Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Roster Recognizes Solid Hits in School Athletics.(West Side Journal)

Byline: James Yodice Of the Journal

Until "American Idol" accepts sports writing as a talent, those of us who "labor" in our comfortable chairs sitting in front of our keyboards must be content with being public servants on whom the limelight never shines. In this line of work, the public never calls to vote whether we should win or lose (that's probably a good thing) -- they only call to complain.

For now, it's all good, as I present my spring sports awards (it's a little baseball-heavy, but that is not intentional). Next Tuesday, I'll have my third annual Year in Review column.

MALE ATHLETE OF THE SPRING: My three finalists are Cibola sophomore tennis player Corey Smith, Bernalillo senior baseball player Mike Chavez and St. Pius senior baseball player Luke Hopkins.

Tennis is one sport where age hardly ever matters, but even still, Smith's game is mature and assured and he should be a state champion before he graduates.

Chavez was an anchor for the Spartans, and kept Bernalillo in the championship game against St. Michael's with some great relief pitching.

But there can't be any debate about who deserves this award the most, and that's Hopkins. …

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