Spectators not allowed at some high school sports this weekend

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — A handful of high school sporting events across the Four Corners will be limiting fan interaction, or not allowing fans at all, due to a resurgence of cases related to coronavirus.

Bloomfield High School, which announced on Wednesday that the school itself would hold remote learning only from Thursday through Monday, Jan. 31, also announced that the Bobcats girls basketball game Friday night at Bobcat Arena against Miyamura would be held without fans in attendance.

In a social media post released Wednesday morning by the Bloomfield School District, fans were reminded that the game would be streamed live on the National Federation of High Schools website.

Bloomfield High School athletic director Ben Tensay confirmed the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

"We will resume next week as normal," Tensay said.

Meantime, the Butch Melton Wrestling Invitational, scheduled for this weekend at Ignacio High School and featuring more than a dozen teams including Aztec, Farmington, Shiprock and Durango, also will be held without fans in attendance.

More:Aztec High School's Makayla Munoz has sights set on third straight state wrestling title

According to a statement released this week by Ignacio High School athletic director Leo Garand, the event, which will be held on Saturday, will be streamed live on YouTube, via the Ignacio Activities Network.

"To keep the integrity of the tournament and host 16 teams, to protect both wrestlers and our community, fans will not be allowed at this year's event," the statement read in part.

Over the course of the last month, both the Scorpions and Tigers wrestling teams have been hit by the latest surge in the pandemic, as wrestlers have been forced to miss recent tournaments due to self-imposed quarantines.

Meantime, Newcomb High School continues to implement a two-fan limit for participants in sporting events, the only school in Central Consolidated School District to have a limit on fans at sporting events, according to CCSD public relations supervisor Jerrod Noble.

The updated protocols for local and area fans comes one week after Albuquerque Public Schools issued a moratorium on fans in attendance at indoor sporting events through the end of next week.

Fans, a vast majority of them wearing masks, attending a game at the Marv Sanders Invitational in the Scorpion Arena at Farmington High School on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021.

New Mexico Activities Association executive director Sally Marquez also announced changes to fan interaction as well as scheduling changes to upcoming state tournaments for wrestling and swimming coming up next month in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, respectively.

More:NMAA announces changes to state championships schedules and fan participation

The state swimming finals, which will now be held on Wednesday, Feb. 16, for the boys and Saturday, Feb, 19, for the girls at the Albuquerque Academy Natatorium, will have limitations for fans.

"We are going to allow two people (in attendance) per athlete," Marquez said. "We will work with the schools to eliminate the amount of people in that facility but allows the parents to go see their kids perform."

The changes to next month's wrestling state championships will be related to scheduling, with state titles being handed out in boys wrestling from Class A to 4A on Friday, Feb. 18 with the Class 5A finals as well as all girls championships to be decided on Saturday, Feb. 19.

At press time, no other local or area schools were issuing limitations on fans at upcoming sporting events.

Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.