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NM weekend high school sports canceled

WINDOW ROCK

The return of prep sports in New Mexico has been delayed – again.

With no directives coming from New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to modify the state’s public health orders regarding the coronavirus pandemic, this weekend’s slate of cross-country meets and volleyball matches have been canceled.

The New Mexico Activities Association made that announcement on Wednesday. The NMAA had prepared to start the fall season for noncontact sports in cross-country, golf and volleyball on Oct. 10.

“Due to current public health orders, the NMAA has informed its member schools that all competitions scheduled for Saturday, October 10th, have been canceled,” the NMAA said on its Twitter account. “The NMAA is awaiting approval from the governor’s office before decisions regarding next week’s events will be made.”

Four volleyball matches were scheduled for Saturday with Bloomfield, Farmington, Navajo Prep and Shiprock hosting. On Monday, Tohatchi is supposed to host the Nashdoitsoh Invitational but that may also be canceled.

Earlier this week, NMAA executive director Sally Marquez said she was looking forward to the start of the season as the NMAA sent in guidelines for volleyball and cross-country to the governor’s office in Santa Fe in hopes that the season could start this week.

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“We’re just waiting on the response to get the go that ‘yes you can start and you can compete,’” she said.

Rehoboth athletic director Adrian Pete weighed in by saying the NMAA, under the direction of Marquez, is going above and beyond in trying to make things safe for the return of high school athletics.

“Sally has been patient with the governor,” he said. “She’s fighting for our schools, for our athletics and for our student-athletes to get back onto the court safely by following the guidelines set by the CDC and National Federation of State High School Association.”

Pete said Marquez understands the need for having athletics for the kids.

“Our student-athletes need it for their social and mental well-being,” he said. “Right now we’re just waiting for the green light from the governor. The NMAA is waiting and all the schools are waiting.”

With no directives coming from Santa Fe, the NMAA said they are going to continue to practice as they have been doing for the past two months, which includes the 9-to-1 pods, no scrimmaging, using limited amount of equipment and mask wearing.

“I’ve told the coaches that we have to stay positive because anytime they’re in contact with these kids we need to look at the emotional well-being of our students,” she said. “If we’re given the go-ahead we will be so happy. And if we’re not the amount of time they’re able to spend with their students this week … in a very restrictive practice we’re still going to make gains. It will make gains mostly in the mental well-being.”

Depending on what the governor’s orders are, Marquez said they are going to respect her decision and make the necessary adjustment to the amended sports calendar.


About The Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at qjodie@navajotimes.com

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