High school athletes across New Mexico got some bad news Thursday afternoon as news broke that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham would not be lifting the 9-to-1 pod restrictions and would not be allowing school sports to proceed.
Because of that, the New Mexico Activities Association was forced to cancel the opening weekend of high school sports just three days before they were scheduled to start.
Thursday, during the governor’s weekly press conference, Lujan Grisham stated there would be no school sports at all during the fall semester. Shortly after, the NMAA released a statement cancelling the fall season.
“This is an extremely sad day for students across New Mexico,” said NMAA Executive Director Sally Marquez in a press release. “We were planning and hoping to begin competition this month as our member schools are eager to safely integrate sports and activities back in to our students’ lives. At this point, however, we cannot stage any competitive events without an update to the current public health order. Thus, the NMAA’s Fall Sports Seasons have been postponed strictly based on the orders set forth by the Office of the Governor.”
New Mexico high school athletes already lost their football and soccer seasons back in July. At that time, a deal was worked to allow non-contact sports such as golf, cross country, and volleyball to play abbreviated schedules.
Golf, cross country, and volleyball were all slated to open this weekend, but now, after working hard to follow the rules, regulations, and restrictions, those sports have also been cancelled.
“It is getting pretty old,” Hobbs cross country coach Nathan Colliar said. “They are not happy, no one is. We have done everything she has asked us to do, from running with masks and social distancing and all these hoops you have to jump through.”
Hobbs volleyball was supposed to host Lovington in Tasker Arena. Eunice volleyball was slated to travel to Cloudcroft to play the Lady Bears. The Hobbs cross country team was scheduled to host a triangular meet at Harry McAdams Park while Lovington was primed to run in the season opener in Portales.
“I am extremely disappointed for the kids,” Hobbs golf coach Victor Rotunno said. “I really feel for all the kids that have been working so hard wanting to play. It just feels like the rug has been ripped out from underneath us again.”
The NMAA said it is going to work on another amended schedule and try to fit volleyball and cross country into the spring semester that is already jam-packed with football, baseball, soccer, track & field, wrestling, tennis, and softball. There was nothing said about the start of basketball or swimming and diving which are set to begin in January.