NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Athletics Association held a special meeting on Monday and the board of directors came to a unanimous decision to adopt an adjusted sports calendar that would have fall seasons begin on February 22 for football, cross country, and volleyball with soccer beginning March 1.

There is still a lot that is unknown heading into this 2021 sports year, the NMAA is still waiting on clarification on what hybrid means. Student-athletes are only able to compete this year if their school is in hybrid learning, and the NMAA is looking to find out more on if a student has to be in hybrid learning to participate, but if there are four positive COVID-19 tests within a two week period at a school, that school would be shut down, which includes athletics.

Meanwhile, Sandia High School Baseball Coach Chris Eaton is excited about the news from the NMAA on Monday. He says that it’s good for high school sports in general, and while his team is in the offseason, it shows that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“At least this is great news, that we can go all in to commit to our season because now we have the green light that we have been waiting for,” said Eaton. He also announced some big news on Monday, he will be a guest speaker at USA Baseball’s Coaches Clinic on Wednesday.

“I think it’s just a great opportunity to educate these other coaches and then shine a light on the great things that we are doing. Especially with our season a few months away. So, it’s great timing, and it’s just an honor to represent all the coaches of New Mexico and hopefully, it goes okay,” said Eaton.

New Mexico high school baseball is set to begin in April.

New Mexico United announced another addition to their roster on Monday. Central midfielder Micheal Azira has signed with the team ahead of the 2021 USL Championship season. Azira is a native of Kampala, Uganda, and brings a championship winning-pedigree to New Mexico. He has lifted four trophies over his professional playing career.

“I feel like its a good opportunity to come and be apart of this organization and I followed it a little bit because some of my friends play here and they told me that it is a good organization and the club is doing well and the fans are great. I think it presents an opportunity for me to be apart of a good community to serve people and also be apart of a good team,” said Azira.

Azira knows a lot of the players on this year’s roster, so Head Coach Troy Lesesne is confident that he will add to this team’s cohesion, but he will also bring a lot of experience and skill to the field.

“He is kind of the total package in terms of being able to go box to box, being able to recover the ball high up the field, being able to pick out really intelligent passes in the midfield. So, he will add a different dimension and I think we had a great midfield last year. I think that was a big reason we improved from 2019 to 2020, and so now the goal is to take another step forward in 2021 with this group,” said Lesesne.

New Mexico United has now signed 18 players ahead of their 2021 season.

Lastly, the University of New Mexico’s men’s cross country kicked off their 2021 season on Monday with a team victory at the Silver State Collegiate Cross Country Challenge in Las Vegas, Nevada. Four runners finished in the top ten, with sophomore Abdirizak Ibrahim finished in first place at 23:58.9. UNM will have one more race on the 19th before they head to the Mountain West Championships which are set to start on March 5, in Las Vegas, Nevada.