LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – High school football and soccer will not be played in the state of New Mexico in 2020. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham making the announcement on Thursday that contact sports will not be permitted to take place in the fall.
In concert with the governor’s announcement, the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) has postponed the 2020 football and soccer seasons to the spring semester.
“Interscholastic athletics are an important part of the overall educational process,” said NMAA executive director Sally Marquez. “The NMAA will work tirelessly to ensure students have the opportunity to participate in all sports and activities of their choosing during the 2020-2021 school year.”
While the decision to push back the high school football and soccer seasons was tough to stomach for student-athletes and coaches, it was not all that surprising. Most coaches were anticipating the announcement coming from the NMAA on July 15.
“The conversations have been taking place,” said Las Cruces High School head football coach Mark Lopez. “We has a Zoom meeting with the NMAA and Sally Marquez last week. She didn’t say it explicitly, but obviously nobody knew it was coming until today. It seemed liked things were headed in that direction.”
The NMAA has been working with its membership on contingency plans in preparation for this scenario and will continue to do so in an effort to ensure all sport seasons can be played this academic year. A tentative plan is expected to be released on July 15.
“I’m hoping our guys get the opportunity to play,” said Lopez. “We always tell the kids, ‘if we have to play in a parking lot, we’ll play in a parking lot.’ If we have to play in February, we’ll play in February.”