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Running back Larry Whitehead (25) became one of three Bulldogs to top the 1,000-yard offensive mark after he raced for 85 yards on seven carries. Whitehead, along with James Baker and Jerry Brown, are now among the top rushers and passers in the state. Next Saturday, the Bulldogs welcome the Socorro Warriors to Bulldog Bowl for the battle for the 1976 Class 3A football crown. The Bulldogs will be hoping to make it three in a row. (Daily Press 1976 File Photo)

Running back Larry Whitehead (25) became one of three Bulldogs to top the 1,000-yard offensive mark after he raced for 85 yards on seven carries. Whitehead, along with James Baker and Jerry Brown, are now among the top rushers and passers in the state. Next Saturday, the Bulldogs welcome the Socorro Warriors to Bulldog Bowl for the battle for the 1976 Class 3A football crown. The Bulldogs will be hoping to make it three in a row. (Daily Press 1976 File Photo)

Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from Nov. 29 – Dec. 3.

40 years ago
Nov. 29 – Dec. 3, 1976

Temperatures dipping below 25 degrees, accompanied by blizzard-like conditions, could not stop the Artesia Bulldogs Saturday. The Big Orange continued its assault on the Class 3A state football crown by defeating Taos, 48-6, in the semifinal contest called because of a weather-related injury. Saturday’s contest was called with nine minutes and 48 seconds left after Taos running back Danny Trujillo suffered an apparent injury to his shoulder in attempting to catch a pass in the Bulldog end zone. The slick field, combined with an intense pass defense, sent the receiver tumbling to the turf. He was taken to Artesia General Hospital by ambulance. The nearly unbearable weather conditions in the Bowl, which drove most of the fans to the warmth of their homes, did not help the Tigers one bit, as anticipated by Tiger head coach Benny Gallegos. Gallegos was overheard to have said before the game that bad weather would be to his team’s advantage.

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Winners have been named in the annual Father-Son Cake Bake sponsored by Cub Scout Pack 43 at Abo Elementary School. Selected as top cake bakers and decorators in the competition were Shane Clark, son of Steve Clark, Best Cub Scout Theme; Steve Martin, son of Burrell Martin, Best Rural America Theme; John Hutchinson, son of Bill Hutchinson, Most Unusual Cake; and Jeffrey Foy, son of Jean Sutton, Prettiest Cake.

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As reported in Big Orange Country: Students at Artesia High School rejoiced this week because, for a change, they got to spend more time out of school instead of the other way around. School was held only Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in honor of Thanksgiving. A good lesson can be learned from the dance held by the Student Council last Friday night. Dances aren’t good moneymaking projects. After paying the band, police and other expenses, they discovered that their net profit was $1. Oh well, at least they didn’t lose any money.

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As reported in the Pinon News: It was reported here the past week, that on the highway between Pinon and Dunken, some hunters had parked their pickup and trailer on the highway and were stretching their tent across the highway. An officer happened by and made them move to the roadside. It was in a place that cars coming to Pinon would have hit them, as they could not have stopped in time after seeing them.

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Over 200 pounds of marijuana and other illegal drugs confiscated by Artesia police over the past 20 months went up in smoke this morning at the city dump after a court order was issued ordering destruction of the contraband. It was the largest quantity of illegal drugs ever destroyed by Artesia police at one time. The marijuana, amounting to 214.5 pounds, was reported to be the largest single seizure ever by the Artesia Police Department. The man arrested in April in connection with the marijuana pleaded guilty recently in district court and was fined $1,000. After being thoroughly burned, the marijuana and remains of the other drugs were to be covered with dirt, authorities said.

30 years ago
Nov. 29 – Dec. 3, 1986

Rob Young is ready to play, but then again, if you have met Rob in the short time he’s been in Artesia, you can tell he’s been ready to play for quite a while. Young is the new girls’ basketball coach at Artesia High School, and his varsity and junior varsity teams open their 1986-87 seasons Tuesday. Even with a solid basketball background – both playing and coaching – in Texas, he still will be a rookie of sorts, especially when it comes to going through the opponents the Bulldogs have traded steals with for the past decade or more. He’s heard horror stories about some of them; others he’s just heard about, period. Young admits he’s the excitable type but maintains he’ll wait and see what happens when he encounters some of these teams for the first time.

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Navajo Refining Co. honored retiring employee Wilma McCasland Wednesday with a going-away party. McCasland had been with the refinery for more than 16 years. She was department supervisor for sales and accounts receivable. She said she and her husband plan to do some traveling.

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As reported in the Pinon News: The Pinon School bus enroute from the Weed School to Pinon Friday ran out of fuel and was at the Basil Holcomb ranch. Some of the children came to Basil’s and called to have Mrs. Hunter Smith bring the Timberon bus to meet them. Mrs. Teel called Vaughn Teel to meet her and help get the bust started and on the way home.

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The Navajo Rowdies won the Under12 Boys’ Division title in the Artesia Youth Soccer League this fall, racking up a 9-0 record. The team was comprised of Raymond Gabaldon, Orlando Granado, Tommy Tigert, Sidney Giles, Jeremy Atkins, Jason Mansell, Lance Hilliard, Trad Morgan, Dusty Simmons, Darren Needham, Jeremy Cooper and Bobby Vaughn, and was coached by Wayne Mansell and Pat Simmons.

20 years ago
Nov. 29 – Dec. 3, 1996

It wasn’t an auspicious debut for Park Junior High School’s “orange” basketball teams as all four lost their season openers to Lovington. The Bulldog boys were swept at home while the Bulldog girls fell at Lovington.

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Try a few of these numbers on for size: six touchdown passes, 452 passing yards, 621 total yards, 948 combined yards. It wasn’t a good day for the defenses Saturday as Artesia waxed Socorro 63-34 in a Class 3A semifinal football game in Socorro. The win boosted the Bulldogs to 10-2 on the season and sends them to Raton Dec. 7 to play the Tigers for the state title.

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Artesia High School Choir Director Jerry Luck announced that 12 Artesia High School choir students were selected for the 1997 New Mexico All-State Choir. Those selected were Tao Yates, Jennifer Becker, Stephanie Deans, Mandy Davis, Holly Hill, Bryan Barnett, Ricky Swafford, Yonara Pereles, Reggie Lara, Robert Chumbley, Chad LaRue and Kenneth Cherry. This is the second year to be selected for Yates, Becker, Deans and Chumbley, and the third year to be selected for Barnett and Swafford.

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As reported in the Pinon News: A large number of the Pinon people are upset about the boy that shot at a deer right in Pinon Wednesday evening of last week. He was either in Mrs. Oma Gage’s yard, in the highway just in front of her house, or in Mrs. Holcomb’s yard, when he shot at the deer and shot a hole in her propane tank. If the bullet had missed the tank or traveled through it, the bullet would have gone into her home. The boy or young man was dismissed of charges because he missed the deer, and that made it an accident, according to reports in the area Wednesday. That leaves Mrs. Holcomb all the bills to pay. If the tank had exploded, a number of all the people in Pinon could have lost their homes.

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