Prep notes: Prep school next for Sandia athlete; Academy's track renovated - Albuquerque Journal

Prep notes: Prep school next for Sandia athlete; Academy’s track renovated

Albuquerque Academy cross country runners train on the renovated track during a recent workout. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

One of New Mexico’s elite boys basketball players has found a playing home after his high school career ends.

High-scoring Sandia combo guard Sean Johnson on Monday announced he is going to compete for the A.B.C. Prep school in Albuquerque for the 2022-23 season.

Sandia High’s Sean Johnson

“I can work on myself and advertise myself so I can go to a school I’d like to go to,” said the 6-foot-5 Johnson, who will turn 18 next month and will graduate from Sandia in the spring.

Johnson averaged 23 points and 7.4 rebounds during the shortened spring season for Sandia earlier this year. While he has been speaking to some Division II schools and junior colleges, he said, attending A.B.C. Prep will allow him to fine-tune his game before he eventually selects a college. In essence, it gives him two more years of eligibility prior to college.

Also, players can begin earning a college degree while at A.B.C. Prep, and as long as they take 11 or fewer credits in a given semester, which is considered part-time, they won’t lose any future playing eligibility in college.

“I feel like it’s a very good opportunity for me to make a good, high-level Division I roster (in the future),” Johnson said.

The prep academy teams are going to be largely traveling in nature, playing a few dozen games each basketball season against elite competition in high-visibility events from the this half of the country.

“It at least buys them another year of opportunity to get to another level,” said A.B.C. Prep founder Brandon Mason. “(This will) help them get film, games on TV or online. It’ll be run exactly like a Division I program is run. Weights, practice every day, conditioning. They’ll be able to learn how a D-I program is run.”

Mason is a former New Mexico State player and former Aggies and University of New Mexico assistant coach.

Among the players participating for the 2021-22 school year are Marcus Wilson of Cibola and Tim Nitafan of Eldorado, plus former Cleveland player Diego Sharp. They are all by bypassing their upcoming high school seasons to compete at A.B.C. Prep.

UPGRADES: Albuquerque Academy has completed upgrades to its track and field/football stadium, Richard Harper Memorial Field.

Most prominently, the school has replaced its previous track, which was visibly beaten down in recent years, with a new MONDO track, which is what was used at the recent Tokyo Olympics. The Academy track will be the finish line for November’s state cross country meet.

This MONDO track is also featured at Los Alamos High School.

Academy has also unveiled its new, spritzy scoreboard, which for the first time features graphic displays. Plus, the school has added new signage to the facility.

School athletic director Taryn Bachis said she was unsure of the cost for the face lift.

HALL OF FAMERS: Rio Rancho High School has announced its latest group of inductees into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame:

• Marcus Williams, a three-sport athlete (football, basketball, track and field) who graduated in 2008;

• Megan Muniz from the Class of 2009 and a fantastic scoring guard for the Rams in her five-year varsity career;

• Max Ortega, one of seven boys in New Mexico who have captured five individual state wrestling titles before he graduated in 2009;

• Four-time individual state champion wrestler Louis Trujillo (2007-10), from the Class of 2010;

• Josh Walker, a baseball standout with the Rams who graduated in 2010 and was hugely instrumental in helping Rio Rancho win a state title in 2009;

• The school’s public address announcer, John Morelock, who has been serving in that capacity, since 2000 is the sixth and final inductee.

This year’s inductees will be honored during halftime of the Rams’ homecoming football game against Cibola on Friday, Oct. 1.

THIS AND THAT: Los Alamos’ boys cross country team has been ranked 10th in the Southwest region by Mile Split. … La Cueva 5-foot-6 senior combo guard Rylie Ottmann has announced that she will play basketball collegiately for the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

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