DENVER — (Updated, 11 a.m. Wednesday: Despite the green light from Colorado Gov. Jared Polis to move forward with a football season, CHSAA officials Tuesday night decided against bringing football and other sports back this semester. New story here).
The fall-like weather has returned to Colorado, and now it appears high school football is also making a fall comeback.
Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday that high school football and other fall sports can return.
The Colorado High School Activities Association plans to make an announcement this Thursday on when practices and games could resume.
“If their board moves forward and wants to propose a fall season for CHSAA football, we would be thrilled to work with them to make that happen for the districts that are ready to go," Polis said.
Broomfield High School athletic director Steve Shelton and others are thrilled about the state's policy reversal on fall athletics.
"We’re excited about the opportunity,” Shelton said. “Give us the guidelines, give us the restrictions and we'll prove to you that we can make it work."
Coaches said this decision rewards all the hard work and dedication of student athletes.
"It was hard to work with them all summer and tell them – ‘Hey, if we wear masks, if we social distance, if we keep ourselves in smaller groups, if we don't work inside and use the weight room, you'll get to play. And our kids did all that," said a coach who asked not to be identified. "They expected to get this chance. And they're ready to go."
Colorado's decision also falls in line with at least 35 other states now allowing high school football this fall. About a dozen of those states reversed decisions from earlier in the summer, just as Colorado appears to be doing.
"Those states have all played games,” a head coach said. “A lot of them have done it with fans. The data that I've seen is showing that there haven’t been spikes related to that type of activity."
"Providing them access to their friends, to exercise, to their peers, to something positive right now has a huge impact," Shelton said.
The question now is which districts are ready to play? CHSAA appears to be putting that ball in each district’s own court.