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While preparing for Saturday’s Class 3A state championship football game in Raton, Artesia Bulldog football players took a short break from practice to listen to a pep talk by Tom Jager. Jager, 32, is a five-time Olympic gold medalist Olympic in swimming who has also won one silver and one bronze medal over three Olympic Games: Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988, and Barcelona 1992. Jager and his family stopped in Artesia on their way from the New Mexico Tourism Conference in Carlsbad to their home in Tijeras. (Daily Press 1996 File Photo)

While preparing for Saturday’s Class 3A state championship football game in Raton, Artesia Bulldog football players took a short break from practice to listen to a pep talk by Tom Jager. Jager, 32, is a five-time Olympic gold medalist Olympic in swimming who has also won one silver and one bronze medal over three Olympic Games: Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988, and Barcelona 1992. Jager and his family stopped in Artesia on their way from the New Mexico Tourism Conference in Carlsbad to their home in Tijeras. (Daily Press 1996 File Photo)

Looking back 40, 30 and 20 years ago, the following are excerpts from the Artesia Daily Press from Dec. 4-10.

40 years ago
Dec. 4‐10, 1976

Sue Prude, a member of the Kountry Kids 4-H Club of Artesia, and Craig Ogden of the Carlsbad 4-H Club were respectively named the Outstanding 4-H Girl and Boy in Eddy County at the annual 4-H awards presentation. The Cottonwood 4-H Club received special recognition as the Outstanding 4-H Club of the Year in Eddy County.

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The Artesia Bulldogs won the whole cake and got to eat it, too, Saturday by claiming, for the third consecutive year, the New Mexico Class 3A football crown. The Bulldogs waltzed to an easy 46-7 championship romp over the Socorro Warriors in Bulldog Bowl.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Many of the ranchers spent Sunday trying to thaw water lines to stock tanks and their homes, as they were not expecting it to turn so cold so suddenly, this early in the season, also, they had to chop ice on the watering troughs so the cattle and sheep could water.

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When the Hagerman girls walked on the basketball court Saturday night to face Artesia’s Lady Bulldogs, they had a perfect 6-0 season record. When they walked off the court, they had a mark in the debit column. The Artesia girls, exhibiting consistent team effort in place of individual standouts, romped over the Hagerman girls, 60-39, to win not only the ballgame but the Hagerman Invitational Tournament crown, as well.

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As reported in Big Orange Country: What is a strange black shirt doing hanging on the window of Coach Ronnie Null’s office? The shirts are the new uniforms of the girls’ basketball team and feature the words “Big Orange Basketball” and the outline of a ball in orange. Artesia High’s teachers are in for a treat next Wednesday at noon. They will be served a full-course turkey dinner cooked by student council members in the home economics department as part of the annual Christmas celebration going on at school. Let’s hope that the students know how to cook.

30 years ago
Dec. 4‐10, 1986

Nine varsity lettermen return to lead the fortunes of Artesia High School’s boys’ basketball program this season. They are Cory McCarrell, Danny Salmon, Don Briley, Scott Ford, Kevin Scott, Lance Allen, John Ross Null, Jack Callaway and Denton Metts. Briley is a junior, the rest seniors. The Bulldogs open their 1986-87 season at home against Roswell High.

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A total of 43 family members were treated to a traditional turkey dinner in the Mabel Moreau home Thanksgiving Day. Eight of her nine children as well as 16 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren were present to celebrate the festivities.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Perk Canyon has been running the past several weeks which is rather unusual. Mrs. Demry Anderson has been going across the canyon to feed Derl’s little dog while he is away. One day she crossed the canyon stepping on stones and slipped getting one foot wet, so when she returned she decided to find a narrow place in the canyon and the water was deep, so she put a board across the water and in crossing the board it broke off and she slipped and she fell in, getting wet nearly to the waist in ice water. She reported she was not long getting out and to the house to change clothes.

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When Betty Hodges started taking college courses back in 1965, she did not intend to get a degree. “I just wanted to keep myself alert, informed, and abreast of the times,” the soon-to-be 54-year-old said recently. It wasn’t until a few years and a few courses later that she started taking her project seriously. And now, after 21 years of attending college, Betty will complete her bachelor’s degree in business education at the end of this month.

20 years ago
Dec. 4‐10, 1996

Tina Burgess went 14-6 to win last week’s football contest, missing the Clovis-Manzano, Silver City-Raton, Notre Dame-USC, Miami-Syracuse, St. Louis-New Orleans and Miami-Oakland games.

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Senior quarterback Paul Maupin’s five touchdown passes led the Artesia Bulldogs to a 35-20 victory over Raton in Saturday’s Class 3A state championship football game in Raton. The win gave Artesia its 19th state football title and capped an 11-2 season.

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As reported in the Pinon News: Mrs. Mary Ann Anderson and her granddaughter, Mrs. Shannon Mateer, report the mountain lions have moved into their pasture. There was a light skift of snow and they could see the tracks in the snow. They think there are two of them.

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