Sports Desk: APS athletes remain on outside looking in

FOX New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico Activities Association released high school football schedules Wednesday. While it was welcome news to many, APS student-athletes remain on the outside looking in.

The APS school board chose not to participate in a hybrid learning model which is a requirement to return to competition and extracurricular activities. The APS school board decided to stay in online learning.

The state hopes APS reconsiders to get students back to competing and the activities they love. “I’m hopeful that APS and the Albuquerque School board will undertake and support,” said New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. “We believe that this is as safe today as it can be.”

Football teams in the APS school district are hoping something is resolved soon because time is running out. Even if a resolution is reached, teams would have to do two more weeks of practice in small groups and an additional week of practice in pads to be eligible. “If that rule stays in place, even if we get the okay to start practice, we’re still going to be down to the end of March with one game,” said La Cueva head coach Brandon Back. “So, that would be probably even more unfortunate than having the whole season taken away.”

In other sports news, New Mexico State football has another week to get ready for Dixie State. The two programs will clash March 7 at the Sun Bowl in El Paso. Despite suffering a lopsided defeat at the hands of Tarleton State last week, Aggies head football coach Doug Martin remains optimistic about what his team will look like in the fall.

“There’s enough bright spots out there for us to be excited about what’s coming up. Because you know what you guys don’t see and I see in practice, are those guys that are mid-year transfers, that are going to be playing,” said Martin. “We’ve got enough talent here to be in a bowl game, be a good team next year.”

Rio Rancho baseball is excited about playing again after losing an entire season to COVID-19 last spring. “Our main priority is to get on the field and let the kids have fun. That’s our main priority: just come out here and have fun,” said Rams head coach Ron Murphy. “It will be a successful year no matter what the record is.” The season starts on April 10.

The Mountain West Women’s Soccer preseason poll is out. Boise State is favored to win the league. The Lobos are predicted to finish third. “We have a lot of players that know how to win games,” said Lobos head coach Heather Dyche. “We have a lot of players that feel like every year we’ve been right at the precipice and we don’t quite get to where we want to go. So, I think when you combine a chip on your shoulder and experience, it can lead to finding ways to win.” The Lobos will play a 10-game schedule, all in the Mountain West. The Lobos will host five games. The season starts for the Lobos on March 5 at Colorado State.

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