Colorado high school football returns, Mountain West may follow

Scott Nies

The Colorado High School Activities Association Board of Directors approved member schools to exercise the option to resume football in the fall. The Sept. 16 announcement comes after months of speculation surrounding if the sport would be played this fall or not.

As high school football in Colorado returns, CSU could be following suit as soon as the Mountain West athletic directors meet to finalize a pitch to the conference’s Board of Directors. Fox Sports reporter Bruce Feldman said he believes, “(The athletic directors are) optimistic that they could start their season on October 24.”

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 Stadium’s Brett McMurphy reported on Twitter that sources told Stadium the Mountain West is “‘aggressively exploring’ options for 8-game fall season culminating w/ Dec. 19 MW title game.”

CHSAA’s website indicates that Colorado’s return-to-play option will be available for field hockey, football and sideline spirit. Schools will not be forced to resume in the fall if they deem it unsafe and can look to season C in the spring if they choose.

“Schools will continue to have the option to play these sports in season C, as previously upheld by the board, if they elect not to play in season A,” the statement said. “Schools may not play in both seasons.”

The statement also mentions that the approval of return-to-play for these sports is conditional. If a district struggles with compliance and drops below level 3 of the safer-at-home order, play could be rescinded.

For Palmer High School quarterback Luke McAllister, a highly touted 3-star commit to Colorado State University, the return of high school football is extremely welcome.

However, for players that have not been recruited or committed to a program, a shorter season could hurt their chances of exposure to higher profile teams. The fact that the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 restricting all in-person recruiting has been extended through Jan. 1 does not help prospective athletes either.

When the high school season was initially cancelled, McAllister expressed his disappointment in a statement that was posted on Twitter. “I want to be ready to compete right away at CSU. … I wanted to play with my brothers before I graduate in December.”

With football resuming play, McAllister will look to build off of stellar junior season where he threw for 2,647 yards and 28 touchdowns, according to Max Preps.

McAllister currently plans to enroll at CSU in January in order to get involved with the football program as soon as possible.

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Scott Nies can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @scott_nies98.