Shared from the 2017-04-27 Hobbs News Sun eEdition

Heizer coach uses grant money for practice jerseys


Heizer’s Ethan Olivas, from left, Coach Bryan Coltrane, Keith Rall, Darius Mackey and Brandon Watson, with California Casualty Insurance Company, celebrate the $1,000 grant from the company to the school which Coltrane will use in the school’s athletic program. Coltrane said the boys basketball team will have new practice jerseys and basketballs.

Heizer Middle School boys basketball players, who have been wearing second- and third-hand practice jerseys for the past two season, will have new practice jerseys next year, thanks to a $1,000 grant coach Bryan Coltrane received Friday.

Coltrane applied for the grant earlier in the year, when insurance company California Casualty notified National Education Association members that they could apply for grants for money to be used in their classrooms.

The grant Coltrane received is one of 79 Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grants awarded this year in 33 states, Brandon Watson, California Casualty field marketing manager said. “We are really pleased to be able to do this for the athletes at Heizer.”

Coltrane said the practice jerseys the team uses now came from the high school several years ago.

“They are all sizes. Some of our boys are pretty small and the jerseys hang below their knees,” he said as he gestured toward his own knees. “These will make a world of difference.”

Coltrane said he thinks the money will cover jerseys for all the boys on the team and perhaps a few new basketballs. He chose two of his players, Ethan Olivas and Darius Mackey to be in the presentation picture with him, “because these young men are ‘old school.’ They say, ‘Yes, sir and Yes, ma’am.’ They are great kids.” The young men were pleased to be part of the event and glad the team will have the new jerseys and basketballs.

Freddie Salgado, principal at Heizer, said school officials will order the jerseys and have the school’s name printed on them. “We are really happy about this grant,” he said.

Dorothy Fowler can be reached at 575-391-5446 or at

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