By: Max Brown
On Wednesday, Sep. 16, the Colorado High School Sports and Activities Association (CHSAA) voted that it would allow three sports, football, field hockey, and sideline cheer to participate in the fall 2020 season as opposed to waiting until spring 2021 as was previously decided. For sports like football, this is monumental news. Before the change of ruling, only 25 players were allowed on the sideline for any sport. This is easily achievable for a sport like golf, which had clearance to play since August, but difficult for football, where teams often number greater than 50 players.
The approval to play fall sports was long awaited for some Colorado football players. On Sep. 10, high school football athletes from across the state protested the delay of the season. Protests were held in Denver, Highlands Ranch, and even all the way out in the town of Delta, in the southwest corner of the state. The athletes wanted to show that football is immensely important to them, not only personally, but for the continuation of their academic careers.
For some athletes on the bubble of being recruited to D-1 schools, the film from their senior season means everything — “If they don’t have their senior film, they don’t get the opportunities they deserve,” said Trent Schields, father of Vann Schields, a running back at Rock Canyon who has been getting looks from schools like Colorado School of Mines and Washburn University in Topeka, Kan. But getting film isn’t the only issue. Many high school athletes committed to big name schools would have graduated in December of this year and looked to play with their college team during the spring training camp. However, national signing day has been moved back to Feb. 5, this year. This means that athletes may have to end up graduating in the spring and redshirting their freshman season as they begin their collegiate career.
Even though most of Colorado will play football this year, the Denver East Angels will have to wait until spring. Along with Adams City, Boulder, Far Northeast, Fort Collins, Hinkley, Mountain Range, Northglenn, Rangeview, Westminster, the Angels will wait until the spring season to start football. The decision was made by district, and the Metro 10 division was the only major 5A conference in the state to opt out of the 2021 fall season. However, despite the backlash some of the Metro 10 schools are receiving, the league includes two of the largest schools in the state, Denver East and Westminster.
For Denver East players?, this may be a good opportunity to show their skills. The Angles will either be forced to play an entirely in-conference schedule to truly decide who the best team is in the Metro 10 —or play a few out-of-conference games against some of the 4A teams who have also chosen not to play this fall. these include Aurora Central, Centaurus, Denver South, Gateway, Vista Peak and Falcon. Could this mean a cross-town rivalry game against Denver South? Only time will tell.
All in all, the decision to start playing football in the fall comes with its pros and cons. But football is arguably America’s favorite sport. Despite the late starts, restrictions of practices and games and overall fear of an outbreak inside locker rooms, football is on this fall.