AURORA — The Colorado High School Activities Association and its 359-member schools open the 98th school year with fall practice beginning Aug. 6.
The association has just competed 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 was also a session for league presidents as the schools ready for the opening of the 2018-19 school year.
Boys' tennis and golf teams may begin scrimmages and competition Aug. 9, with cross country, field hockey, girls' gymnastics, boys' soccer and girls' volleyball allowed their first scrimmages Aug. 11 and competition Aug. 16. Football continues its graduated practices, with the first scrimmage allowed on Aug. 16 and competition begins Aug. 23.
Check out the CHSAA calendar for scrimmage dates at CHSAANow.com.
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 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 2010-17, when current commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green took over the reins to the association.
The CHSAA has had 60 presidents dating back to 1921. Its current president, Pine Creek High School assistant principal Jim Lucas is in the second year of a two-year term as president.
The association enters the year with no administrative changes. Rhonda Blanford-Green is in her second year as commissioner, but 22nd overall with the association after leading the Nebraska association for four years and serving on the Louisiana staff prior to taking her position with CHSAA. Associate commissioner Tom Robinson is in his 18th year on the CHSAA staff, while assistant commissioners Bert Borgmann is in his 31st year, while Bethany Brookens is in her 10th. Assistant commissioners Bud Ozzello and Jenn Roberts-Uhlig are in their ninth and fifth years, respectively, with CHSAA. Ernie Derrera is entering his second year with CHSAA. Ryan Casey is in his sixth year with CHSAA as Director of Digital Media.
Cathy Lenz is executive administrative assistant to commissioner Blanford-Green, while Whitney Webermeier (Borgmann), Sandra Williamson (Brookens), Theresa Muniz (Derrera), Audra Cathy (Ozzello), Lane Ververs (Roberts-Uhlig) and Monica Tillman (Robinson) are the executive assistants to other administrators. Director of Business Operations Kenzie Hewson and mail room coordinator Sharon Aguilar round out the association staff.