ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Creation of Class 6A among changes
The New Mexico Activities Association board of directors on Wednesday morning voted on a realignment proposal for the two-year block beginning in 2014-15, and there are certainly some new twists on the horizon.
While the new alignment and district setups are not set in stone – that won’t happen until after the 40-day counts next fall, as enrollment numbers could fluctuate enough to impact the placement of a handful of schools – here are some of the changes in store:
♦ Please welcome the creation of Class 6A. Class B will be eliminated; it will become Class 1A. All other classes simply move up one number.
♦ With Deming, Santa Fe and Centennial scheduled to become 6A programs in 18 months, the NMAA is adding a sixth large-school district. In essence, it split the southern contingent in half. Alamogordo, Oñate and Centennial form one district. The other has Las Cruces, Mayfield, Gadsden and Deming.
Santa Fe is slated to join Rio Rancho, Cleveland, Cibola and Volcano Vista in District 1.
♦ In the newly configured Class 5A, Gallup, Grants and Miyamura will partner with Farmington, Aztec and Piedra Vista to form a district. Los Lunas, Belen and Valencia will be joined by Moriarty.
Also planned is a four-team Albuquerque district with Del Norte, St. Pius, Academy and newcomer Valley.
But Valley is expected to ask the NMAA to be allowed to play up into Class 6A, said Vikings athletic director Joe Coleman said.
But the mechanics of Valley playing up aren’t as cut and dried as it might seem.
The NMAA would prefer some numerical balance to the districts, and the Vikings may not be allowed to rejoin West Mesa, Rio Grande, Albuquerque, Highland and Atrisco Heritage.
Valley possibly could get inserted into District 2, which would be the behemoth La Cueva/Eldorado/Sandia/Manzano quartet. Highland might also pack its bags for another district.
And the shuffling sidebar doesn’t end there. At some point, probably not until this November, after the student counts arrive for 2013-14, the NMAA will hear appeals from schools that plan to fight their placement.
Deming and Santa Fe both have indicated they will appeal being moved into the state’s largest classification.
If Deming were to win its appeal, the southern schools will comprise one, six-team district. If Santa Fe wins its appeal, Valley could get placed into the Rio Rancho district.
Moreover, if Valley is approved to play up into 6A – and that is considered just a formality – the plan is to take Del Norte from District 5 and place the Knights in District 2 with Bernalillo, Capital, Los Alamos and Española Valley in the new 5A.
Then the four members of District 6 – Moriarty, Belen, Los Lunas and Valencia – would join St. Pius and Academy to form a six-team league.
The new configuration includes a Class 4A (currently 3A) district with Hope Christian and Sandia Prep, but also Bosque School and East Mountain, which are both moving up. St. Michael’s and Santa Fe Indian would make it a six-team district.
Menaul will be moving up, as well. The Panthers would become a 3A program (what we now consider 2A) starting with 2014-15. Menaul has been competing in Class 1A.
One of the oddest features of the new alignment is that some schools will play in one classification for district purposes, but compete in another class at state. Silver would be 5A for district play, but be a 4A program for state. Jal would be 3A for district, 2A for state. Cliff would be 1A for district, but compete in 2A at state.
Each could qualify for state by winning its district, same as anyone, and would have to be chosen as an at-large team if it does not win the district.
— This article appeared on page D5 of the Albuquerque Journal