There is almost no way to separate Pete MacFarlane from Sandia Prep. The two names have been inseparable.
But not for much longer.
The longtime and popular Sundevils athletic director, who turned 70 last week, is retiring, effective at the end of this school year.
“I decided that when I turned 70, that was enough. Somebody else can learn the headache,” MacFarlane said with a laugh.
As much as any coach or administrator in this city at any school, MacFarlane’s name will forever be linked with Sandia Prep.
He joined Prep 42 years ago. It was an all-girls school until 1974; MacFarlane joined the staff in 1975.
MacFarlane coached a few sports during those four decades at Sandia Prep, including boys soccer and boys basketball — and, most recently, volleyball, which he gave up following the 2011 season.
He became the Sandia Prep AD in 1976, and for a spell, he was teaching six classes, was a department chair, coached three varsity sports and was performing his duties as athletic director.
“I’m not regretting one second,” said MacFarlane, who is originally from Philadelphia and has five children and 15 grandchildren. “I’m pleased with what I’ve done. We’ve never been on probation, we’ve won that sportsmanship award several times and we have a no-cut policy that I instituted that allowed kids to play sports whereas many other places would not allow that.”
COMING HOME: Cibola High School on Tuesday named former Rio Rancho High and University of New Mexico standout Ashley Rhoades to be its new head volleyball coach.
Rhoades, 27, has for the last three seasons been an assistant coach at Eastern New Mexico.
She finished her playing career at UNM in 2011, and also played basketball for the short-handed Lobos during the 2011-12 season. Rhoades is a 2008 Rio Rancho graduate.
“I’m really excited to be the head coach of this program,” Rhoades said. “I’m excited to see what the girls can do and where we can take the program.”
She said she had been thinking about making this professional leap, and the Cibola opening was the right place to take her shot.
“I always wanted to be a head coach,” she said, “so I thought I might as well start at a high school and see what I can do.”
TRACK AND FIELD: The Albuquerque Metro Championships begin this afternoon at Nusenda Community Stadium. It is the last metro event of the 2016-17 school year.
There are 10 finals on tap today: both 3,200-meter races, plus the boys pole vault, boys/girls shot put, boys/girls javelin, boys/girls long jump and girls high jump. Field events start at both 4:15 and 6:45 p.m.
The remaining 28 finals are Friday. Field events begin at 4:15/6:45 p.m. Friday, with the remaining running finals scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.
All of the metro-area schools who competed in last week’s Harper meet at Albuquerque Academy are in this field, too — and also St. Pius, the only major program that skipped the Harper.
Volcano Vista and Academy tied for the boys championship last week. Cleveland’s girls routed the field.
NATIONAL KUDOS: USA Today High School Sports has announced its choices for the top boys basketball players from New Mexico for the 2016-17 season.
The first team includes Rio Rancho guard Juan Hurt (player of the year), Carlsbad forward Brenden Boatwright, Roswell guard Chris Mesquita, Cibola guard Desmond Carpenter and Volcano Vista forward David Cormier.
Second-teamers are Cleveland guard Marcus Hill, Grants guard Matt Vail, Atrisco Heritage forward Jordan Arroyo, West Las Vegas guard D.J. Bustos and Los Lunas guard Kayden Walker-Gabaldon.
Greg Brown of Volcano Vista was chosen as coach of the year.
SIGNINGS: Northern New Mexico College raided Cleveland for three boys basketball players last week as guards Marcus Hill and Marquise Hill, and forward Tyrique Weaver, all signed with the Española-based school.
… Cibola’s Corbyn Cunningham missed all of her senior basketball season with a knee injury, but the Cougars’ forward will get to continue her career at Howard (Texas) Junior College. She is the third sibling in her family to sign to play basketball, following brothers Casey and Christian, the latter of whom played in the NCAA Tournament this year with Jacksonville (Ala.) State.
… Sandia Prep’s Frannie Twohig has signed a national letter of intent to join the equestrian riding team at Fresno State.
SELECTION SUNDAY: A reminder: The state baseball brackets will be announced Sunday afternoon.
But not softball.
Softball has dropped from 16 playoff teams to 12 starting with this year. That sport will contest its entire postseason during a four-day window rather than start the playoffs the weekend of May 5-6 with the first round, as baseball continues to do.
The regular season for softball is extending to May 6 this year.
State softball tournaments are May 10-13, with Cibola Little League being added as a venue this year, joining Cleveland, Rio Rancho and Lobo Field.
The softball brackets will be unveiled May 7.
State tennis team brackets are to be posted Saturday night, according to the New Mexico Activities Association.
THIS AND THAT: La Cueva softball (21-0) moved up one spot this week to No. 12 in the CBS MaxPreps Xcellent 25 rankings. The La Cueva baseball team (21-1) debuted this week at No. 47 in a top-50 poll from the same organization. La Cueva softball Tweeted out Wednesday that the team has hit 42 home runs and is batting .501 as a team.
… West Las Vegas has essentially fired head boys basketball coach David Bustos as the district is not renewing his coaching contract. Bustos coached in two state championship games with the Dons, both losses to Hope Christian in 2015 and 2016. He is the father of D.J. Bustos, now the state’s career scoring leader and a New Mexico Highlands signee.