New Mexico cross-country, volleyball and fall golf seasons get new tentative start dates

Matt Hollinshead,

FARMINGTON — New Mexico’s cross-country, volleyball and golf scenes finally have some answers on new tentative start dates.

Cross-country activities will get underway on Feb. 15, while volleyball will start on March 1. Golf will begin on March 22, making it spring-only this season because that’s normally the time when the spring portion of the season gets rolling.

The state cross-country championships will be held March 19 and 20, while state volleyball will be held April 26-May 1. State golf will take place June 21 and 22.

“Just to hear that news is going to be something forth to look forward to… I think the kids will be excited to have something,” Kirtland Central cross-country coach Lenny Esson said.

Others are reading:Bloomfield student-athletes protest fall sports being postponed until at least January

Dusty Young, the associate director for the New Mexico Activities Association, said the latest calendar update isn’t optimal, but the NMAA wanted to make it work for those three sports.

“We’re trying to limit the overlap as much as possible,” Young said.

Bloomfield's Kailyn Gunn hits the ball into the right corner against Montezuma-Cortez's Avery Wright during Tuesday's volleyball match at Bobcat Gym in Bloomfield.

Although golf teams like the Piedra Vista boys used the fall portion of the campaign to secure their qualifying spot at state, PV coach Tom Yost said he’s not worried about having a smaller time window to get it done.

“I don’t really feel any more pressure, because we’re going to qualify for state. We’ll use that time to build and prep,” Yost said. “It’s good. It gives us a couple extra weeks of practice… The weather’s going to be good, and the golf courses are going to be better… We’ll be able to hit the ground running.”

All three sports were originally scheduled to begin earlier this month, but were postponed amid rising COVID-19 cases.

Esson said he doesn’t see envision any potential interference for student-athletes transitioning from cross country to track, given the two-week gap between the revised schedule for the cross country state championships and the start of track season (April 5).

Keep reading:Fall sports in New Mexico postponed until at least January 2021 amid rising COVID-19 cases

As for those who take part in both cross country and basketball (still scheduled to begin on Jan. 4, with the state championships taking place March 1-13), such as Kirtland’s Aisha Ramone, Esson also said student-athletes and coaches will have to coordinate a plan to devote part of any given week to basketball and another time of the week to cross country.

“It’s going to come down to a lot of planning and working it out,” Esson said. “It is doable… It can be done. You have to be very disciplined to do it.”

Even so, the revised calendar is no guarantee. It all depends on any subsequent developments in the coming weeks.

More:Farmington, PV and Aztec athletes join Monday's protests of fall sports postponement

For now, Yost is still holding his breath.

“Everything is sensitive. Everything is changing by the day,” Yost said. “The kids are hopeful, the kids are excited.”

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

Support local journalism with a digital subscription: