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Prep football: Albuquerque High, Rio Grande to go independent

Both Albuquerque High and Rio Grande will be going independent in football for the next two years, the Journal has learned.

Ravens athletic director Pete Pino and Bulldogs AD Doug Dorame confirmed the news on Wednesday.

Both will forgo district competition and compete as independents for next year and also for the 2019 season.

The schools said the decision was made in response to the new football district they were placed in for the next two years, a brutal league that includes recent Class 6A state finalists Manzano and La Cueva, plus Eldorado, Sandia and Clovis. That new league was announced last week by the New Mexico Activities Association.

“We would not be competitive at the level they’re putting us at,” Pino said. “That would not work for us.”

Rio Grande is on a 37-game losing streak, and is only six away from tying the state record of 43, held by AHS. The Bulldogs examined their overall record against their new district opponents over the last 25 years and determined it was in their best interest to go independent.

Both the Ravens and Bulldogs have filed their request with the New Mexico Activities Association, which is all they need to do to go independent.

Both schools can re-evaluate their status after the 2019 season and re-join a district if they desire.

Albuquerque Academy also is leaving district play and will compete as an independent next fall.