Though Tiger sports have been on hold since mid-March, that doesn’t mean nothing has been happening in the sports world. In constantly evolving environment, each update in public health restrictions bring changes to the proposed calendar of school sports every few weeks. The uncertainty this inspires is unavoidable. Still, each sport has to continue to plan and prepare for their season according to the calendar as it is today.

The current New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) calendar has school sports starting up just after the first of the year with Basketball and Cheer/Spirit beginning practice on January 4. Their competitive seasons would commence one week later. Cross country and soccer would follow in mid-February. Football would begin practice at the end of February with games beginning the first of March, when volleyball would also begin.

Each sports startup date will depend on public health restrictions in force as the school year progresses. This uncertainty can’t help but heighten the level of anxiety among both athletes and coaches about the future of their program this year. The NMAA has remained steadfast in their determination that school sports will take place this year. They are not, however, the final arbiter in that decision.

The upshot of all this is that Tiger athletes and coaches need to keep their focus on what they have control over. Strength, conditioning and preparedness are always areas that can be worked on, regardless of when they return to the field or court of competition. Keep eligibility and physical readiness up. These things will serve you, as will the discipline needed for them, through your sport’s season, all year, and through all of your life.

Some teams are already working, within current public health restrictions and NMAA guidelines, while others are still developing a conditioning and practice program and regimen. If you are unsure, contact your coach. For all prospective Tiger golf team athetes, you have had a standing invitation to practice at any time at the T-or-C Municipal Golf Course, free of charge. If you are not yet on a team but want to be or are thinking about it, contact the coach of the team you are interested in or call your school office.

Sports Scholarships Announced

The NMAA announced last week that its NMAA Foundation increased the annual scholarships it normally awards, from $22,000 that it gave out in 2019-20 school year, to $45,000 for 2020-21 graduating class. The Foundation’s Board of Directors made this decision due to the adversity faced by students brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic during this unique school year and the challenges and adversity faced by students. Twenty additional $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to New Mexico students as part of the NMAA effort to support our student during these difficult times. When combined with the scholarship program carried over from previous years, this means that for the graduating class of 2021, these, “Together We Rise” scholarships will increase to a total of over 40 graduating seniors with scholarships of a minimum of $1,000 to attend college or university.

The scholarships cover the range of NMAA sanctioned student sports and non-sport activities. Some are specific to sport or activity, some are reserved to students by school size (A-2A, or 3A-6A), while some are designed to cover any student involved in sports or activities. The scholarships that will be awarded to include:

The Mario Martinez Memorial NMAA Extraordinary Participation Scholarship awarded for excellence in academics & multiple athletic programs from Class A-2A schools. The Gary Tripp NMAA Extraordinary Participation Scholarship, given for excellence in academics, athletics, and activities from Class 3A-5A schools. The Compete with Class Scholarship, presented by the NM National Guard for those who best exemplify the three pillars of Compete with Class – Respect, Integrity, Responsibility. The Dan & Lucille Wood / Grey Gladiator Athletics Scholarship, presented by Subway for excellence in academics and athletics. The El Richards / Frances Walsh Spirit Scholarship, presented by Varsity Spirit for excellence in academics and cheer/dance. The “Together We Rise” Scholarship, for achievement in athletics or activities, academics, and evaluation of personal statements.

The application portal for these scholarships is open and can be accessed from the NMAA website at https://www.nmact.org/foundation/scholarship-forms/. The deadline for each application is April 1, 2021. Recipients will be selected and notified by April 30, 2021. For additional information pertaining to this announcement, please contact Dusty Young, NMAA Associate Director at (505) 977-5385 or dusty@nmact.org.

New Tiger Teams Proposed

•There are students actively pursuing the development of a Tigers tennis team. For both a boys’ and a girls’ team, six athletes are needed for each. Students who are eighth through twelfth grades and who have academic standing are eligible. There are practice facilities in T-or-C, Elephant Butte and Williamsburg. Though this is still in the planning stages, probably for the 2021-22 school year, if you have any interest in being a Tiger athlete on this team, or are interested in coaching, we will be publishing contact information soon.

Similarly, though sanctioned by the NMAA as a student activity rather than a sport, there is a group of students trying to form a Tigers bowling team. Bedroxx Bowling has expressed an interest in helping to support it, if this team is started. As with tennis, students from eighth through twelfth grades would be eligible to compete. Watch here for more information on both these exciting, potential new Tiger teams.

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