High school athletic directors await meeting for more winter sports details
With local high schools on holiday break, CHSAA delivered an early Christmas present on Monday announcing that practices and games for winter sports will being in January.
A statewide COVID-19 outbreak earlier in December forced the governing body for all high school activities in Colorado to delay Season B — which includes basketball, hockey, wrestling, skiing and other sports — from starting Jan. 4 until at least February.
Monday’s announcement by CHSAA, preceded by several meetings and pleas from high school athletes across the state, allows winter practices to start Jan. 18 with games beginning the following week, Jan. 25.
“For months our office has been laser-focused on students and the safe resumption of high school sports and activities in 2021,” CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green said in the organization’s announcement. “The conversations with CDPHE and the Governor’s COVID Response Team to resume Season B sports have been intentional and assertive. Though it has taken many late nights and weekends, we are thrilled that our student-athletes, member schools and local school communities have a resolution. Educationally-based athletics are a vital extension of the classroom.”
For athletic directors, coaches and athletes, a Jan. 4 meeting with CHSAA will provide more details on how the season will go.
“This year I think it’s all about being flexible and being optimistic, and I think our school community has been doing a really good job with that,” said Bobby Ecker, Vail Mountain School’s athletic director. “It’s been hard, but we’re all in it together and it’s been going alright.”
For basketball, Ecker said teams will be limited in travel across the state, roster sizes and the schedules are reduced from 18 games to 12. He also said that, while things can change, VMS basketball is preparing for a season with masks on at all times by players, coaches and referees, as well as no spectators.
“We’re ready to play basketball and get some games going,” he said.
Wrestling, which is attracting much attention as a close-contact sport during COVID-19, is awaiting more details from the upcoming meeting.
CHSAA’s full list of sports approved for winter are ice hockey, skiing, girls swimming, wrestling, basketball and competitive spirit.
“We’re really excited that the state was able to approve Season B,” Ecker said. “I know everyone wants to play.”
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