High school officials are getting a raise.
Basketball officials in particular are going to receive a hefty pay bump, with men and women working varsity games going from $54 this year to $70 per game starting in 2019-20.
Varsity football officials will get a $5 per game raise, from $65 to $70. In baseball and soccer, the increase goes from $54 to $60. Softball goes from $47 to $55.
Volleyball, swimming and wrestling also will see their officials receive a bit more money. There will be no changes for track and field and for spirit.
The raises, said New Mexico Activities Association Commissioner of Officials Dana Pappas, are based on a study of other states in this area and states similar in size of the association. Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming were included in the study.
The new fee structure goes into effect July 1.
Sub-varsity officials will also get in on the action. Football goes from $46 to $50, and basketball and soccer both go up from $38 to $50.
HIGH RISER: Through the first half of the prep football season, there is consensus that Cleveland junior running back Dorian Lewis has been the state’s best and most valuable player in any class.
The transfer from El Paso already is over 1,100 rushing yards for the top-ranked and 5-0 Storm, which is idle this week. That includes nearly 400 rushing yards against Eldorado.
Not surprisingly, Lewis’ blistering first half has put him on the radar screen of a bunch of Division I programs.
Washington State, Texas Tech, Texas Christian, California, New Mexico, UTEP and New Mexico State have inquired about the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Lewis since the season began, Cleveland coach Heath Ridenour said, adding that Lewis plans to be in Fort Worth this weekend to look around TCU’s campus.
OFFICIATING, PART 2: From the Albuquerque Police Department:
Tuesday’s C-team football game between Eldorado and Sandia at Wilson Stadium will become an APD community outreach event, as numerous active and retired officers are serving as football officials in New Mexico.
There will be a six-man crew (typically, there would only be four for a C-team contest) working the game, and they’ll all be wearing the hats of their specific unit assignments.
Also, the head coaches of both teams are active officers. Northeast Area Commander Joe Burke of Eldorado and School Resource Officer Joe Lehocky of Sandia will be coaching on the sidelines in their APD uniforms.
APD and the NMAA are trying to attract new recruits to their respective officer/officials ranks.
CROSS COUNTRY: The Albuquerque Academy Invitational, among the most prestigious regular-season meets on the schedule, is this afternoon. The varsity boys go off at 3 p.m., the girls at 3:30.
The other schools competing in an exceptionally strong field include Albuquerque High, Atrisco Heritage, Cibola, Cleveland, Eldorado, Del Norte, Highland, Grants, La Cueva, Hobbs, Los Alamos, Laguna-Acoma, Lovington, Los Lunas, Miyamura, Manzano, Sandia, Rio Grande, St. Pius, Sandia Prep, Thoreau, Valley, Volcano Vista and West Mesa.
From the metro area, the only noticeable absentee will be Rio Rancho, which is competing in a huge meet in Arizona this weekend, as is Kirtland Central’s outstanding senior, Kashon Harrison.
THIS AND THAT: One of West Mesa’s many outstanding basketball guards, senior Maiah Rivas, recently made a commitment to play basketball for New Mexico Highlands. Rivas, a 5-foot-6 point guard, played in all 27 games last season for the Mustangs and averaged a team-best 11.6 points and also 3.2 assists. Rivas shot 40 percent (60 of 150) on 3-point tries. … Cibola High School today is inducting three members into its Athletic Hall of Fame: former NFL lineman Ryan Cook, longtime softball coach Gene Victor and former boys basketball coach and athletic director Phil Schroer. … Longtime Las Cruces High volleyball coach Keith Leupold on Tuesday night earned his 500th career victory as the sixth-ranked Lady Bulldawgs swept district rival and third-ranked Centennial.