ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – In just more than two weeks, high school athletes all over the state will begin Season B, except for those in one Adams County district. This week, Mapleton Public Schools announced its teams would not be participating until students can more safely interact.
The decision will affect boys and girls basketball as well as boys and girls wrestling. Performing arts will also continue to be postponed.
“We know this is very disappointing news. We value the benefits of these programs and are committed to getting them reopened,” Susan Gerhart, Director of Athletics and Student Activities, said in a statement on the district’s website.
Fresh off the high of being league champions last season, the Skyview girls basketball team was ready for 2021. As of January, virtual team meetings had begun, and before the first practice was even scheduled, members of the team were already doing drills together via Zoom.
“We had set up so many rules and procedures that it seemed like this was really going to happen,” said sophomore, Cassidy Margetts.
The goal this year was to repeat and compete for a state championship, but this week, Margetts and her teammates learned that would no longer be possible.
“It was a huge disappointment,” Margetts said.
In an email response to parents’ concerns about the decision, Superintendent Charlotte Ciancio cited the high infection rate of COVID-19 in the community and said the district leaders decided indoor sports introduced a high level of risk “we simply can’t justify.”
“This experience with COVID-19 has caused us to prioritize differently than in normal times. Our first priority continues to be safety while in-person learning closely follows,” Ciancio said in the email response.
Mapleton is made up of seven smaller schools which all play together under the Skyview name.
While, in a post on the athletics website, the district said the natural cohorts are effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19, Armando Guardiola believes nothing is stopping his daughter from playing in another district.
“I think she’s still going to have a season,” Guardiola said. “I think we can still be safe if other high schools are participating.”
Margetts is considering the same situation, although she and her father, Ken, would prefer she stay with the familiar coach and teammates at Skyview. Ken said registration fees for another out-of-district school will also be significantly more expensive than within Mapleton.
“Why do other schools feel that they can keep their children safe, and my school is telling me they can’t keep my child safe?” Ken asked.
According to the Mapleton Public Schools website, the district has not made any decisions about Season C or Season D.