D51 Opts In For Fall Football

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION Colo. –

It has been a back and forth few weeks when it comes to a fall football season in Colorado. The Governor announced his support for CHSAA’s plan to get a fall season last week. But the state’s high school athletics governing body voted unanimously not to have a fall season. Backlash ensued, and led Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green to pen a response. The Governor even chimed in on twitter to say he supported the fall season.

Thursday, a week later, CHSAA’s Board of Directors approved the variance’s given to host field hockey, cheer, and football. For D51’s AD, Paul Cain, a relief to have a decision and direction in what has been an emotionally charged few weeks. “All teams in our district are going to declare “Season A”, everybody is going to play this fall… There’s been so much turmoil and so much emotion about this decision. It’s nice to have it. Now we gotta get figuring out the nuts and bolts of the seasons.”

One of the many “nuts and bolts” is sure to be, who will be allowed into games… Mesa County has a variance for gatherings of groups of up to 500 people. The question is; if a football game is considered a gathering, do athletes/participants on the field count? Or is the number of 500 strictly for the stands? With rosters maxed out at 50, plus coaches, plus trainers, plus officials, and everyone else that is needed to play a game… If those people count towards the magic number of 500, parents might have to alternate going in to games. If players don’t count, (a best case scenario) means players will only be allowed two spectators. As of Thursday, D51 is waiting to hear back from Mesa County Public Health. Cain says the district has already installed cameras to stream games.

Practice is slated to begin on September 24th, games are set to kickoff October 8th. If you’re a parent to a student athlete who’s not registered, time is of the essence when it comes to getting your athlete a physical. No student will be allowed to practice until after one is turned in.

No doubt, like so many things this year, the fall football season will likely be a bumpy ride. If the season were an airline trip, it might be important to remember the engines are just getting turned on. (And almost didn’t) Last week coaches received word from CHSSA officials the season would be a-go. hours later, and after a CHSSA board meeting, coaches received word it wouldn’t. Fruita’s AD, Denny Squibb says the back and forth has been a grind for all involved. “It’s tough when you go and say (to coaches), this is what they’re saying is going to happen. And then an hour later, it’s changed. They lose faith in you, they lose faith in the governor, and CHSAA. That all that adds up. It’s just we’re in unknown times right now. So we’re glad we’re going, and hope it stays that way.”

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