The NMAA has released the amended schedule for spring sports following the postponement of golf, cross country and volleyball into the spring.

Cross country will kick off first, beginning on Feb. 15, with a short season consisting of only five meets, including the district and state meets. The state meet is scheduled for the weekend of March 19-20.

Initially, the cross country season was supposed to occur from October 5 through December 5, with state championships occurring on December 4-5.

The short season was put into place in order to give the athletes, who typically also run track and field, a break before the track and field season begins.

“It’s shortened to five weeks long,” Marquez said. “The coaches were concerned about the back-to-back seasons with cross country and track and field. They were asking if they could have a shorter cross country season so the kids could get a little 2-3 week break and then participate in track and field. So cross country will start on February 15, but it will end five weeks later. We will have the state cross country meet the third week in March.”

Major changes were also made to the golf season, which was extended by two weeks in an effort to make up for the time lost with the cancellation of the fall season for the sport.

The schedule has the golf season begins on March 22 and runs through June 22, when the state championships are scheduled to conclude.

“We missed about five weeks of golf,” Marquez said. “When the governor’s orders would not allow us to compete in fall golf, we wanted to make sure our golfers had some of those weeks back. Two weeks prior to when they would normally start spring golf allows them to have two more events. It gives them a little more leeway when it comes to scheduling.”

The final sport which had to have its season moved was volleyball, which was pushed to begin on March 1, running through the first of May.

Volleyball is the only indoor sport that was scheduled for the fall, and scheduling it in between basketball and wrestling was important in order to allow for reasonable use of the gym for each sport, as well as the challenges with multi-sport volleyball players, many of whom also play basketball.

“We went from a 10-week season to a 9-week season,” Marquez said. “The reason we did that is that we wanted to make sure our volleyball players had a solid spring season. Putting this calendar together is tough with back-to-back sports.

“If we had one less week, we could get those athletes, that are playing softball or running track, out sooner. Instead of having our quarterfinals the weekend before, at home sites, we will now have our quarterfinals on Monday at home sites and then on Wednesday and Thursday, we will have the semifinals and the finals on Friday and Saturday.

“This will allow our teams to not have to spend the night, they can go play the volleyball match and come home and then go play the semifinals and finals.”

Additionally, spirit competitions are scheduled to begin on Jan. 16.

If public health orders allow, the spring sports season will begin with basketball and swimming on Jan. 4.

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Cameron Goeldner grew up in Boulder, Colo., and attended the University of New Mexico. He covers everything sports for all Valencia County schools.