NMAA approves new district alignment for 2018

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By Phil Scherer

After months of speculation, the New Mexico Activities Association announced the new classifications and districts for schools in the state beginning next school year on Thursday.

There will be lots of changes coming to Los Alamos High School’s district next year in nearly every sport. One of the main reasons for that is the NMAA’s decision to go down to five classes in every sport except football, which will remain at six classes.

That move adds teams to every class, and creates larger districts across the state.

LAHS will be moving to Class 4A, down from their current alignment in Class 5A. Under the new alignment, enrollment in Class 4A will be between 500 and 1,299.

The new alignment will run from 2018-2020.

Currently, in nearly every sport except for soccer, Los Alamos’ district includes Albuquerque Academy, Del Norte High School, Capital High School and Española Valley High School.

Beginning next year, in nearly every sport except football and soccer, the district will include Bernalillo High School, Española Valley High School, Pojoaque High School, Taos High School and Santa Fe Indian School.

The move sees Pojoaque Valley and Española Valley joining LAHS on the move down to 4A from 5A. SFIS moves down from 6A, and Taos moves up from 3A. Bernalillo is remaining at 4A.

Those teams will compete against LAHS in basketball, volleyball, track and field, baseball, cross country and softball.

In football, LAHS’ district will remain similar to the current setup. The Hilltoppers will remain with Capital and Del Norte, and will add Santa Fe High School. Santa Fe High has competed as an independent the last two school years, and has not won a game since 2014.

Current district foes Española Valley and Albuquerque Academy have been moved to different classifications, and Academy’s football team will compete as an independent starting next year.

In soccer, LAHS will be matched up against Bernalillo, Pojoaque and Taos. Santa Fe Indian School will join the district for girls’ soccer only.

This will be an entirely new district for LAHS, which has been matched up against perennial state contender Albuquerque Academy the past two years in district play.

Although the NMAA approved the realignment, schools will have 72 hours to appeal any of the decisions.