Stevens: Coach Davie Delighted With Camp Ruidoso

Aug. 16, 2012

Ruidoso Facility Photo Gallery

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/

RUIDOSO, N.M. - There's a rumor going around that if the New Mexico Lobos ever give up their fall football camp in Ruidoso, there are several college teams in the area waiting in the wings willing to fight over this high-altitude gem.

If Lobo Coach Bob Davie has his druthers, there will not be a "Vacancy" sign on The Lodge at Sierra Blanca for many years to come when it comes to the University of New Mexico football's fall camp.

Davie, his staff, and the University of New Mexico Lobo had a cookout on the back patio of The Lodge at Sierra Blanca Thursday night. Davie told a small gathering of Ruidoso citizens that as long as he was the head coach of the Lobos, they would return to Ruidoso for a two-week session in cool weather at 6,000-plus feet.

Davie and his Lobos obviously like the digs in Ruidoso.

"I've been to NFL camps that aren't nearly as nice as this," Davie said earlier in the week. "And there are a lot of college teams that don't have the opportunity to go to a fall camp. This camp is as good as you can find and better than most. The facilities are tremendous."

The guests at the hamburger and hot dog cookout included the Mayor of Ruidoso, Ray Alborn, who introduced Coach Davie to the crowd of locals. The Lobos ate and mingled with the crowd for at least an hour and then went to a team meeting at the Ruidoso Convention Center.

It was about a one minute walk to the meeting room.

That's one of the reasons this fall camp is so attractive to the Lobos. UNM uses a trio of facilities - The Lodge at Sierra Blanca, the Ruidoso Convention Center, and fields provided by the Village of Ruidoso. All three areas are exceptional -- and close to each other.

The city's practice fields are level and well groomed with plenty of mountain rains to keep the grass plush - and cool. The Lodge at Sierra Blanca is a first-class resort. The convention center is spacious and provides the Lobos with office space, a training room area, a cafeteria-like area, meeting rooms, storage and even an area that serves as a locker room.

The practice fields are a few hundred yards outside the Lodge's back patio and the convention center is right next to the Lodge.

The Lobos even put up a huge tent outside the convention center that holds a workable portion of the equipment from the Lobos' weight room back in the Tow Diehm facility in Albuquerque.

"This camp is awesome," said Jason Lenzmeier, UNM's O-line coach. "Of course, it's beautiful up here, but the football part works really well. There are kids in Texas practicing in 100 degrees. You get on the field and it is still football, but the weather has really helped our kids.

"You get the kids away from distractions -- friends, family, girlfriends -- and the focus becomes football. We are all together focusing on the main thing."

For sure, this fall camp becomes a condensed and efficient teaching camp that focuses on football. The Lobos wake up as a unit. They eat breakfast, lunch and dinner as a unit. All the activities of the day are located in a concentrated area which helps the players concentrate on football.

It's also an environment that stimulates team bonding.

Really, there might not be any negatives about this camp.

The Lobos' final practice in Ruidoso will be on Friday starting at 8:50 a.m. They should hit the road back to Albuquerque around 3 p.m.