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Boys volleyball has been trying to open the door to get the sport sanctioned by the Colorado High School Activities Association for around 20 years, according to John Prusinowski.
Well, boys volleyball at least got its foot inside the door when the sport, girls wrestling and unified bowling were approved Feb. 21 by the CHSAA Board of Directors to begin pilot seasons.
Prusinowski is president of the Colorado Boys High School Volleyball Association which has started play this spring season with 56 teams and will be under the watchful eye of the CHSAA during the two-year pilot program for both boys volleyball and girls wrestling.
“It’s the first step with the CHSAA with their new by-law,” said Prusinowski
The CBHSVA was started in 1996 with nine teams and is funded and administered by volunteers with the purpose of promoting boys volleyball and overseeing the sport to facilitate sanctioning by the CHSAA.
Under a newly adopted CHSAA by-law, boys volleyball, girls wrestling and co-ed unified bowling were the first to have pilot programs be considered. However, the Classification and League Organizing Committee, the Sports Medicine Committee, the Equity Committee and the Legislative Council are hurdles the three sports have to clear in order to gain support their sports.
Several steps have been outlined by the CHSAA to gain accreditation. For instance, boys volleyball must continue to show support from athletes and schools, plus the Equity Committee — which virtually stalled the sanctioning attempt of boys volleyball last fall — will have to be satisfied. However, the fact that girls wrestling is also a pilot program will help.
News that boys volleyball is a pilot program has stirred interest.
Rock Canyon coach Kyler Barker, who played volleyball at Chaparral as a high schooler, had 22 players out for the team when the program started but had 49 try out last month, and he actually had to made five cuts to fit players onto three teams.
“The pilot program legitimizes the activity,” said Castle View coach Kevin Cochran.
Many school athletic directors allow boys volleyball to use their gyms free of charge and some schools award varsity letters for boys volleyball. Others award club sport letters.
The CBHSVA rules dictate that players’ grades are monitored by coaches; athletes and parents sign and adhere to a code of conduct; and coaches must follow concussion protocol.
Seven new teams have joined the CBHSVA this season, including an Adams 12 team that will play out of Thornton High School. There are three divisions in the 5A CBHSVA league and there is a 3A league for programs with new teams with new players. Many teams are co-op teams with players coming from other district schools.
Area schools that have boys volleyball teams include Castle View, Cherry Creek, Arapahoe, Ponderosa, Rock Canyon, SkyView Academy, Valor Christian, Heritage, Legend, Faith Christian, D’Eveyln, Mountain Vista, Wheat Ridge, Thornton and two-time defending 5A state champion Ralston Valley.
Boys volleyball hopes to be a sanctioned sport for the spring of 2020.
Chaparral community service project
Chaparral head boys basketball coach Tellus Truesdale was seeking a way to have his players become involved in community service.
His assistant Jeff Riley and team mother Stacey Giles had the idea for Chaparral players to help teach younger elementary-school children. Pine Grove fifth-grade teacher Michelle Parker also liked the idea.
Wolverines freshman, sophomore, junior varsity and varsity players rotate so they don’t miss a lot of school and go to Pine Grove elementary school twice a week to help Parker’s students with reading, writing and math and sometimes demonstrate a few basketball moves.
“It has worked out great,” said Truesdale. “The kids loved having our guys come over and really looked up to them. It helped the guys in our program to understand that people are always watching them and that the decisions they make have an impact on more than just themselves.
“There’s a built-in accountability. They can’t tell the kids to listen to their teacher and do their work if they’re not doing the same things themselves.”
Parker’s Pine Grove class came to a Chap game this season armed with signs with the players’ names on them.
“Younger kids love having the high school players come to class,” said Giles. “The students worked hard for them and they got to see positive role models.”
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