One more week.
The official start date for prep volleyball and cross-country preseason practice is Sept. 14. To be fair, most teams have had impromptu workouts for a while now, but next week is go time for teams to begin preparing for the October start of regular season competition.
Just how the NFL season has kind of snuck up on everyone, the high school sports campaign is right around the corner.
As for the other traditional fall sports of football and soccer, those will have to wait until early next year.
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Safe to say Adrian Peterson may have lost a few fans in Las Cruces over the weekend. The former Minnesota Vikings running back was signed by the Detroit Lions on Saturday less than two days after he was cut by the Washington Football Team (and, yes, it still feels weird to call them that). AP’s deal with the Lions likely cost former New Mexico State running back Jason Huntley a roster spot just one week before the season opener.
Huntley was one of the final cuts Detroit made Saturday as NFL teams had to reduce active rosters to 53 players. By all accounts, his spot was taken by the 35-year-old Peterson, who ranks fifth all-time rushing with 14,216 yards. Ironically, he needs 1,054 yards to pass Lions legend Barry Sanders for fourth.
Huntley was a fifth-round draft pick of the Lions this year and he was considered a strong candidate for Detroit’s backfield given his speed, pass-catching ability and value to special teams. He is the Lions’ highest draft pick not to make the team since 2016.
But by Sunday morning Huntley had already found a landing spot. The Philadelphia Eagles claimed him off waivers for their practice squad, meaning he has a solid chance of seeing action this season.
Huntley wasn’t the only NMSU player cut Saturday. Former Aggies receiver Jaleel Scott, a fourth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2018, was let go. Scott had an injury-filled training camp, missing one of the Ravens’ full-contact scrimmages and sitting out a week due to injury. Scott can also potentially play tight end andother teams may give him a look.
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Sticking to the NFL theme, two former University of New Mexico players retained their spots on active rosters. Punter Corey Bojorquez enters his third year with the Buffalo Bills, while kicker Jason Sanders is in his third season with the Miami Dolphins.
Sanders, of course, became a highlight-reel icon for a brief moment last year when he caught a touchdown pass on a trick play against the Eagles, making him the first former Lobo to score in an NFL game since receiver Hank Baskett in 2008 with Philadelphia.
Entering his ninth year in the league is another specialist, long snapper Kyle Nelson of the San Francisco 49ers, a New Mexico State product. Nelson has played for six NFL teams since entering the league in 2011. He has been with the 49ers since 2014.
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Get your Cowboys merch while the deals last.
No, not those Cowboys. The other guys at New Mexico Highlands University. The school started an online sale of select merchandise on Sunday morning, a purging of goods that will last until midnight Monday.
If ever you’ve wanted your purple-and-white shorts, hoodies, backpacks, long-sleeve shirts or sweats — all at 15 to 20 percent off — now’s your time. Head to the school’s website for more details, but do it soon. By Tuesday you’re out of luck.
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The United Soccer League has announced that it will commemorate Nov. 3 as a company holiday. If you’re scoring at home, that means the league will give its employees the day off to get out and vote in the general election.
“We are pleased to encourage all of our employees to utilize this paid time to exercise their vote, and to volunteer at polling places during election day,” said USL CEO Justin Papadakis. “We have been pleased to see clubs within our organization take similar steps and would encourage others to do the same.”
It comes on the heels of the USL’s push to make change by empowering its employees. Earlier this year it launched USL Impact Days, which gives each member of its staff an opportunity to receive an extra paid day off to honor and celebrate any societal cause of their choosing.
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He’s No. 2 with a strong hankerin’ for a shot at the top spot, rest assured. New Mexico United team captain and Las Cruces High graduate Josh Suggs has moved into the United Soccer League’s top two for career minutes played. Having logged all 90 minutes in Saturday’s loss at El Paso, the 31-year-old now has 15,997 minutes in 189 career matches with various USL clubs.
He signed with New Mexico prior to last season and before that spent most of his USL time with the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, where he appeared in 98 matches. Should he not come off the field for the United’s final five regular season contests, he will reach 16,447 — nearly the same spot as record-holder Taylor Mueller (16,556) had prior to the start of this season.
Thing is, Mueller is still going strong. He has logged 810 minutes this season with the Tacoma Defiance and is on track to hold the minutes standard for at least another season, perhaps two.
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Hold your breath.
Or maybe don’t.
The Pecos League announced late last week that it intends to come back stronger than ever in 2021 with a lineup that includes 16 teams in four divisions. The plan is to have a pair of four-team divisions in California, one that includes traditional clubs like Alpine, Roswell, White Sands and Tucson, and the other housing Santa Fe, Trinidad, Garden City and Colorado Springs.
It’s done, the league says, to minimize travel with teams playing most of their games against division rivals.
We’ll see. If history has taught us anything about the Pecos League, it’s to write all plans in pencil, not pen. The format changes by the week and it’s likely there will be a few significant shifts before the planned 2021 season opener at Fort Marcy Ballpark on June 1.