CHSAA set to begin 99th year of high school activities in Colorado

CHSAA seal plaque

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

AURORA — The Colorado High School Activities Association and its 365-member schools open the 99th school year with fall practice starting August 5, with boys’ golf. All other fall sports get underway on August 12.

The Association has just concluded four days of meetings, with the CHSAA staff participating in the Colorado High School Coaches Association Summer Clinic last weekend, and then hosting its member schools’ administrators for the New Administrator and All-School Summit. There also was a session for League Presidents as the schools ready for the opening of the 2019-20 school year.

Boys’ golf teams may begin scrimmages and competition August 8, with boys’ tennis and girls’ softball first competitions August 15. All other sports can scrimmage August 17 and then began formal competition August 22, except football whose scrimmages start August 22 and first games on August 29.

Check out the CHSAA calendar for scrimmage dates (and football graduated practice dates) at CHSAANow.com. Game schedules for the season are located on CHSAA corporate partner MaxPreps’ Colorado webpage.

In May, 1921, a group of superintendents and principals met in Boulder and organized the Colorado High School Athletic Conference. The purpose of this organization was to better regulate and develop the interscholastic school athletic program.

There were nine leagues by the time the first constitution was published, including the Northern, North Central, Western Slope, Suburban, Southeastern, Arkansas Valley, South Central and San Juan Basin leagues.

The first champions crowned that school year were Colorado Springs in football, Greeley in basketball, and Fort Collins in track and field.

In 1924, the Colorado High School Athletic Conference joined the National Federation of State High School Associations and has remained an active member of that organization ever since.

Loveland’s R.W. Truscott was the Association’s first president and Eaton’s J.C. Casey its first secretary (commissioner). Truscott replaced Casey as secretary in December, 1926 and held that post until July, 1948 when Glenn T. Wilson became commissioner. Ray C. Ball took over the commissioner’s post in 1966 and remained in the office until August, 1986 when Ray Plutko assumed the duties. Bob Ottewill became the Association’s sixth commissioner in July, 1990, followed by Bill Reader who served as Commissioner from 2002 until 2010, and Paul Angelico served in the position from 2010-2017, when current Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green took over the reins to the Association.

The CHSAA has had 61 presidents dating back to 1921. Its current president, Buena Vista High School Athletic Director Troy Baker, is in the first year of a two-year term as president.

The Association is led by a national-recognized staff that includes Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green is in her 3rd year at the helm, but 23rd overall with the Association. She previously headed the Nebraska Association for four years and served on the Louisiana staff prior to taking her position with CHSAA.

Associate Commissioner Tom Robinson is in his 19th year on the CHSAA staff, while Assistant Commissioners Bert Borgmann, is in his 32nd year, Bethany Brookens is in her 11th year. Assistant Commissioner Jenn Roberts-Uhlig is in her sixth year with CHSAA. New to the staff for the 2019-20 school year are Adam Bright (former AD at Durango High School) and Justin Saylor (former Events Manager for Denver Public Schools). Ryan Casey is in his seventh year with CHSAA as Director of Digital Media and Kenzie Hewson is in her sixth year as the Association’s Director of Business Operations.

Cathy Lenz is executive administrative assistant to Commissioner Blanford-Green, while Monica Tillman (Robinson), Laikyn Cooper (Borgmann), Sandra Williamson (Brookens), Lane Ververs (Roberts-Uhlig), Samantha rogers (Bright) and Whitney Cave (Saylor) are the executive administrative assistants to the other administrators. Anjelica Maestas serves the CHSAA Digital Platform assistant.

CHSAA Board of Directors (Leagues Represented) [term expires]:

CHSAA President/Colorado Association of School Executives: (Serving first year of two-year term): Troy Baker, Athletic Director (Buena Vista High School) [2021]

District 1 (San Juan Basin, Western Slope, Southwestern): Luke DeWolfe, Athletic Director (Steamboat Springs High School) [2022]

District 2 (Centennial, Northern, Frontier, Tri-Valley): Chase McBride, District Athletic Director (St. Vrain Valley Schools) [2020]

District 3 (High Plains, Lower Platte, Mile High, North Central, Patriot, Union Pacific, YWKC): Steve Longwell, Athletic Director (Eaton High School) [2023]

District 4 (Jefferson County, East Metro, Colorado 7): Nate Smith, Athletic Director (Englewood High School) [2021]

District 5 (Denver, Metropolitan, Confluence): Caleb Coats, Athletic Director (STRIVE PREP High School) [2022]

District 6 (Continental, Front Range, 5280): Michael Hawkes, Athletic Director (Shining Mountain Waldorf) [2021]

District 7 (CS Metro 4A, CS Metro 5A, Pikes Peak, Tri-Peaks, West Central): Bret McClendon, Principal (Elizabeth High School) [2023]

District 8 (Black Forest, Fisher’s Peak, Intermountain, Southern Peaks): Don Steiner, Athletic Director (Evangelical Christian High School) [2022]

District 9 (Arkansas Valley, Santa Fe, South Central, Southeastern): Richard Hargrove, Superintendent (Springfield Schools) [2021]

At-Large Representative: Gabe Trujillo, District Athletic Director (Westminster Schools) [2023]

At-Large Representative: Terita Walker, Athletic Director (Denver East High School) (2021)

Colorado Association of School Boards: Tracey Johnson, CASB (Academy School District 20) [2020]

Colorado Association of School Executives: Jeff Durbin, Superintendent (Stratton Schools) [2021]

Colorado Association of School Executives: Ryan West, Principal (Englewood High School) [2023]

Colorado Department of Education: Wendy Dunaway, Colorado Department of Education [2023]

Colorado State Assembly: Jim Wilson, Salida (State Representative, Salida) [2020]