Latest realigment plan eliminates bi-districts

Staff and wire reports

ALBUQUERQUE — Clovis High is expected to lose two teams in its district if the latest athletic alignments are approved Wednesday by the New Mexico Activities Association’s Board of Directors.

The new 5A alignment would put Clovis in District 4 with Hobbs and Carlsbad, a change prompted by excessive travel time between Carlsbad and Hobbs and Albuquerque, where two of the district’s teams now reside.

The new alignments would be in effect only for the 2005-06 school year.

CHS athletic director Dale Fullerton said scheduling shouldn’t be a problem with the new changes, as Roswell Goddard and Artesia have agreed to play out-of-district games against the Wildcats each year.

He said he hopes to pick up a 10th football game against an Albuquerque school.

“We’re going to have to travel no matter what happens, no matter who we play and what district we’re in,” Fullerton said. “The worst thing that would happen is we have to play Hobbs three games in basketball and not count the first one (to pick up extra games).”

Earlier this month the NMAA’s Alignment and Classification Committee made some changes in the proposal approved by the board in June. The NMAA said the recommendations drafted by the committee were an effort to “meet the needs or wishes of the member schools and not to cause great disruption of individual districts for a one year block.”

Under the initial plan approved, Albuquerque High and Del Norte would have moved down to Class 4A and Bernalillo and Grants would have moved up from 3A to 4A.

Representatives of Bernalillo and Grants schools objected, saying moving them up a class would place them at a competitive disadvantage.

Albuquerque High recently asked the NMAA to allow it to remain in 5A. Under the proposal up for consideration Wednesday, Del Norte would still move into Class 4A.

The initial proposal also would have placed some southern schools in bi-districts, requiring them to compete against schools in other adjacent classes. The bi-district plan has been scrapped, but the NMAA is encouraging schools in three-team districts to schedule games against each other.

The NMAA emphasized that the alignment will be in effect only for the 2005-06 year and schools can expect changes in classes and districts for a two-year block of 2006-07 and 2007-08.

The proposal includes five districts in 5A and 4A and four districts in 3A.