Belt Buckles were presented to the Magdalena Steers boys team after an undefeated 2020-21 season.
Greg Byrd | El Defensor Chieftain


The annual Steers Stampede Basketball Tournament returned. COVID shut down basketball in 2020. From December 2 to 5, Magdalena hosted the tournament once again.

Students, staff and families came out to the event from nine different schools during the boys and girls split tournament. The schools included; Socorro, Legacy Academy, Alamo Navajo, Pine Hill, Animas, Carrizozo, Reserve, Crownpoint and host Magdalena.

Multiple tables were set up to raise money for Magdalena Schools. Right next to the front door Blake Lumos was collecting money for the Clint Benjamin scholarship fund. All money donated goes toward one Steers senior’s college fund. Benjamin was a former Magdalena sophomore who suffered from leukemia and died, resulting in the annual fundraiser for seniors. Navajo burgers were also being sold to help raise money for the scholarship. Lumos’s grandmother Teresa was in the kitchen serving up the Navajo burgers.

“This is an important benefit for a student that passed away,” she said. “This provides money for seniors going forward during their next step in education. Some people are getting the Navajo burgers and paying extra. Some people are willing to give money out of their pocket.”

Inside the gymnasium, two tables were set up. One table showcased Steers t-shirts highlighting all of the players and coaches who were a part of the undefeated team that won the 2021 state championship.

Ballers from multiple teams were buying the merch. There was also a silent auction to raise money for the Magdalena teams going into the season. Donated items included wooden cutting boards, handmade bracelets and necklaces, custom Christmas trees and various baked goods.

During games, a friendly 3-point competition went down at half time. Players from all schools were shooting from all the apex’s of the line with the clock running down.

The 3-point competition was not completed due to the tragic accident on the final day.  At the end of day two of the tourney Animas led at 13 on the boy’s side with Alamo leading in the girl’s bracket with 11 makes.