High school athletes in Colorado are disappointed to learn of another setback in their winter sports schedule. Norwood’s athletic director Kyle Dinsmore released a statement on Dec. 16 that announced decisions the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) made regarding winter play.

CHSAA pushed back the beginning of winter sports again. The state’s Department of Public Health and Environment failed to give CHSAA the clearance needed to begin winter sports as previously scheduled, based on an increase of COVID-19 cases. Now, the start date for winter sports is Feb. 1. Still, state officials have said this could change again.

For now, basketball and wrestling are scheduled to begin practice on Jan. 25, with the season officially beginning on Feb. 1 and lasting through March 20. For volleyball, practice for the girls begins on March 15, with season play lasting from March 22 to May 8. For baseball and track, practice begins on May 3, with the season slated for May 10 to June 26.

Dinsmore said in his statement that the San Juan Basin League is committed to having all middle school sports if that’s possible. The middle school seasons would last four weeks and involve no championship games this year.

“We understand that this is not ideal, but we are trying our best to give the middle school athletes a chance to play, even if it is a shortened season,” Dinsmore said in the news release to the school community.

For middle school athletes, volleyball is scheduled at this time for February, boys basketball for March, girls basketball and football for April, and wrestling and track for May.

For high school senior Paige Franklin, who participates in varsity volleyball and track, the pushback is no doubt difficult.

“Yes, it’s very disappointing,” she said. “Everything I’ve worked for and all my hard work is going to waste. I may not even get to play a sport my senior year, and it’s heartbreaking.”

Franklin also participated in wrestling last year as one of the only females on the mat in the state of Colorado.

Senior Jenna Baugh, who also plays varsity volleyball and competes in club volleyball, said the delays are difficult. She said she’s watching seniors in other states be permitted to play, and it’s upsetting for her to not experience her last year of high school play.

“We’ve waited since the beginning of school, and we were excited to be able to play in March, but now that it’s been pushed back again, it’s hard to seem positive.”

Baugh acknowledged that it was hard for athletes in the other grades, too.

“I think not only for seniors, but high school students in general,” she said. “It’s devastating to hear that our season is being pushed back yet again.”

Senior Annaleigh Dabal said more than likely this is her last chance to play volleyball.

“I would have cherished last season so much more if I knew it might be my last,” she said. “I understand taking precautions to keep everyone safe. I am thankful that it is not completely canceled and there is still a chance to play one last time.”