Star THS athlete scores baseball scholarship

Taos News' Male Athlete of the Year headed to Highlands

By Matthew Narvaiz
sports@taosnews.com
Posted 6/24/20

Noah Armijo will be playing college baseball.On June 4, Armijo officially signed with New Mexico Highlands in Las Vegas, New Mexico, as a pitcher for the …

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Star THS athlete scores baseball scholarship

Taos News' Male Athlete of the Year headed to Highlands

Posted

Noah Armijo will be playing college baseball.

On June 4, Armijo officially signed with New Mexico Highlands in Las Vegas, New Mexico, as a pitcher for the baseball program.

Armijo received a partial athletic scholarship to play baseball -- a sport he said is near and dear to his heart. And one that he enjoys more than most others.

The offer from Highlands wasn't the only offer Armijo received, though. He received some offers from out of state to play junior college baseball elsewhere. He even received an offer from a school in Arizona to play football.

But in the end, being closer to family played a big part in why Armijo chose Highlands after all.

"Most of my family lives near or in New Mexico except my sister," Armijo said. "But it's only about a two-hour drive [to Highlands from Taos] instead of me playing in California or Massachusetts where they'd never be able to see me play."

Armijo said that another factor in why he chose Highlands was because he was offered a scholarship to play baseball. And while baseball is Armijo's favorite sport, he said, he also chose to play it in college because he knows that his body can handle this sport much better than any other sport out there.

"I thought about how other sports would take a toll on my body," Armijo said. "For sure with baseball my goal is to try and make it into the Major Leagues."

Taos baseball coach Miguel Quintana was instrumental in helping Armijo seek out places to play college baseball. However, it was Taos football coach Art Abreu Jr.'s former connection to Highlands -- at one point he was an assistant football coach there -- that helped Armijo get a better look from the coaches on the baseball team.

That's when Highlands baseball coach Shannon Hunt started to contact Armijo's father, Jim Armijo, with a peaked interest in his son.

Armijo said he is grateful for all the help he has received.

"He gave [Highlands] a good word about me," Armijo said of Abreu.

While Armijo didn't get to play baseball this season as it was canceled by the NMAA due to the coronavirus pandemic, he was fortunate enough to play the three seasons prior, he said.

He wasn't sure just three seasons -- and not his senior season outing -- was good enough to get a serious look from college coaches. But turns out it was.

"I'm just happy that I performed other than senior season," Armijo said, "because I thought it would be the most important season. It still worked out so I'm happy that it did."

Armijo, a left-handed thrower, was the starting quarterback for Taos football his senior season. He led the team to the playoffs, before the Tigers ended up losing to Silver.

During the basketball season, Armijo and his height -- he is listed at 6 feet, 5 inches -- helped Taos in a variety of ways, including being a viable rebounder and low-post scorer.

Armijo, though, tore his meniscus in early January and said he'd likely be out the rest of the basketball season, and probably the baseball season, too.

But Armijo willed his way back and was cleared by doctors just in time for the district tournament -- in which Taos won by a buzzer beater over Española Valley -- and for the state tournament as well.

For all his hard work throughout, Armijo was named by the Taos News as the Male Athlete of the Year.

Armijo's plan, in the end, is to hopefully play in the MLB. He realizes that in baseball, it doesn't matter which college you play at. If you can play, you can play.

"I think, to me, it's very [achievable]," Armijo said of reaching the college level. "I'm far from done but this is a huge step toward what I want to do."

Armijo plans on studying business and marketing at Highlands, he said.

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