Colorado high school football can be played this fall, Gov. Jared Polis says

There may be Friday night lights in Colorado this fall after all.

Gov. Jared Polis announced  Tuesday that the state and CHSAA will look at re-considering moving football back to its traditional season, after the sport was officially moved to spring on Aug. 4 due to coronavirus concerns.

“We want to work with (CHSAA),” Polis said. “If their board moves forward and wants to propose a fall season for CHSAA football, we would be thrilled to work with them to make that happen for the districts that are ready to go.”

Football was initially pushed to the spring as part of CHSAA’s return-to-play plan for the 2020-21 school year that includes four seasons and condensed schedules. But the state’s declining coronavirus cases since late July — coupled with an insistent base of coaches, players and parents who want football to be played — led to reconsidering the decision.

Prior to Tuesday, Colorado was one of 18 state associations (including Washington D.C.) that either pushed football to the spring or had not yet determined a schedule. As of last Friday, seven states have already kicked off, and 33 plan to play, with Michigan the latest to reverse course and move its season from the spring back to the fall.

Grassroots momentum to have the football season restored to the fall has been fueled by local coaches on Twitter, and a Change.org petition to “Let Them Play” has more than 13,600 signatures as of Tuesday morning.

On Monday evening, CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green released a statement noting that the association is continuing to “work collaboratively with our state, health and educational officials. We’re monitoring information from other states to see if it’s applicable to reconsiderations in Colorado.”

“Over the course of the past week, this has prompted conversations at the state level to see if some outdoor fall sports could resume under the state safety guidelines, including variances that would be needed to make this happen,” Blanford-Green said. “We appreciate their willingness to keep the dialogue open.”

This story will be updated.

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