SeEx-StateTrack2-0619

Ereana McCallister digs deep during a practice sprint at Harrison High School in this May 2019 photo. Colorado High School Athletic Association announced Thursday, March 13, it would suspend the spring sports season through at least April 6, in light of the novel COVID-19 virus. [Express photo/Regan Foster/file]

Decision to postpone through at least April 6 comes in light of COVID-19

Starting Friday, you can still go out to the ball park, just don’t expect to see any crowds, peanuts, Cracker Jack … or even a game … for the next few weeks.

The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) announced Thursday that all spring sports and activities would be suspended until April 6, “to address concerns surrounding the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.” The decision takes hold Friday, March 13, one day after four Southeast Colorado Springs high schools were slated to kick off their seasons.

Sierra and Harrison both kicked off their girls soccer seasons Thursday afternoon, and Sierra boys expected to throw off their first pitch promptly at 4 p.m. The Harrison girls took on Pueblo Central in the Steel City, while both Sierra teams hosted the competition. The girls took to the pitch against James Irwin, while the boys squared off on the diamond against Jefferson.

“It’s been a bit hectic,” Dave Hogan, activities and athletics director for Harrison School District 2, said.

Colorado Springs School District 11, on the other hand, announced late in the academic day that all after-school and evening activities would be put on the back burner.

“We know this is short notice, but due to rapidly changing developments regarding COVID-19 announcements, we must cancel these events,” the city district wrote in a Tweet.

That was tough news for both Mitchell and Palmer. The Marauders boys basketball team was expected to host Sand Creek, while the Terrors swim, baseball and lacrosse squads had been scheduled to challenge Pine Creek, Pueblo Centennial and Pueblo West, respectively.

“The collaborative decision-making has been in the best interest of our students and school communities, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.”
—CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green

CHSAA’s decision was released around noon Thursday. It followed a Wednesday-morning digital conference with more than 50 administrators from around the state, according to a press release.

The consensus, according to the statement, was to hold off on really getting things kicking. It blankets the spring sports season — including both practices and competition — the state speech tournament, student leadership’s Advisor U and all music festivals.

In addition, an outreach with the Colorado Athletic Directors Association will be conducted remotely at a yet-to-be determined date.

“I want to thank the Board of Directors, membership and CHSAA staff for their support and guidance,” CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green said in a statement. “The collaborative decision-making has been in the best interest of our students and school communities, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.”

As of noon Thursday, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment had tested 350 people for the novel COVID-19 virus. Of those, 44 were labeled presumptive positive, one was indeterminate but being treated as positive and 298 were negative for the condition, which World Health Organization on Wednesday declared a global pandemic.

CHSAA said in its press release it would be monitoring the situation and evaluating with the help of key decision-makers from across the state, when—if at all—to resume the spring season. For more information, visit ChassNow.org. We will also keep you in the loop as events unfold.

newsroom@southeastexpress.org

Reporter

Marcus Hill is a reporter for the Southeast Express and Schriever Sentinel. He graduated from Colorado State University-Pueblo in 2012 with a degree in Mass Communication.

Editor

Founding Editor and General Manager Regan Foster holds dual bachelor's degrees in journalism and Spanish and a master's degree in journalism with specialization in political reporting and media management.