Proposal has Clovis changing districts

By Rick White

Clovis will be part of a bi-district that includes Class 4A and 5A teams if the state’s governing board for athletics approves the recommendation of a realignment committee.

Mario Martinez, chairman of the New Mexico Activities Association realignment committee, said Tuesday the proposal calls for Clovis to be placed in a district that also includes Class 5A schools Hobbs and Carlsbad and Class 4A schools Artesia, Roswell High and Roswell Goddard.

The district, which would cover all sports, would be subdivided by classification. The top two teams in 4A and 5A would advance to the state playoffs.

Teams in the district would be mandated to play each other in every sport.

“When the five classes were established (in 2000), we started having all kinds of problems,” Martinez said. “People were complaining about the 300-mile bus trips, spending seven or eight hours on the bus, and getting home in the middle of the night and having to go to school the next day.”

Clovis athletic director Dale Fullerton believes the committee did the best they could.

“We can live with it,” Fullerton said. “Overall, it’s the best thing for everybody involved.”

His biggest concern, he said, is if the Class 4A schools will be able to compete in basketball.

“I don’t think football-wise, it will hurt anybody,” Fullerton said. “Travel-wise it’s definitely a plus.”

Martinez said cutting down on travel, missed classroom time for students and expenses were the major points of emphasis given the realignment committee.

The recommendation passed on Monday would create five Class 5A districts ranging from Clovis’ three-team district to a pair of five-team districts in the Albuquerque area. It would also create a 16-team playoff system in all sports in the state’s top three classes.

Martinez, longtime athletic director, football and track coach at Fort Sumner, said he has no reason to believe the NMAA board of directors would not approve the committee’s recommendation when they meet in June.

Currently, Clovis is in a district that includes Hobbs, Carlsbad and two Albuquerque schools.