Sports Desk: VSCHS Football Coach speaks on restricted Summer Athletic Activities

Local Sports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In this edition of the Sports Desk we start with a look at high school athletics. The NMAA announced on Thursday that high school athletes and coaches would be able to return to summer activities on June 15, but there are a lot of restrictions.

“They are thinking about peoples’ health, that’s what they are doing. I do trust our NMAA and Sally Marquez is doing what she is doing to get us back on the field. I know that’s the plan. A lot of people want to get out there and do their summer workouts and get going on all of this and honestly, more than anything, it’s a step in the right direction,” said Cleveland High School Football Coach Heath Ridenour.

Ridenour does believe that the NMAA is doing their best to get athletics in motion again, but phase one of three doesn’t really help out football teams across the state. Teams are not allowed to have contact, share equipment, and the big one for Cleveland’s football team is the 5 to 1 player to coach ratio.

“For a program as big as ours, you know pushing 200 kids with 12 coaches, the 5 to 1 ratio, coaches can’t switch groups, is virtually impossible for us to do right now. So, we are looking at phase 2, that’s what we are looking forward to,” said Ridenour.

As of now, Coach Ridenour says that his players will pretty much stick to the same routine that they have adopted during the pandemic, with a few in-person workouts. Coach Ridenour is of course all about the safety for his team, but with players not being allowed in the weight room that could pose as unsafe in the future.

“I think one of the biggest drawbacks is not being able to lift, tends to lead to on the field injuries. You got to be strong, you got to do those muscle strengthening stuff to prevent an injury as much as you want to get strong to be a good football player,” said Ridenour.

Ridenour just hopes that everyone can get through this pandemic safe and sound because he does believe that football will be played next season. “Well, I think we are going to play football, let me just make that clear, be it a regular football season in the fall, be it a shortened season in the fall, or maybe even a spring season. You know, that’s one of the debates that we can have in the spring. But speaking for our program, I don’t care when we get to play, what day of the week, what month of the year. You just tell me we are going to get to play football and I will almost guarantee every one of my guys are going to be ready to go,” said Ridenour.

Moving on to soccer, New Mexico United may not be in season, but their supporter’s group “Curse New Mexico” is still playing a big part for the team and now the community. “So, one of the big things that we have done since this whole pandemic started is this PPE drive. We partnered with a group called Protect NM and in total, we collected and distributed more than 40,000 masks to go to again first responders across the state,” said Curse NM President and co-founder, David Carl.

The Curse is hopeful for a season so that they can cheer on their team, but as of now, they are helping as much as they can off of the pitch as well. They have another event that will help the community and it will run on Saturday. “We are working on doing what we call a BYO5k, bring your own 5k. So, you stay at home, or in your neighborhood, and you run a 5K, we will send you a t-shirt and all the funds we raise will go to support local businesses who are struggling right now,” said Carl. More information on the 5k is available on The Curse NM’s Twitter page.

We finish this edition of the Sports Desk with another edition of The Lost Season. In Friday’s night feature, we profile multi-sport athlete Crosby Grigsby from La Cueva High School. She is headed to college for golf, but she was disappointed that her senior year of spring sports didn’t happen. Grigsby is taking this situation in stride though and is thankful for what high school sports gave her.

“I am so grateful for all of the memories and accomplishments that I have personally made and that is something that no pandemic can ever take away. So, thank you high school sports,” said Crosby Grigsby.


New Mexico Coronavirus Resources

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