LAS CRUCES, N.M. — New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Thursday that contact sports will not be permitted this fall at the high school level.

The postponement includes both football and soccer for now, although the briefing also stated that non-contact sports such as volleyball and cross country are under review and will “likely” have delayed starts to seasons.

Lujan Grisham didn’t rule out the possibility of modifying those sports’ schedules to resume in the spring either with the contingency that schools are reopened at that time.

“It was a little bit expected,” Las Cruces football coach Mark Lopez said. “We’ve had conversations about this for a couple of weeks. … I felt like this gave us a better opportunity to keep everybody safe and also play a full season in the spring, so that’s what I’m still looking forward to.”

For now, the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) is left preparing for that scenario. It claims that a tentative plan in response to the news should be available “on or around July 15.”

“Interscholastic athletics are an important part of the overall educational process,” NMAA executive director Sally Marquez said in a press release. “The NMAA will work tirelessly to ensure students have the opportunity to participate in all sports and activities of their choosing during the 2020-2021 school year.”

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