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Football: Boulder’s Simmons set to return for Fairview rivalry week

Once Boulder football coach Bob Simmons double-checked the calendar, he realized his mistake.

The end result of that mistake was missing the first game of his second season in charge of the Panthers program.

On Saturday the details became clear surrounding the mysterious absence of Simmons along the Boulder sideline during the Panthers’ season-opener Friday night, a 24-14 defeat at home against Fossil Ridge. About two weeks ago, Simmons and Boulder athletic director Melissa Warfield self-reported a violation to the Colorado High School Activities Association.

Calling it a “calendar mistake,” Simmons had his Panthers squad performing full-contact drills prior to the state’s prescribed full-contact date. Excluding Sundays, teams are not allowed to perform full-contact drills until the fourth day of the sport’s calendar season. Football’s first official day of practice was Monday Aug. 11, meaning the first day of permissible full-contact drills was Aug. 14.

“I told the team I made a mistake, and when you make a mistake you have to accept the consequences,” Simmons said. “When you do stuff like that, you have to be responsible. I made a mistake this summer in our practice schedule. I accept it.”

Citing Boulder Valley School District athletics policy, Warfield would not comment directly on the situation but did issue a statement detailing Simmons’ error and the consequences. Simmons served his one-game suspension on Friday and will be back at practice Monday as the Panthers prepare for the 51st cross-town rivalry meeting against Fairview.

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