The sports world might currently be in an extended holding pattern but that doesn’t mean high school athletic directors don’t still have plenty of responsibilities to attend to.
Even during shelter in place, these preps sports administrators continue manage lists of daily action items, work on evolving plans for a potential spring sports return and lay the groundwork for future seasons. There may not be much going on, but there’s still plenty to do.
Longmont Christian athletic director Jared Hansberry, for example, is spending these uncertain days dealing with a particularly interesting quandary, as the school was planning to revive its football program for the upcoming fall.
“We’ve been in a holding pattern just hoping we can get some kind of season in and waiting for CHSAA to make their ruling,” Hansberry said. “For me, I’m also working on our next cycle and getting schedules put together. Football could be impacted pretty heavily because we’re not able to have the conversations and have the boys get together and get excited about it. I had already even picked out a coach but all of that is kind of on hold until we see what happens. Unfortunately, this has just thrown a ton of things up in the air.”
Longmont Christian last had a football team in 2016 and the plan was to rejoin the 8-man landscape this winter. For Longmont Christian and other schools, plans like those depend heavily on external decisions made by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, the Colorado High School Activities Association or district rulings — all hinged on the spread or hopeful slowing of coronavirus.
In the shorter term, many AD’s like Hansberry are more focused on monitoring and nourishing the mental health of students like the seniors on a promising Longmont Christian baseball team that is at risk of missing out on their final spring season.
“We’ve got three or four seniors on the team and we really felt like we had a chance to go all the way in 1A,” Hansberry said. “So we’re really trying to think of, if things do get canceled, what can we can do for those seniors.”
While they plan for a possible return to action this spring, most athletic directors using their extra time to focus on long-term items like building schedules for fall sports, developing bylaws to govern new leagues for next cycle, and even getting a jump on to winter sports scheduling.
“We had a district AD meeting on Tuesday and a Front Range League meeting on Wednesday,” Legacy athletic director Brendon Feddema said. “We don’t know if we’re going to be back this spring or not, which is really surreal. But all we can do is plan for being back at some point, try to stay productive and try to be ready when that might happen. We all feel really bad for these kids so we’re just doing the best we can.”
Mead athletic director Chad Eisentrager added, “A lot of this stuff would have been happening regardless. But we do have a little more time to put into specifics and details for future things.”
Like everyone else, Colorado’s athletic directors are just having to find ways to do things a little bit differently.