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NMAA Realigns Classes And Districts

on December 5, 2017 - 10:31am

Hilltopper Football defense gets instructions from Coach Chuck Cotter. Photo by John McHale/



Los Alamos Daily Post

ALBUQUERQUE – The New Mexico Activities Association has made significant changes for the 2018-2020 seasons. The first change is eliminating the 6-A Class in all sports except football. Using three-year average attendance records as the metric, schools are placed in classes by size and broken into districts by region. Schools with an average attendance of 550-1,299 students are placed into the 4-A classification.

In football, that metric is 1000-1449 for the 5-A classification. Private schools use a 1.3 multiplier for their attendance figures. Schools have until Monday to submit an appeal of the NMAA’s decision.

The NMAA made these changes to cut down on travel costs and missed class time by student athletes. Los Alamos High School will now compete in 5-A football in a district with Capital, Santa Fe and Del Norte High Schools.

In boys’ and girls’ basketball and cross-country, baseball, softball, track and field, wrestling and volleyball, the ‘Toppers have been placed in a district with Bernalillo, Española Valley, Pojoaque, Santa Fe Indian School, and Taos. Soccer will play in the same district minus Española Valley who doesn’t field soccer teams, and Santa Fe Indian School who only fields a girl’s soccer team.

At first glance, the new Class 4-A district that will host Los Alamos looks to be a very competitive basketball league, but does not offer very much competition in other sports. The ‘Topper golf teams have been placed in a district with Albuquerque Academy, Del Norte, Española Valley, Highlands, Taos and Valley high schools. ‘Topper tennis will compete in a district with Bernalillo, Desert Academy, Española Valley, Raton, Robertson, Santa Fe Prep, St. Michael’s and Taos. Swimming and diving are grouped with Desert Academy, Gallup, Miyamura, Santa Fe Prep, St. Michael’s and Taos.

Los Alamos High School Athletic Director Ann Stewart seems pleased with the new district. “It’s very competitive for football. [The Hilltoppers] had success against Santa Fe this season, and were competitive for the most part against Capital and Del Norte,” Stewart said about the football district.

As for the other sports, Stewart acknowledged the favorable basketball district. “All those gyms draw really well. Overall this is a very favorable travel [district] for us. The furthest we have to go is Bernalillo. That will cut down on missed class time and travel costs,” she said.

SFIS Appeal

Santa Fe Indian School will appeal the NMAA’s decision to place them in the 4-A classification. The school argues that the multiplier should not apply to them because they are a boarding school and don’t know which students they will have from year to year.