The New Mexico Activities Association on Friday (March 27) held an emergency board of directors meeting to address the future of the spring sports season and the state cheer competition, which was supposed to be held in late March.
Neither of those will be happening, as the NMAA announced that both will be canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic that has shaken the sports world locally and across the globe.
The decision came after New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Public Education Department announced on Friday morning that the remainder of the school year for grades K-12, as well as public colleges, would be canceled for in-person meetings and classes instead conducted online.
"We are disappointed inside," Taos baseball coach Miguel Quintana said after the news broke that the spring season was canceled. "But we also know that the situation we are in right now is bigger than the game itself."
The NMAA had already suspended the spring sports season in mid-March; they also were trying to find a date that would work for the state cheer competition.
But that was two weeks ago, and the situation changed in that short time frame.
Nickie McCarty, the Taos athletic director who is set to retire in June, was also disappointed in hearing the news that athletic activities for the foreseeable future were canceled.
"It's a sad day," McCarty told the Taos News, echoing NMAA executive director Sally Marquez's email to athletic directors across the state.
Peñasco athletic director Brandon Gurule said he and his athletes are also upset, especially because both the track and field team and baseball team were supposed to make noise during their respective seasons.
"We are obviously very disappointed," Gurule said. "Our baseball team was possibly looking at being a top-8 seed and hosting a home game."
The decision to suspend spring sports competition came around the same time as the state basketball tournament that was being played out. On March 11, NMAA executive director sent out a press release stating that fans would be barred from attending the remaining of the state basketball games through March 14.
On March 13, the NMAA had made its decision to suspend spring sports before they were outright canceled earlier on Friday (March 27).
New Mexico now has 281 positive cases of COVID-19, the pneumonia-like illness caused by a novel coronavirus; 10 of those cases are in Taos County.
The NMAA will meet again in May to discuss the future of sports in the state, mainly concerning summer activities such as practice for fall sports, and "scholastic eligibility for the 2020-21 school year."
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