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CHSAA extends spring sports suspension until at least April 18

Athletes’ seasons put on hold for another month

The Colorado High School Activities Association extended its spring sports and activities postponement until at least April 18, the organization announced Tuesday.

The decision was made following the most recent recommendation from state and federal health officials in order to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. Spring sports were previously suspended through April 6 after the decision was made last Thursday.

“In light of Gov. Jared Polis’ announcement Monday afternoon, we are announcing that the Association will follow the guidelines that went into effect at 8 a.m. Tuesday and will remain in effect for 30 days,” CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green said in a news release. “This media and school advisory is to keep the membership apprised of the latest decisions from the CHSAA office.”

In addition to sports, all music events and the CHSAA Hall of Fame ceremony set for April 14 have been canceled, per the release.

Other updates from the statement included:

The CHSAA Legislative Council scheduled for April 15 has been postponed until public gathering restrictions are lifted. The State Speech Tournament and Student Leadership’s Advisor U committee also remain postponed until the restrictions are lifted. The CHSAA office will remain closed until March 30 and all staff members will work remotely.For Ignacio High School athletic director Leo Garand, knowing multi-sport and senior athletes will be out of action for at least another month is tough.

“Part of me keeps holding out hope,” Garand said. “Those senior athletes and multi-sport athletes, it’s tough knowing that the season is on hold. We’ve got a lot of seniors where their final season is coming closer and closer to an end, and they haven’t played at all. We’re holding out hope because all we want to see is these kids compete again.”

Garand said that if sports resume play next month, track and field teams would go to the meet set on the teams’ schedule for that weekend of play. Baseball will try to re-schedule conference and Class 2A district games as doubleheaders.

He also said the girls soccer team would also play an abbreviated season. He said athletes have been working out on their own in the meantime to ensure they are ready for the season if it resumes next month.

“Last week at the spring sports meeting, coaches gave exercises, drills and things that the athletes can do to stay ready,” Garand said.

“I know the girls soccer team has been working out and doing drills off campus, and I’ve seen track athletes out running the roads when I leave work. It’s tough, but I’m extremely proud of our kids for handling a tough situation. We’d love to give those kids one last chance to compete.”

Durango School District 9-R athletic director Ryan Knoor has been in contact with fellow athletic directors from across the state. He said there is either a sense of blind optimism that sports will be played, while others are hesitant, and the latest setback puts the entire season in jeopardy.

“Scheduling will have to be up to CHSAA or our league, because if we do resume, it would be chaos,” Knoor said. “Maybe every team will get its vital league games in, but it would have to come after a brief practice period. If we have another setback, I don’t know what will happen. I am optimistic that we will play. But in the five days since Thursday’s ruling, we’ve since been set back by another 12 days, from April 6 to April 18. If there’s any more restrictions, this conversation is going to drastically change what’s possible for the remainder of the school year.”

State basketball update

The organization announced it will recognize participants from the state basketball tournament with a memento in the coming weeks. The tournament was canceled last Thursday after Great 8 games were completed earlier that night.

The Ignacio High School boys and girls basketball teams played its respective Great 8 games in Loveland, only for the remainder of the tournament to be called off shortly after the final buzzer sounded. Their second games in the tournament were canceled.

CHSAA concluded the statement by saying it will post updates on CHSAANow.com as further local, state and national decisions continue to be made.

bploen@ durangoherald.com

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