COVID-19 has claimed arguably its most important high school football game since the pandemic began.
The Journal learned on Tuesday night that the upcoming Sandia-Eldorado matchup, scheduled for Thursday night at Wilson Stadium, has been canceled.
Matadors coach Chad Adcox confirmed that the COVID issue originated within his team, as more than half of them would have been unable to play due to them being a close contact with a teammate, or teammates, who tested positive, he said. It was not immediately known if it was one player or multiple players.
Adcox said the number of players remaining – he estimated it at about 20 – would have been insufficient to play the Eagles.
This was to be a hugely important contest in District 2-6A, as Eldorado (5-3 overall, 3-1 in district) was leading Sandia (3-4, 2-1) in league play by one-half game for second place in the district.
In a situation in which not every team in a district is able to play an equal number of league games due to the pandemic, then winning percentage determines order of finish.
Clovis (2-4, 2-1) is another team that could be impacted in 2-6A, depending on how the final several weeks of the regular season play out. And the Wildcats play Sandia and Eldorado down the stretch.
The Eldorado-Sandia game officially will be ruled a no contest.
Adcox said he expects to have his full complement of players in time for Sandia’s visit to Clovis a week from Friday.
Eldorado now will have a three-week gap between games. The Eagles are due to have their bye next week – Week 10 – before closing the regular season at home Oct. 30 against Clovis.
LA CUEVA SWEEPS: The La Cueva volleyball team on Tuesday night solidified its status as the top team in District 2-5A.
The second-ranked Bears (13-1, 3-0 in 2-5A) swept visiting and eighth-ranked Sandia (10-4, 2-1) in a first-place showdown, winning 25-15, 25-17 and 25-20.
Erin Jones and Ella Sanders had nine kills apiece to lead La Cueva. Jenna Sandoval added 12 digs.
“We did a lot of scouting before this game,” said Jones. “Something we’ve implemented into our new process is scout, scout, scout, scout. We can go in and have a strategy and get things done quicker.”
Said Bears coach Steve Archibeque: “We definitely have been watching more film on teams, and we’ve come up with a different attack plan than just playing our volleyball.”
HOPE SUFFERS FIRST LOSS: Albuquerque Academy’s girls soccer team on Tuesday afternoon beat visiting Hope Christian 2-0, handing the Huskies, the second-ranked team in Class 4A, their first loss of the fall season.
Reily Cates, in the fifth minute, and Emma Brown, in the 54th, supplied the goals for the fourth-ranked Chargers (11-6, 5-1 in District 6-4A).
As Hope (14-1, 5-1) beat Academy 3-0 in their first district matchup, the Huskies have the goal differential edge if these two teams finish the regular season with identical records in the district.
“It’s huge,” Academy coach Andrew Wiese said. “We’ve had a tough run of games against them, not only this year but (last) spring as well. For the girls to get a victory means a lot, builds a lot of confidence for us moving into state.”