LCPS Honors Local Sports Legends
LCPS officials opened the newly renamed Rudy Camuñez Wall of Champions and the newly created Legends Athletic Walk of Fame, prior the start of the Mayfield High School (MHS) and Del Valle High School football game, Thursday, Aug. 31, at 6:45 p.m. in the Field of Dreams football stadium, 2501 Tashiro Road.
The Wall of Champions, located on the interior southern wall of the football stadium, contains plaques commemorating every team and individual high school state athletic champion in Las Cruces history, dating to the 1920s. At a dedication ceremony Thursday, Aug. 31 at 9 a.m.; the wall, formerly known as the Wall of Champions, was officially renamed after Camuñez.
The Legends Athletic Walk of Fame, is a row of free standing plaques in the stadium honoring key contributors to high school sports in Las Cruces. At an induction ceremony Thursday, Aug. 31 at 9 a.m.; Camuñez and Jim Bradley were officially inducted into the Legends Walk of Fame, becoming the first honorees of the newly created memorial.
“These individuals played an instrumental role in developing the Field of Dreams and supporting LCPS athletics a whole,” said LCPS Superintendent Dr. Greg Ewing. “This recognition is a great way to celebrate their hard work and extensive achievements within the Las Cruces athletics community.”
To kick off the opening of the memorials, the Camuñez and Bradley families were each presented with a commemorative certificate in recognition of Camuñez and Bradley being inducted into the Legends Athletic Walk of Fame.
Camuñez was an all-state athlete at Las Cruces High School, starred in football at the University of New Mexico, and was a coach and administrator in the Las Cruces Public Schools for 35 years. He earned state championships both as a coach and player. However, Camuñez’s greatest contribution may have been his persistent effort to integrate the Las Cruces Public Schools and athletic programs, which finally happened in 1951, after three years of work, said Bump Elliott, former LCPS athletic director.
Bradley is the second winningest coach in New Mexico football history, having won a total of 310 games and seven state championships, including five at MHS. Throughout his coaching career he served as a football coach in Roswell, at MHS and at New Mexico State University. Bradley died in 2015 at the age of 82.
Earlier this year, the City of Las Cruces designated a portion of Tashiro Road the “Coach Jim Bradley Championship Way” in honor of Bradley, at an unveiling ceremony at the field of dreams. The ceremony was attended by members of the Bradley family, members of the Camuñez family, LCPS officials, LCPS School Board Vice President Ed Frank, Las Cruces Mayor Ken Myagishima, several city councilors and community leaders who were all instrumental in getting the field of dreams conceived and built.
No school district funds were used to purchase or install the new monuments, which were funded through a community fundraising effort led by the Camuñez family, the Bradley family, Bump Elliott, Kevin McGrath, Jimmy Michael, Gary Moody, and a variety of community organizations and businesses.
For more information, contact LCPS Communications Coordinator Paul Dahlgren, firstname.lastname@example.org, (575) 527-5808.