ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In this edition of The Sports Desk we start with an update on High School athletics. The New Mexico Athletic Association (NMAA) voted on to allow summer workouts to begin with restrictions on June 15. The NMAA Board of Directors, passed by a vote of 8-4 on Thursday, is taking the first step in their plan to return to play amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Basically, athletes and coaches can return to activities on June 15, but there will be some restrictions: There must be a 5 to 1 Athlete/Coach Ratio, no Contact, no Sharing of Equipment, and no Games or Scrimmages. This is just phase one of three phases and is meant to get High School athletes back with their coaches and to keep them in shape. Stick with KRQE Sports, as the NMAA is planning on releasing info on phase two in the coming weeks.
Sticking with High School athletics, Rio Rancho graduate and softball stand out, Brianna Gallegos was named the Gatorade New Mexico Softball Player of The Year on Thursday. Gallegos held a batting average of .600 and hit four home runs, while racking up seven RBI in six games before the season was cancelled. Gallegos is moving on to play softball at New Mexico State University.
Valley High School stand-out wrestler, Abran Lujan signed his National Letter of Intent on Thursday, as he is headed to Barton Community College in Kansas. Lujan is humbled that he gets to go to college on a scholarship for wrestling.
“It’s really good man, I have been wrestling for about five years now and it’s been my favorite thing that I do in the world. It’s everything to me because my dad was a great wrestler you know, and he helped me get to college. I wouldn’t be able to get to college without all of that stuff, for free you know,” said Abran Lujan.
Moving on to basketball, we told you on Wednesday night that Jerome Robinson is leaving his position as UNM Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach after three seasons. He said that this was a personal decision and that he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Robinson will miss being a Lobo but says he will miss his players the most. “You know, the guys like Makuach and E-man and Zane and Keith, I won’t be able to see them go through their senior year, or go through their peak. I mean, Kuach and I had a conversation that was difficult, because I was with him all three years. So he is probably one of the guys that I am closest with”, said Jerome Robinson.
While it was tough to say goodbye, Robinson said that all the feedback was positive from his players and even from UNM Head Basketball Coach Paul Weir. “Yeah he was open, you know he gave me an opportunity to come and coach at the infamous Pit. It was a great opportunity and he was good with it. We talked about it and we departed on good terms,” said Robinson.
Finally, we finish with our “Lost Season” segment. In this edition, we profile Gabrielle Varela, who is a multi-sport athlete from Bernalillo High School. She was a decorated athlete for the Spartans but was sad that she didn’t get to play in her final season of softball. She will continue playing softball in college though, as she received a scholarship to play at Trinidad State.
Varela had this message for the class of 2020. “As far as, the class of 2020, I am so sorry for everything that has gone on for us, but thank you to everyone that’s given us support because we really do need it right now,” said Gabrielle Varela.
New Mexico Coronavirus Resources
- Tracking Coronavirus in New Mexico
- Tracking Coronavirus in Navajo Nation
- Trendline Charts: New Mexico Coronavirus Cases by County, by Day
- COVID-19 case by state, global statistics, maps
- COVID-19 Projections: when will coronavirus be over?
- COVID-19 Testing Sites
- New Mexico’s Public Health Emergency Order
- Essential & Non-Essential Business Operations
- Phone numbers, websites to know during COVID-19
- Donate Blood
- Job changes due to coronavirus – Here’s what you need to know
- Jobs: These businesses are looking to hire due to coronavirus
- How to help during coronavirus
- Resource for New Mexico Seniors
- New Mexico School Meal Sites