Substandard Officiating in NM High School Football is a Pervasive problem
The recent fiasco in the Atricso Heritage Academy (AHA) versus St Pius game brings to light what many of us parents knew to be true in New Mexico High School Football. Substandard officiating or for that matter blatant disregard for the rules of the game call into question whether or not many of these officials should be involved in the sport. Last year I watched in dismay, as the officials determined the outcome of the 3A State Championship Game between Lovington High School and Albuquerque Academy by the outrageous calls they made.
But this recent incident has caught the attention of the entire New Mexico Football Community. The Albuquerque Journal has chronicled the incident, and the steps taken by parents of the AHA players in an article “Atrisco Heritage Parents Seek Injunction” NMAA Football Bids Questioned
According to the article, “Leading by nine, AHA was at the St. Pius 26 with 3.4 seconds remaining and was intending to attempt a 43-yard field goal. And AHA should have had that chance, coach Angel Castillo said, since the previous play in the game was an incomplete pass. There was also a penalty against St. Pius. The clock, by rule, should not have re-started, but the officiating crew ran the final 3.4 seconds off the clock, ending the game.” Castillo said he attempted to get an explanation from the referee on the field as to what happened, but said he was unable to.”
The parents correctly sought an injunction against the NMAA citing the bad call by the officials resulted in the AHA not being able to make it in the playoff. Whereas they did not succeed, I believe that it has opened a can of worms. The NMAA needs to take a serious look at this problem. The article went on to say, “The next morning, we had meetings with (NMAA executive director) Gary Tripp and (NMAA assistant director of sports) Randy Adrian, and they assured us that they knew it was a blown (call),” Castillo said. “The NMAA said the game official told them that he blew it.”
It is time to take a serious look at this problem.
Read the ABQJournal Article
C. Lloyd McKenzie, MBA
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