2 Summit High School football games canceled due to ‘public health situation’ | SummitDaily.com

2 Summit High School football games canceled due to ‘public health situation’

Tigers next scheduled to play Nov. 6 versus Battle Mountain at home

The Summit Tigers varsity football team stands for the national anthem before Summit's season-opening 42-34 loss to Conifer on Oct. 9 at Tiger Stadium in Breckenridge.
Photo by Kerri Elam

FRISCO — The Summit School District has shut down Summit High School in-person football practices and canceled the upcoming two weekends of varsity and junior varsity games due to what Summit High School Director of Athletics Travis Avery said in an email statement is “a public health situation.”

The cancellations include the Tigers varsity home game versus Palisade slated for 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, and a road trip to Evergreen scheduled for Oct. 29. Avery said in the statement that the Tigers are scheduled to resume gameplay with the Nov. 6 home game versus Battle Mountain.

Citing district communication guidelines, Avery declined to comment further aside from sharing that the public health situation is specific to Summit School District and not the Palisade or Evergreen districts. District spokesperson Mikki Grebetz did not immediately return calls seeking additional information Wednesday afternoon.

Second-year Tigers head coach James Wagner described the situation as “a challenging year” and said there are some things that are out of our control.

“It’s unfortunate for these kids,” Wagner said. “I hurt for them. It’s heartbreaking for my seniors who are playing so well, and the team has really come together, playing and competing at a high level.

“I know that this is not anything that we want, but the safety of our kids is No. 1, and we are fully behind that. And our team’s been faced with a lot of adversity. I always tell them, when there’s adversity, it’s your character that is revealed, and you can either respond highly or poorly. I know the kids I got. I know who we are, and I know how these kids will respond coming out of these two weeks.”

When asked if the cancellations could result in Summit playing some games in the spring, Wagner said that is not possible. That said, he added that the Colorado High School Activities Association is considering adding an extra week this fall so that teams facing cancellations will have the opportunity to play at least one more game.

This summer and fall has been a whirlwind for Colorado high school sports, namely football. In August, CHSAA postponed football and other high-contact fall sports to a spring season after deeming those sports a higher risk for transmission of the novel coronavirus. Then last month, CHSAA and the state government switched course and decided to permit individual districts to choose between a fall and spring season, with Summit opting for fall.

With the cancellations, the Tigers are slated to play three more games — Nov. 6 versus Battle Mountain, Nov. 13 at Fort Morgan and a playoff or final game the weekend of Nov. 19-21 — for five total games on the season.

Wagner said the cancellations came at a difficult time for the program. Heading into the third week of the season, junior captain Aidan Collins leads the state in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, and senior captain quarterback Cam Kalaf leads the state in total yardage from scrimmage.

“We had a lot of good things going, but we’ll continue to grow and develop through this time,” Wagner said. “We are all feeling pretty down. We are just going to try to continue to stay together through this. With Google Classroom, I’ve set up meetings virtually each and every day, the kids are working out at home, and we’ll be ready to go when the season resumes.”

Football is the only Summit High program ongoing this fall. Cross country running and golf have concluded their fall seasons, and other traditional fall sports like boys golf and volleyball have been moved to spring. Traditional winter sports — such as basketball, wrestling and hockey — are scheduled to play January through March per CHSAA rules.

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