Correction issued below
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Youth and high school sports have taken a step in the right direction Thursday as Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham gave an update on the public health order.
“Youth sports practice and skills development, no more than ten in a group. So, we are going to hold the ten-person limitation, we are doing really well,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. This means that high school teams can now switch from a 5:1 player to coach ratio to now a 9:1 when practicing starting on Friday.
This is good news, but as of now, contact sports are still off-limits. Colorado just allowed football to be played in the fall and the governor was asked why our state has not followed their model of reopening businesses and not allowing fall contact sports.
“New Mexicans are sicker per capita, have more chronic conditions than people who live in Colorado do. New Mexico has far fewer, far less healthcare resources. So when we add risk, we really have to know,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham.
Now to college basketball, Wednesday the NCAA announced November 25 as the official start date for men’s and women’s basketball seasons, and NMSU Head Men’s Basketball Coach Chris Jans spoke on the subject today. He says it’s nice to have that date in place, but it could change at any time.
“Who knows what will happen with updates with testing the coronavirus, etc., from now until then. You know, we are just going to have to play it day by day. I just can’t imagine the way things have gone with other sports; that there won’t be hiccups along the way,” said Jans.
Jans says that he is glad there is an end in sight though, as a season is in the future, but now the fun part begins as teams start to put a schedule together. “There is a lot of work to do now, I think that every program in the country is scrambling around trying to figure out scheduling. You know, are you going to try and make up some of the games before November 25 or not,” said Jans.
New Mexico United announced on Thursday that the remainder of their regular season will now be played on the road. The team was supposed to close out their regular season schedule with three home games but the team sent out a press release and it said in part: “These moves are being made in an effort to comply with the New Mexico’s most recent health order, and to keep New Mexicans safe and healthy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
While this news is not what the players and coaches wanted to here, it didn’t come as too much of a surprise. “Since the very beginning of us coming back the messaging has been we are not going to play in New Mexico, let’s not try to, let’s just wrap our heads around that concept so we can narrow the scope of this thing and to what we are trying to do this weekend as a club. Having fans in Colorado Springs we will take that as well, that’s the next best thing,” said Head Coach Troy Lesesne.
New Mexico United plays Colorado Springs on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN+.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated the ratio of coaches to players was 9 to 1 however, this has been updated to say the correct ratio of players to coaches would be 9 to 1.