SANTA FE, N.M. — Athletes who compete in the spring sports of baseball, and track and field remain in limbo at Questa High School as school officials scramble to find the money to pay for the sports.
But rumors that the seasons have been cancelled are so far untrue, said athletic coordinator and boys basketball coach Miguel Romero.
“We’re trying to deal with it, move stuff around,” he said. “In fact, right now, the community has started a booster club. We’re trying to get the community, the board and the school administration to all come together.”
Questa Public Schools superintendent Dr. David Albert did not respond to several interview requests.
Romero said he is not sure how much money the district needs, but the Taos News last week reported that the district was short more than $120,000.
Romero also said Albert told him there were no plans to scrap the season.
“This is just temporary until they can meet to find monies to keep everything,” Romero said. “I’m 99 percent sure we’re going to have the sports.”
If need be, some travel might be reduced, with fewer games for baseball and less meets in track, he said.
“They can’t practice right now anyway because there’s still snow on the baseball field,” Romero said.
Still, parents of athletes have some ruffled feathers.
“My kids came home from school (last week) and said the sports were cancelled,” said parent Jason Gonzalez, whose daughters both planned on running track. “That sends me into an uproar. When the kids find out first, it sends me into a frenzy.”
It’s been well known that there were monetary issues since October, he said.
“They knew there was a problem with funds,” Gonzalez said. “My thoughts are that the board knew they were in trouble with funds in a meeting in October, when they fired (previous basketball coach Tomas) Madrid. They told all of us the school was in trouble with funds. There’s going to be cuts. Now, months down the line, this happens and they never approached the parents to ask for help.”
The school district pays all travel expenses for the teams, said Gonzalez, whose daughters are also basketball players.
“We stirred up a big old deal, bashing the board and superintendent, now they’re recanting their statement, that nothing is getting cancelled,” he said. “Now parents are getting together for boosters.
“They should have asked for help when they knew things were in trouble. It makes sense, the school doesn’t have to pay for everything. Why didn’t they just approach the parents? Instead, the kids come home all sad, saying they’re cutting track and baseball. The board needs to get proactive, securing funding and approaching parents.”
The conversations that have sprung up as a result of the rumors have mostly been positive, Romero said.
“I think if the community gets together, sits down and talks instead of finger pointing, and says, ‘Let’s fix the problem,’ the sports will change and community will unite,” he said. “They formed a booster club that is looking to see how they can find monies to help out the kids. Not just sports, but all the kids in the school.
“If everybody unites, it’s easier to work together. This is just a little hiccup for us, we’ll get over it. The community will come together and we’ll come up.”