Copyright 2017 Albuquerque Journal
Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico)
With more moving parts than it was ready to piece together Wednesday, the New Mexico Activities Association's board of directors tabled appeals by a dozen member schools as it tries to finalize its alignment and classification for the next two years.
Board president T.J. Parks, the Hobbs Municipal Schools Superintendent, said the board needed time to "dive into" the complexities of each school's appeal and said it needs to do some more investigating before rendering a decision.
A special board meeting will be scheduled before the end of the calendar year and will then confirm the alignment and classification for 2018-19 and 2019-20, NMAA executive director Sally Marquez said. For now, all the school placements as first revealed by the NMAA on Nov. 30 remain as they were.
Atrisco Heritage and Bernalillo were among the 12 schools who spent 10 to 15 minutes in front of the board Wednesday morning and afternoon. Mora was scheduled to be heard, but didn't appear. Its written appeal is on file, Marquez said.
Each of the 12 attempted to sway the board's opinion on its district or classification, with various agendas being laid out.
Alamogordo, for example, went before the board asking it to consolidate two southern football districts into one large, Class 5A league — but without Silver, a 4A program that is slated to be in a 5A district for 2019 and 2020 since it has no nearby rivals.
Others, like Pecos and Bernalillo, wanted a change in district, with a nod toward more geographically friendly leagues and thus a reduction in travel costs and time away from school.
Shiprock wanted to move down a classification from Class 4A to 3A in football only, feeling players' health — concussions was a point emphasized — might be jeopardized if they remain where they are, school representatives told the board.
Other schools who were given time before the board were Logan, Navajo Pine, Roswell, Santa Fe Indian, Wingate, Dulce and Fort Sumner/House.
Athletic director Terry Darnell asked the NMAA to take Bernalillo out of a north-central district that includes Española Valley, Los Alamos, Pojoaque, Santa Fe Indian and Taos, and move the Spartans into a more centralized district nearer the metro area.
Atrisco Heritage AD Adrian Ortega made several points to the board during his presentation.
He pointed out the school's dismal record in major girls team sports versus Cibola, Volcano Vista, Rio Rancho and Cleveland since Atrisco opened. And he also said the school — in sports other than football — would prefer to be shifted into the new district with West Mesa, Eldorado, La Cueva, Piedra Vista and Farmington.
Atrisco and West Mesa both have been moved into the Rio Rancho/Cleveland district in football, but the Jaguars and Mustangs were separated in the other sports, something Ortega said his school opposes as it wants to retain some geographically-friendly district rivalries. Atrisco's socioecomonics also was part of Ortega's presentation.
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