ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – People are hoping things will get back to normal quicker, now that people are getting the COVID-19 vaccine in New Mexico. But organizers, of a big event on Memorial Day weekend in southeastern New Mexico, have already canceled it because of the pandemic.
“It’s sad, it’s sad, to make a decision this early is super sad,” said player and middle school teacher, Laj Cheedle.
The Hike it and Spike it four-on-four flag football tournament announced over the weekend that they would be canceling the event, for the second straight year due to the pandemic. The news had some residents heartbroken.
“It was just really, really disappointing knowing that our biggest event in Roswell was being canceled one more year, and even with last year thinking it was going to happen and it getting canceled, it’s just heartbreaking; Especially, not for me, but for the younger generation that’s coming up and doesn’t have anything in Roswell to do,” said Cheedle.
KRQE News 13 reached out to organizers of the event to see what led to their decision to cancel the tournament months out. Organizers would not speak about it but a tournament has been announced in Texas for the very same weekend.
“That makes it worse, that makes it worse knowing you can drive two hours and play an event, it’s right next door in Texas and not being able to do it in your home state. Not everybody can travel, not everybody has the ability to just get up and take a team over to Texas,” said Cheedle.
Cheedle has played in the tournament for more than 15 years and says that it’s bigger than canceling another sporting event, it canceling an event the city looks forward to every year. “So to know that you canceled something, that not just kids, but adults look forward to doing, that’s not right,” said Cheedle.
The city of Roswell says it is disappointed the event is canceled again but they say they respect the event organizers’ desire to protect the safety and wellbeing of those involved.