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El Paso players on the 1935 Sun Bowl team, top row, from left: Victor Morales, H. C. Weisinger, Walter Sanchez, Winston Black, Porfirio Perez, Mike Carrasco, Kenneth Heineman and Armando Cisneros. Second row: Ishmael Nyffenger, Tiburcio Lopez, Jim Gruber, Bob Wighman, Martin Arroyo, Victor Blanco and Ted Thomas. Third row: Tom Henry, Johnny Shaw, Ed Taylor, Ed Dearing, Francis Lester, Ray Keating, Charlie Edens and Antonin Hernandez. (Some players not present).

My recent column on fond memories of the Sun Bowl prompted a call from Arturo Lightboune, a tall all-district end on the Bowie High School football team in the early 1950s.

Lightbourne helped the Bears win a couple of district championships.

He recalled that his uncle and godfather at his baptism, Tiburcio “Butch” Lopez, was an all-district tackle and starter in the very first Sun Bowl in 1935. 

He said his uncle, who weighed 190 pounds, was surprised how much bigger the Ranger High School team was.

Ranger High School, which was ranked second in Texas, was the opposing team for a team of high school all-stars from El Paso.

Regardless of size, El Paso won, 25-21.

ALL OF WHICH got me to thinking: Wouldn’t it be great if I could list all the El Paso players in the first Sun Bowl? 

I don’t think they’ve ever been listed since 1935.

I posed the question to my daughter, Anita, who said she had access to the old El Paso Herald-Post and El Paso Times through Amazon and would help. And by gosh, darn if she didn’t find the article that listed all the players. And on top of it, she also found a photo.

Here are the starting El Paso high school players and subs who played in the game:


LEFT END, Ted Thomas; left tackle, J. B. Wilson; left guard, Martin Arroyo; center, Bob Wighman; right guard, Ed Taylor; right tackle, Tiburcio “Butch” Lopez; right end, George Crysler; quarterback, Kenneth Heineman; halfback, Mike Carrasco; halfback, Gilberto Salcedo; fullback, Porfirio (Peppy) Perez.


Substitutes in the game: Armando Cisneros, Tim Henry, Jim Gruber, H. C. Weisinger, Ed Dearing, Ray Keiting, Ishmael Nyffenger, Francis Lester, Victor Blanco, Winston Black, Antonin Hernandez, Johnny Shaw, Walter Sanchez, J. B. Wilson, Victor Morales.


TRIVIA QUESTION: When was the first El Paso PGA Open held in El Paso and what was the purse? Answer at end of column.


I’M SO PROUD of El Paso’s sports community. 

Members of all races responded to the Walmart massacre with such compassion and strength that it warmed the heart. People not only opened their hearts, but their wallets. Benefits popped up all over town. 

The UTEP football team will wear #ElPasoStrong decals on their helmets through the 2019 season. MountainStar Sports Group donated $150,000 on behalf of the El Paso Chihuahuas and Locomotive FC.  And Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino, which is actually in New Mexico, donated $100,000.

El Paso Strong, indeed. It’s enough to revive hope for the human race.

TRIVIA ANSWER: 1927 with a purse of $2500, a large amount at the time.

Veteran sports journalist, historian and author Ray Sanchez welcomes suggestions for his column.  Contact him at (915) 584-0626, by email at or online at