Tentative 2020-2021 sports season will begin with golf and cross country on Sept. 14

Matt Hollinshead, mhollinshead@daily-times.com
Farmington's Kamalani Anitielu runs up the last pathway toward the finish line during the District 2-5A cross country championships Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, at Pinon Hills Community Church in Farmington. The 2020 cross country season is scheduled to start on Sept. 14.

FARMINGTON — New Mexico sports teams finally know when their seasons will tentatively start.

The New Mexico Activities Association's revised 2020-2021 sports calendar will begin with golf and cross country in September and end in June 2021.

“It’s great to finally have a plan in place. It’s been up in the air for so long,” Farmington Municipal Schools Athletic Director Frank Whalen said. “To now know there’s a chance to play, it’s great… When we know what’s going to happen, it’s easy to plan for it.”

Golf and cross country will start their fall seasons on Sept. 14. The state cross country championships will be Nov. 13-14, while the state golf championships will be June 21-22.

Volleyball will start on Oct. 5, while basketball and swimming will start on Jan. 4.

Soccer and football will start on Feb. 15 and Feb. 22, respectively. The state soccer championships will be held April 12-17. The state football championships will be held April 23-24, April 30, May 1 and May 8.

“To have the playoffs in the spring, it’s great, especially teams like us that like to throw the ball,” Aztec football coach Eric Stovall said. “It’ll be a little chilly at the start. But once we get to March, it’ll warm up. In San Juan County, we understand what it’s all about.”

The state volleyball championships will be on Dec. 4-12, while the state basketball championships will be March 1-13. The state swimming championships will be March 13-20.

Golf's spring season, wrestling, baseball, softball, tennis, track and field will all start on April 5. The state championships for those sports will take place in June.

While the start time for cheer and spirit is yet to be determined, the state championships will be on March 26-27.

Bloomfield’s Madison Bedonie drives toward the basket against Los Lunas’ Kylee Trujillo during the 2020  NMAA 4A girls basketball state quarterfinals on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at Dreamstyle Arena in Albuquerque.

COVID-19 arrived in New Mexico on March 11, forcing the NMAA to finish up the state basketball tournament without fans. On March 27, the rest of the 2020 spring sports campaigns were canceled because of the pandemic.

Teams across the Land of Enchantment were allowed to start summer workouts as early as June 15, but COVID-19 wasn't done ripping through the state.

As more businesses started reopening on June 1 and as sports teams got practices underway, positive cases went up.

An unidentified St. Pius football player and an unidentified Carlsbad coach tested positive for COVID-19 right before the Fourth of July weekend. Just days after that, a Loving athlete tested positive.

As a result, football and soccer were postponed until the spring semester.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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