win streak, with two home matches this weekend (against Northern Colorado and Arkansas-Little Rock).  He talked about the team’s typical week during the season: classes in the morning, practices Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for a couple of hours “in the warm” of the afternoon (2-4), with matches on Fridays and Sundays. 

Blair Quinn and Jill ShoquistThe club then took over the presentation with questions, which Coach Quinn handled deftly.  Mel Parish asked where were the matches; Aggie Memorial Stadium until the new soccer facility, between the football and softball stadiums, is completed.  Blaine Goss asked about the existing practice facility east of the stadium on Stewart Street; that is planned to be used until the new facility is completed, but Coach Quinn would then like to practice on the new pitch, to develop a home field advantage.  Bobby Rankin asked about scholarships (14 full scholarships to be divided among the roster) and New Mexico natives (9 of the 27). 

Mary Ellen McKay asked about Coach Quinn’s professional soccer career; he said that it took him to Dallas, Tallahassee, Sacramento, Phoenix, and home to Kansas City before his 2003 retirement.  Jim Parks asked about the strengths of the team; Coach Quinn emphasized the experience and talent of the back line, which only allowed one goal in the prior four matches.  Blaine Goss asked about plays; it looked to him like they just ran around looking for a break.  Coach Quinn acknowledged that was generally the plan.  His 4-3-3 system has an extra midfielder to try to outnumber the opponent in the middle of the field.  The only set plays are on corner kicks: the “all in”, where everyone is in the box; and the “fun bunch,” where a group of five players moves constantly to avoid being marked. 

Curt Coleman asked if the team could run constantly for five minutes; Coach Quinn said that they “better be able to do that.”  He expects extreme fitness, and to always be in better condition than the opponent.  Dave Lemen asked about the upcoming WAC conference matches.  Coach Quinn noted that the Aggies were picked last in the preseason poll, to which he pays little heed as it basically reflects the prior year’s finish.  He believes that the predictions do not take into account the added experience on the team, the new facility or the new coaching staff.  He also noted that both Utah State and Fresno State have had good starts to their seasons. 

After the Program

Mary Ellen McKay won the 50/50 drawing before Treasurer Paulina Salopek announced that $190 was raised for the Child Crisis Center project.  The 4-Way Test was recited as we closed the meeting. 

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians



Marta Scott

Jim Scott

Becky Veitch

Wanda Mattiace

Frank Leto

Dave Lemen

Cortney Sobrero

Wanda Mattiace

Jill Shoquist

Wanda Mattiace

Visiting Rotarians


Home Club

Deb Widger

Mesilla Valley

Student Guests



Ryan Stultz

Las Cruces

Bethany Blundell


Isaac Merry


Derek Davidson

Mesilla Valley Christian





Elaine Szalay


Rio Grande

September Birthdays of Rotarians

Paulina Salopek

September 2

Denton Holmes

September 11

Earl Phillips

September 15

Mel Parish

September 19

Paul Comeau

September 21

Rita Sandoval

September 23

Walt Baker

September 24

Rick Jackson

September 27

September Wedding Anniversaries

Dinus & June Briggs

49 years

September 2

David & Carolyn O’Brien

44 years

September 2

Mary Ellen & Franklin McKay

22 years

September 2

Bobby & Margie Rankin

52 years

September 5

Jim & Marta Scott

61 years

September 7

Jim & Wanda Bullock

55 years

September 7

Ross & Christine Ramsey

52 years

September 7

Paul & Linda Comeau

9 years

September 18

George & Kaye Miller

47 years

September 19

September Club Anniversaries

John McDowell

51 years

September 6

Alex Keatts

12 years

September 8

Janet Green

10 years

September 10

Jay Jordan

7 years (this time)

September 15

Bobby Rankin

41 years

September 16

Gerald Thomas

41 years

September 20

Rick Jackson

9 years

September 28

Submitted by Bill Harty Bill Harty