Fountain Valley News - Your Hometown Community Newspaper

Local schools start sports practices

 

Last updated 6/24/2020 at 11:30am

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COVID-19 may have canceled spring, but things are starting to look up. On May 14, Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green sent a group email to schools establishing that in-person contact could begin starting June 1. The announcement also said the districts would each decide whether it was safe to go ahead with summer sports. As of press time, none of the three local high schools have announced plans for summer sports, but they are starting to slowly bring back their sports practice programs.

Jared Felice, who directs athletics for Fountain-Fort Carson High School and District 8 as a whole, said all of the high school's sports programs started practicing again on June 8. He emphasized that each of the programs is following social distancing and sanitization guidelines. Felice also said FFCHS has no summer sports season planned.

"We are hopeful fall sports begin on time and our programs are training with that hope in mind," he said.

"We are seeing a very large turnout of kids," Felice observed. "For example, we have had well over 100 football players every single day since we reopened. Kids and coaches across all programs are enjoying their time back together again."

Mesa Ridge High School Athletic director Brett Humphrey says that Mesa Ridge started its practices up again on June 15. Athletes are practicing four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) and following a "three-tier" system to slowly get the teams back to regular practice schedule. Under the system, June 15-26 will consist of physical conditioning and strength training only. Then June 20-July 10 will involve more of those two activities but with equipment use, and July 13-27 will be back to normal activity.

"Mesa Ridge is doing something different," Humphrey noted. "We are doing an all-school, student/athlete program. From 6 a.m.-9 a.m. we are running kids through a set of 40 stations to get them in shape. Currently, we have 155 kids attending daily, give or take five students. This has been great for us as we have taken the whole school approach instead of individualized sports. Things are going great! Kids are getting back in shape and we, as Mesa Ridge, are learning a lot and progressing to our ultimate goal. I could not be more proud of our coaching staff as they have all stepped up and come to these practices. We are averaging 16 coaches per day."

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CHSAA's Resocialization Task Force, a group put together in May to assess when sports could start again, has created a system to classify which sports represent the highest and lowest health risks. Lower risk sports include swimming and tennis; moderate risk sports include cross-country, track, soccer and gymnastics. Football, wrestling and basketball are considered higher risk. As of June 3, the task force is recommending lower risk sports can begin in the 2020-2021 school year, but that the CHSAA gather more medical data and guidelines before they let moderate and higher risk sports to start again. To read CHSAA's full list of sports and risk classifications, go to https://chsaanow.com/2020-06-03/chsaas-resocialization-task-force-initiates-challenging-task-of-resuming-sports-and-activities-in-2020-21-school-year/

 

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