|CHSAA begins its 89th year|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
Colorado High School Activities Association’s 89th year of sanctioning high school athletics in the state began when boys’ golf athletes took to the practice greens Monday, Aug. 10. All other sports begin formal practice Monday, Aug. 17.
Practices in all fall sports for boys and girls, with the exception of boys’ golf, can formally begin Aug. 17, with the first day of competition in cross country, boys’ soccer, girls’ field hockey, girls’ gymnastics, girls’ volleyball, football and spirit slated to start on Sept. 2. Competition in boys’ golf commences Aug. 12, boys’ tennis on Aug. 19 and girls’ softball Aug. 20.
“For nearly nine decades, August is one of most exciting times of the year for high school student athletes. The sense of anticipation and excitement as the students start the school year is one that has been shared for many years by many student athletes.
“The students in 1921 had the same feelings of anticipation, perhaps even trepidation of starting something new, that the students have today. It’s a great time in a student’s life,” CHSAA Commissioner Bill Reader 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, and Reader, who is in his 22nd year with the Association, assumed the reins in July 2002.
CHSAA has had 56 presidents dating back to 1921. Its current president, Widefield High School Athletic Director Shelli Miles, takes over for Jefferson County Schools athletic administrator Kevin Land who concluded his term in June.
The Association enters the year with a veteran administrative staff. Bethany Schott and Harry Waterman each enter their second year, while Associate Commissioner Paul Angelico is in his 21st year with CHSAA.
Assistant Commissioners Bert Borgmann, Rhonda Blanford-Green and Tom Robinson are in their 22nd, 14th and 7th years, respectively, on the administrative staff.
Sharon Aguilar serves as administrative assistant to Waterman, while Patty Sonnleitner (Reader), Kim Rose (Angelico), Lisa Cunningham Austin (Borgmann), Michele Sobczyk (Schott), Jane Boudreau (Blanford-Green) and Monica Tillman (Robinson) work in concert with the other administrators. Bookkeeper Donna Welch and mail room coordinator Audra Peterson round out the Association staff.