Prep notes: Bernalillo boys basketball takes unusual coaching approach

Jun. 4—Stop us if you've heard this one before.

Because this one has a unique twist.

As Bernalillo High School segues into a new coaching situation for its boys basketball program, the Spartans are going down an extremely unusual and fascinating road.

Former Rio Rancho High standout — and former New Mexico State Aggie football legend — Chris Williams has been hired by Bernalillo as an "associate" head coach at Bernalillo.

Bernalillo's "executive" head coach will be Ira Harge Jr., who led Pecos to four consecutive state championships (2017-20) and who is the Spartans' athletic director.

"We're trying something different," Harge admitted.

Harge said he and Williams will combine their brainpower to run the program, with some wrinkles.

Williams will do the "heavy lifting," Harge said, although both men will work on game planning and organizing practices, plus player development.

Williams will run the Spartans at home games, with assistance from Harge, who said he wasn't sure if he'd be at all of Bernalillo's road games.

Harge said he thinks this arrangement will be in place for a season or two, before Bernalillo lifts the "associate" from Williams' title and he becomes the true head coach.

This is Williams' first head coaching job at the high school varsity level. He is one of Rio Rancho High's all-time great athletes, and played briefly in the NFL.

REYNOLDS: La Cueva's Braiden Reynolds had an enormous impact on the Bears in their state championship baseball season, and this week he was chosen as the Gatorade Player of the Year for New Mexico.

The junior won 10 games on the mound as La Cueva's ace pitcher, and a 2.17 ERA with one strikeout for every inning he pitched last season for the Class 5A champion Bears.

At the plate, hitting clean-up for La Cueva, Reynolds batted .551 with nine home runs and 69 RBIs, which La Cueva believes to be the single-season state record.

The 2023 baseball Gatorade recipient, Steven Milam of Centennial, was on the all-SEC freshman team this year for LSU.

STEVERSONS: The Steverson brothers, Daniel and Darius, are both now committed to playing for ABC Prep.

The older Steverson, Daniel, who just completed his senior season at Cleveland, where he was a dynamic 6-foot-4 guard for the Storm in addition to being a first-team Class 5A All-State selection, is hoping to improve his stock this summer with the prep school's post-graduate squad.

Darius Steverson was an eighth-grader for Cleveland last season.

NMAA BOARD P.S.: With the temperatures in Albuquerque expected to surpass 100 degrees on Thursday, it's a reminder that the NMAA has adjusted its heat illness policy following last week's board of directors meeting.

Every NMAA member school is required to obtain a Web Bulb Globe Temperature or heat index reading during practices and competitions. The former, the NMAA said, should be a school's first choice, as the WBGT is thought to be the best option to measure heat stress.

The national high school association has helped to provide New Mexico with WBGT devices, and pretty much all of the central and southern schools in the state, where the hottest temperatures are usually recorded in the summer months, are equipped, NMAA executive director Sally Marquez said.

There is also this addition to the NMAA illness protocol:

A "cold-water immersion tub, or other form of rapid on-site cooling should be available for all warm-weather practices," the new NMAA language reads. Those would help address potential heat stroke symptoms until an athlete can be transported to the hospital.