Sports Desk: NMAA could delay football season until mid-February

FOX New Mexico

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Activities Association hopes to know this week if athletes around the state will be able to compete. The NMAA has yet to hear from the state on whether they can start the competition. State health orders halted all competition in the state last year.

A revised sports schedule gave football a Feb. 1 start date, but the NMAA has called for an emergency meeting with its board of directors Wednesday to talk about possibly pushing the start date back to give coaches and players time to properly prepare for the season. Workouts have only been allowed in groups of five. “The more we push it back, the shorter the season is,” said NMAA Executive Director Sally Marquez. “So, we’re hoping that maybe mid-February will work. But, right now we’re talking about half the season. We’re talking about five or six games. But, again, the goal is to get those kids back on the football field.”

Starting later also increases the chances of some sports overlapping. It’s something the NMAA wants to avoid. Some smaller schools depend on some of their athletes to compete in multiple sports and overlapping would make that hard. Overlapping would also make strain on facilities and transportation to and from games. The NMAA is hoping to end each sport like it always does, with a championship. Doing that for football on a limited schedule is proving to be difficult. “Because you can’t play multiple football games in one week,” said Marquez. “So, how do we get a culmination event for football with being able to only play on a Friday or Saturday or on another week. So, we are still working at that.”

Meanwhile, New Mexico State University men’s basketball played its first game since Dec. 28. The Aggies hosted Western New Mexico at the Don Haskins Event Center in El Paso, Texas Monday. The Aggies beat the Mustangs 70-41. Evan Gilyard, who once starred for the Miners at Utep, scored a dozen while Wilifred Likyaki led the Aggies attack with 20 points. The three-time WAC champion Aggies are scheduled for league play at Grand Canyon Friday.

Former Lobo point guard Petie Gibson had a big game-winner against the Aggies when he played point guard with the New Mexico Lobos in 1970. Many know that story, but maybe not be aware of Petie’s connection to a former professional baseball legend.

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