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CHSAA begins 90th year of HS activities PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

Colorado High School Activities Association’s 90th year of sanctioning high school athletics in the state began when boys’ golf athletes took to the practice greens Monday, Aug. 9. All other sports begin formal practice Monday, Aug. 16.

Practices in all fall sports for boys and girls, with the exception of boys’ golf, can formally begin on Aug. 16, with the first day of competition in cross country, boys’ soccer, girls’ field hockey, girls’ gymnastics, girls’ volleyball, football and spirit slated to start Sept. 2. Competition in boys’ golf commences Aug. 12, boys’ tennis on Aug. 19 and girls’ softball Aug. 20.

“As the Association enters its 10th decade, the start of the school year still remains one of the most exciting times in a student’s life. That sense of anticipation and excitement of a new school year is one that has been shared by thousands of student athletes.

“The students in 1921 had the same feelings of anticipation, trepidation and enthusiasm in starting something new, that the students have today. The first day of practice cannot be equaled in a student’s life,” CHSAA Commissioner Paul Angelico said.

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 this past June. Angelico assumed the reins on July 1.

CHSAA has had 56 presidents dating back to 1921. Its current president, Widefield High School Athletic Director Shelli Miles, is in the final year of her term as president.

The Association enters the year with several changes in the staff, but retains a veteran feel. Paul Angelico, a 22-year member of the staff, takes over as commissioner with the retirement of Bill Reader. Rhonda Blanford-Green, entering her 15th year with CHSAA, moves into the associate commissioner’s position.

Assistant Commissioners Bert Borgmann and Tom Robinson are in their 23rd and 10th years on the staff, respectively. Meanwhile, Bethany Schott and Harry Waterman each enter their third year with the Association. Bud Ozzello, former La Junta High School principal, is new to the staff this year.

Sharon Aguilar serves as administrative assistant to Waterman, while Kim Rose (Angelico), Lisa Cunningham Austin (Borgmann), Michele Sobczyk (Schott), Jane Boudreau (Blanford-Green), Audra Cathy (Ozzello) and Monica Tillman (Robinson) work in concert with the other administrators. Bookkeeper Donna Welch and mail room coordinator Malinda Ahrensdorf round out the Association staff.