RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – The Rio Rancho Baseball team found out last week that their district will be able to play sports this school year, after adopting a hybrid learning model. Student-athletes were excited to hear the news. “I was happy to finally get back out here and play with my boys, with my brothers, Coach Murphy, I was just excited,” said RRHS senior and outfielder Eric Romero.
Head Coach Ron Murphy said that his team is definitely feeling excitement and with 11 seniors on their roster they are also feeling motivated. Murphy said that his team is appreciative more than anything because they get a chance to play.
“You know, I really feel for the APS [Albuquerque Public School] kids and any other school in this state that is not going back, and their kids are not getting the same opportunity. So, it’s a little frustrating for me because we are here for all kids, not just our own,” said Ron Murphy.
Not having APS involved with sports this school year will have a major effect on athletics around the state, as they are the biggest district with 13 member schools. For athletes at Rio Rancho, missing out on playing the best competition is also a major negative of not having APS in competition.
“There is a lot of other college athletes on APS, so not being able to face them, it really makes it seem like, you know, what would really happen if they were out here to play us,” said RRHS senior and shortstop, Garrett Rede.
Spring sports are slated to start their season on April 10, according to the New Mexico Activities Association sports calendar, and while winning a state title is always a goal for the Rams, this year will bring some different priorities. “Our main priority is to get on the field and let the kids have fun, that’s our main priority, just come out here and have fun and if that takes place this year it will be a successful year no matter what the record is,” said Murphy.