The concept — for decades — was to stretch North-South All-Star events across pieces of June and July.
It will be an entirely different animal this year. For the first time, the New Mexico High School Coaches Association will be staging all the games — with one exception — during the same week and in the same city.
And, it will be a week stocked full of some of the most familiar names from the 2017-18 prep sports year.
Amaya Brown and Jordan Byrd are among the headliners for three whirlwind days of all-star activity, starting with volleyball on Thursday night at La Cueva High School (1A/2A at 4 p.m., 3A/4A at 6 p.m. and 5A/6A at 8 p.m.)
There are three football games slated Friday at Nusenda Community Stadium: the 6-Man through 2A matchup is at 10:30 a.m., 3A/4A kicks off at 5 p.m. and the 5A/6A contest begins at about 7:30 p.m. Chad Adcox, who resigned last month at Manzano, is coaching the North.
Both Manzano’s Byrd and Rio Rancho’s Keshawn Banks, each San Diego State signees, are scheduled to play, organizers said. About a third of the big-school North roster is comprised of players from the two 6A finalists, Manzano and La Cueva.
Girls basketball, softball and tennis singles events also are scheduled Friday.
Albuquerque High is the site for girls basketball. The 1A/2A game begins at 4 p.m. That is followed at 6 by 3A/4A and at 8 p.m. by the 5A/6A contest, which will feature Florida State-signee Brown.
The University of New Mexico softball complex is hosting the 1A-4A all-stars for games at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, and the 5A/6A stars for a single game at 4 p.m. (Both series will conclude Saturday, with 5A/6A at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and a single for the 1A-4A players at noon.)
The NMHSCA is staging singles matches Friday from 2:30-6 p.m. at the McKinnon Family Tennis Center. The most interesting of the singles matches is the one scheduled between Eldorado’s Ivana Corley, the 6A state champion, and 1A-4A state champ Brandelyn Fulgenzi of Robertson.
Boys basketball is the centerpiece of Saturday’s schedule, with AHS hosting games at 4 p.m. (1A/2A), 6 p.m. (3A/4A) and 8 p.m. (5A/6A). Future UNM walk-ons Anthony Chavez of Valley and Jordan Arroyo of 6A state champion Atrisco Heritage are competing, as is AHS forward Marlon Cunningham who recently signed with Division I Texas State. Menaul’s Michael Ou, who signed with Cal-State Northridge, is not playing in the 1A/2A game.
The only athletes who won’t be on display this week in Albuquerque are the Class 5A/6A baseball all-stars, who as usual are holding their North-South series this weekend in Las Cruces, where it’s always been.
The 1A-4A baseball games are at Santa Ana Star Field on Friday and Saturday.