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BULLDOG SPIRIT - The Artesia High School gym erupted with a chorus of cheers during a pep rally kicking off the 1976 football season. Above, the AHS juniors, winners of the pep rally spirit contest, cheer the Bulldogs on to victory over their first opponent of the season, the Goddard Rockets. The two teams clashed at 7:30 p.m. in the Roswell Wool Bowl. (Daily Press 1976 File Photo)

BULLDOG SPIRIT – The Artesia High School gym erupted with a chorus of cheers during a pep rally kicking off the 1976 football season. Above, the AHS juniors, winners of the pep rally spirit contest, cheer the Bulldogs on to victory over their first opponent of the season, the Goddard Rockets. The two teams clashed at 7:30 p.m. in the Roswell Wool Bowl. (Daily Press 1976 File Photo)

Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from Aug. 28 – Sept. 3.

40 years ago
Aug. 28 – Sept. 3, 1976

The recently refurnished student dormitories at Artesia Christian College, which have remained empty for more than four years, were occupied once again last week as the college welcomed it first full-time students. Dean of Students Mark Layman addressed a portion of the 30 students taking part in orientation week activities. Students spent much of their time learning of the rules and instructions they must follow while in school, with additional time devoted to exploring the campus and the Artesia community.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Fred Gage, a teacher in the Weed School, is also the school bus driver this year for the Pinon to Weed and back route. Mrs. Valorie Harris from Timberon, drives the bus from there to Pinon to meet the other bus. In the afternoons she picks up the children at Pinon and returns them to Timberon. Reg and Linda Baily, owners and operators of the Timberon store, are the mail carriers to and from Timberon. Mrs. Jeanette Coupland is working for the post office in Pinon while Mrs. Linda Parker is away for the birth of her baby. Jake Van Winkle reports he is still working in the Guadalupe National Forest near Queen, and will work there two more weeks before he finishes the job.

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Those speedy running backs from Odessa that the Bulldogs had been hearing about all last week proved to be less of a threat than anticipated Saturday, as the Bulldogs capped off their second preseason scrimmage with a 3-1 victory over the Odessa Ector Eagles.

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Bulldog running back Mike Welch has been described as one of the best backs as far as speed and agility that the Big Orange has seen in several seasons. Mike will get his chance to prove it tonight when the Bulldogs take on the Goddard Rockets in their season opener.

30 years ago
Aug. 28 – Sept. 3, 1986

Artesia High School varsity cheerleaders Patty Crenshaw and Suzi Carter hoisted a mannequin nicknamed “Willie Warrior” up in the air, utilizing the flag pole in front of Artesia High School as a makeshift gallows. Willie, constructed by the cheerleaders, represents the Ruidoso Warriors, and his place in the air the past three days represented what all good Bulldog fans hope Artesia’s varsity football team does to Ruidoso in the season opener tonight in Ruidoso.

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Two modern-day prospectors attempting to uncover an old silver mine shaft on Dog Canyon Road narrowly escaped serious injury Friday afternoon when a shaft the two had dug caved in beneath them, burying one man to his shoulders. Tom Petterson and companion Troy Farrar were working along a rock face seeking the old shaft when the two took a break. “We were just sitting up there when it came in on us,” Petterson said. “It must have come from someplace underneath us, out of sight, because we had been real careful.” He said the two planned to continue seeking the old mine shaft but only using heavy earth-moving equipment.

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Ruidoso Coach Cooper Henderson, looking around for his offense a week ago, found it Friday as his Warriors opened defense of their Class 3A state football title with a sound 4323 whipping of the Artesia Bulldogs in Ruidoso.

20 years ago
Aug. 28 – Sept. 3, 1996

Winning division titles at Artesia Country Club’s 1996 Club Championship golf tournament this past weekend were George Moreau, Jeff Battin and Patty Fuller.

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Former Artesia High School standouts Jeff Houghtaling, Ty Houghtaling and David Patterson will be on TV when New Mexico State University hosts the University of New Mexico in the season opener for both teams. Jeff Houghtaling will be wearing No.13 for the Lobos, while his brother Ty and Patterson will be wearing Nos. 3 and 18 respectively for the Aggies. Patterson and Jeff Houghtaling are projected starters.

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Aw, phooey — they didn’t get a hundred. They came close, though. Artesia and Ruidoso lit up the scoreboard for 96 total points and 881 yards of offense Friday to open the 1996 prep football season in Ruidoso. The Bulldogs outlasted the Warriors 58-38 to give Coach Cooper Henderson his 100th career victory as a head coach. He won 43 games in five seasons at Ruidoso and has 57 wins in seven-seasons-plus-one-game at Artesia. “There’s no significance, the way I see it,” Henderson said of win No. 100.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Mike Lacer is taking schooling in chiropractic in New York and still lacks some time. He and his wife were dreading the trip back, it is so far. They planned to leave very early Thursday morning. Mrs. Holcomb enjoyed so much to see her grandson, Mike, and family.

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Rainwater tumbled over a flood control spillway Saturday afternoon as water was released from the massive flood control dam west of Artesia. Officials issued warnings that three to five feet of water would be running through Eagle Draw Saturday afternoon. Heavy rains Friday, with some areas reporting as much as two inches, resulted in the accumulation of water behind the dam.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Looking Back is compiled each week by Daily Press Community Living Editor Teresa Lemon.)