It’s game on for Menaul School athletics at the end of February.
After waiting over nine months, Panther squads are set to take to the playing fields and courts later this month. The New Mexico Activities Association approved its sports calendar for New Mexico prep athletics on Monday, Feb. 8. That decision paves the way for Upper School sports’ return at Menaul this spring and into the summer.
Practices for Upper School squads begin on Monday, Feb. 22.
At the same time, Middle School squads are still awaiting direction from the Albuquerque Independent Parochial League, which will meet on Monday, Feb. 15, to decide its schedule.
Upper School athletic director, Gary Boatman, says the initial plan is to begin practice with the fall sports. He says that coaches and athletes will follow the COVID rules as laid out by the NMAA and the State of New Mexico.
“We’ll go and practice as we would any other year,” Boatman emphasized after the NMAA announcement. “We’ve been working on strength and conditioning and skill work, in pods of four. There’s been no team stuff.”
Upper School athletics plan
Initially, the Upper School will start will football, cross country, and volleyball. Middle School athletics this season will include volleyball and boys’ basketball and track and field.
However, all dates are subject to change. For now, no spectators will be allowed for any sports. You can read the NMAA’s full list of guidelines here.
Timelines for Upper School sports beginning in February are as follows:
- Cross Country season begins Saturday, Feb. 27, and runs through Saturday, March 20, ending with District meets. The State Championships are slated for March 26 -27 at Rio Rancho High School.
- Volleyball season begins Saturday, Feb. 27, and runs through Saturday, March 27, with the State Championships scheduled for March 29-April 3, at the Rio Rancho Events Center (formerly the Santa Ana Star Center). There will be no District tournaments in this shortened season.
- Football season can begin Thursday, March 4, and runs through March 31. State playoffs are slated to start Saturday, April 3, with formats and sites to be announced. Practice for football begins Monday, Feb. 22.
Timelines for Upper School sports beginning in March:
- Boys’ soccer season begins Saturday, March 6, with practices starting Monday, March 1. The State Championship is scheduled for April 5-10, at a location to be announced. The tournament format is also TBA.
- Boys’ and Girls’ basketball regular season begins Saturday, March 27, and runs May 1. Practice beings Monday, March 2. The State Tournament is set for May 3-8. There will be no District tournaments this season.
- Baseball season begins Monday, March 12, and runs until June 19. Practices start Monday, April 5. The State Tournament is set for Monday, June 21-26. The venues and schedule are to be announced.
- Boys’ and Girls’ Track & Field season begins Monday, April 12, and goes on until June 10. District meets are scheduled for Friday or Saturday, June 11 or 12. The State Championships are scheduled for Thursday-Saturday, June 17-19, at the UNM Track and Soccer Complex.
At present, Boatman says Menaul coaches and student-athletes are ready for practices to begin February 22.
“The plan when sports start is go-as-is, do what we’re allowed to do, and if some situation changes, we’ll just adjust,” he says. “We will follow the rules and guidelines, kind of how we’ve done since July.”
He continued, “It’s kind of a moving target. But we’ll do what we’re allowed to do, and if something changes, the kids understand that we’ll make the change and keep moving. We’re very fortunate to be on campus and in front of our kids. So that covers a lot of ground with what the kids are allowed to do.”
Full schedules for all Upper School sports are in the works and will be released as soon as possible.
Middle School plans in the works
Middle School athletic director Jim Doyle says the tentative plan is for Menaul athletics for mid-schoolers to begin practice on Feb. 22. Only volleyball, boys’ basketball, and varsity track and field will be offered. Football, soccer, and cross country will remain on hold until the Fall semester.
Look for a separate News post about Menaul Middle School athletics soon after the APIAL makes its decision next week.