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Oñate High football team forfeits four victories due to ineligible player


Steven Sanchez, Las Cruces Public Schools Interim Superintendent, announced Tuesday, Oct. 11, that the Oñate High School varsity football team will have to forfeit four wins played this season due to violation of a rule by the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA). Sanchez said NMAA’s Executive Director Sally Marquez notified LCPS that one of the athletes on the Knights football team who played during four winning games was ineligible to participate.

Sanchez said to maintain the student’s confidentiality, the district will not disclose the basis for the ineligibility or the student’s name.

“A mistake was made and the district has taken action to address this matter. There will be no finger-pointing,” Sanchez said. “Understandably, this ruling will be heart-breaking and disappointing to the players, coaches, school administrators and all the Oñate fans. However, we will uphold the rules as we file an appeal to the NMAA.”

Ernie Viramontes, LCPS director of athletics, said the four forfeited games are as follows: Atrisco Heritage Academy of Albuquerque played on Sept. 3 (won 14-0); Sandia High of Albuquerque played on Sept. 9 (won 40-29); Gadsden High played on Sept. 23 (won 51-0); and Mayfield High played on Sept. 30 (won 31-28).

Viramontes said the wins now go to the opposing teams, leaving Oñate’s overall record as 1-6 overall, 1-2 in district play. Oñate’s win against Carlsbad High School Friday, Oct. 7 (50-0) is not affected by the NMAA ruling.


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