Saturday’s prep football season opener for St. Michael’s has been canceled and will not be made up, multiple sources have confirmed.
The Horsemen were scheduled to open their abbreviated four-game season this weekend at Raton but a pair of officials within Raton’s athletic department said Wednesday night that the game was off for undisclosed reasons.
The game was set for a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday in Raton. It would have been the third straight game the Horsemen had played against the Tigers dating to the end of the 2019 football season. The pair met in the regular season finale that year, then again in the Class 3A state playoffs a week later.
The 2020 season was postponed due to the pandemic. The New Mexico Activities Association crafted a scaled-back regular season, allowing schools that opened for hybrid learning Feb. 22 to compete as early as Friday. Schools that opened after that date are eligible to start their seasons next weekend.
The announcement about Saturday’s game initially appeared on Raton High School’s Facebook page Wednesday evening. The post said it was canceled, “per NMAA due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control.”
Raton athletic director LeAnne Montoya wouldn’t disclose any specifics but did confirm that the game was not being played. She directed all comments to St. Michael’s.
St. Michael’s athletic director Kevin Garcia neither confirmed nor denied the validity of the Facebook post, saying the school likely wouldn’t comment on the matter until Thursday. Horsemen head coach Joey Fernandez was unavailable.
NMAA associate director Dusty Young texted a one-line response seeking confirmation that the game had been canceled: “Would need to talk to the schools about it.”
The news came just moments after Albuquerque Public Schools announced it had reversed course and will allow sports to return immediately. The state’s largest school district, APS was one of the few holdouts for launching a fall sports season for football, volleyball, soccer and cross country.
It now appears APS will have its schools play one, possibly two football games while other sports will play a handful of events before the winter sports calendar kicks in on March 22.