Published: 1:33 am, Sun. Feb. 19th, 2017Updated: 1:31 am
New Mexico high-school sports will be headed back down to a five-classification system beginning in 2018-19 due to a proposal approved Feb. 15 by the New Mexico Activities Association’s (NMAA) Board of Directors.
The board voted to abandon the six-class system after what will be just four years since its implementation in 2014. It will have been a tumultuous four years, however, with several schools displeased by both the class and district shakeups.
In Southeast New Mexico in particular, Clovis found itself landed in a six-team district with five Albuquerque and Santa Fe schools after realignments last year, while Carlsbad and Hobbs were deposited in a seven-team district with Las Cruces’ four schools and Gadsden.
The desire expressed by nearly all schools to cut long-distance travel as much as possible, particularly in the face of widespread budget cuts by the State of New Mexico, contributed to the NMAA’s decision last week.
The board also voted to utilize an 80-80-40, three-year average enrollment count and “hard numbers” to classify schools. It tabled a proposal to abandon the district model in favor of conferences, a generally unpopular concept in New Mexico.
While district alignments for the new/old five-class system have not yet been determined, speculation based on the enrollment decisions is that Roswell High could be moving up to Class 5A and Portales could be added to a District 4-AAAA with Artesia, Goddard and Lovington.
“As far as the Artesia Public Schools, we like our current district but would feel like this new plan would work well for us, too,” APS Athletic Director Cooper Henderson said Saturday.