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NMAA realignment appeals: Atrisco Heritage’s denied, Bernalillo’s approved

The New Mexico Activities Association’s board of directors on Wednesday denied Atrisco Heritage Academy’s appeal of its district assignment for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years.

Bernalillo High, however, was one of three schools whose appeals were approved. Ten other schools also had appeals before the board.

The NMAA released its initial alignment and classification plan for the upcoming two academic years on Nov. 30. Wednesday’s special meeting by teleconference addressed the appeals by 13 schools of their placement on Dec. 13.

On that day, Atrisco Heritage athletic director Adrian Ortega made known his hopes for reconsideration of its assignments into a district with Rio Rancho, Cleveland, Cibola and Volcano Vista. Ortega said the school’s girls programs hadn’t been competitive with those teams, and he had hoped also to stay in a district that included geographically friendly West Mesa.

But the board turned down AHA’s appeal by an 8-1 vote, with four board members not participating Wednesday. Supporting Atrisco’s appeal was Yvonne Garcia, Albuquerque Public Schools Associate Superintendent.

Atrisco Heritage, the second largest school in the state by enrollment by NMAA counts, competes now in a District 4-6A that includes West Mesa, Rio Grande and Albuquerque High. But that district is breaking up for the next two-year block.

“We’re disappointed, but we’ll move on and make the best of it,” Ortega said Wednesday. “We’ve got good coaches, good administrators and plenty of support. We fought for our school and now it’s time to rally the troops.”

The board, meanwhile, granted Bernalillo’s wish for a metro-area district in baseball, basketball, volleyball and track and field essentially by persuading Moriarty to swap places. Moriarty will be in a Class 4A district with EspaƱola Valley, Los Alamos, Pojoaque and Taos. Bernalillo will join a district including Albuquerque Academy, Del Norte, Highland, Hope Christian and Valley.

Dulce successfully appealed its placement in a northern Class 2A district and instead will go into a northwestern district.

Logan appealed its enrollment numbers and was granted a reprieve from Class 2A in favor of 8-Man for football and Class 1A for basketball, volleyball, baseball and track and field.

Per NMAA executive director Sally Marquez, Wingate and Santa Fe Indian School’s appeals to go from Class 4A to 3A were made moot by an adjustment an NMAA bylaw that allows boarding schools an option: use the 1.3 multiplier to its enrollment counts or not to use the multiplier and be subject to transfer guidelines. Those two schools opt not to have the multiplier and will compete in Class 3A.

Menaul School, in contrast, uses the multiplier and is assigned to 8-Man football and Class 2A for other sports for the next two years.