LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO (KTSM) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham officially struck down the hopes of the state’s fall sports athletes on Thursday.

With COVID-19 numbers rising across the state, the governor announced that no youth sports, whether they be school-sanctioned or club sports, can compete this fall. High school cross country, golf and volleyball teams had been practicing in hopes of their seasons beginning this weekend.

“We are trending in the wrong direction. Alarm bells should be ringing in the ears of every New Mexican,” Lujan Grisham said.

Over the summer, the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) moved competition for contact sports like football and soccer to the spring. The organization announced Thursday that it was working to do the same for cross country, golf and volleyball.

“This is an extremely sad day for students across New Mexico,” said NMAA Executive Director Sally Marquez. “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 postposed strictly based on the orders set forth by the Office of the Governor.”

Practices in 10-person pods are still allowed, however, there will be no games played at the high school level in the Land of Enchantment this fall.

Las Cruces Public Schools announced on Thursday that it was complying with the order to postpone all high school sports.

“Students need our support to maintain a sense of engagement in school and that includes sports and other student activities as allowed under the public health order,” LCPS superintendent Dr. Karen Trujillo said Thursday. “My office will continue to work with high school administrators, coaches and sponsors to find ways to keep our students active.”   

LCPS’ first cross country event was scheduled to take place Saturday at Centennial High School before the postponement of athletics in New Mexico.