Aurora Public Schools Stadium will have to wait until spring for football, as district schools have chosen to play in Season C, which begins on Feb. 25, 2021. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | Aurora Public Schools has become the second large school district in Colorado to chose to play football in Season C.

The Colorado High School Activities Association Board of Directors voted to set up identically-structured fall and spring football seasons and give individual schools the option to pick which one suited them best. As a whole, APS joins Denver Public Schools as districts that have chosen to play in the spring, which begins with practice on Feb. 25, 2021.

Schools have until Monday morning to officially make their declaration to CHSAA, meaning some shuffling can still take place until then. According to Coloradopreps.com, which is compiling a list of schools and which season they’ve chosen, listed 32 teams for the spring season after the APS announcement, while 153 have picked the fall so far.

The uncertainty of weather in the spring as well as the potential for a worse situation with COVID-19 — with the possibility of the season getting canceled — made the reaction to the decision mixed around the district. The educational component played a larger factor in the equation according to APS Superintendent Rico Munn.

“We understand that this may be disappointing news for some and welcome news for others,” Munn said in a letter sent out to parents and guardians in the district Friday.

“We have prioritized a return to as much in-person learning as possible as soon as possible. The late edition of these sports seems likely to compromise our in-person instructional plan under the current Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) guidance.”

Aurora Public Schools began the school year with remote learning and is scheduled to return to buildings with a hybrid model starting Oct. 20 for high schools.

Munn said choosing the spring for football — along with sideline cheer — the district “can implement the expected changes to CDPHE guidance in a way that allows our students to fully take advantage of in-person learning and participation in these sports.”

Aurora schools in the Cherry Creek School District — Cherokee Trail, Eaglecrest, Grandview, Overland and Smoky Hill, plus Cherry Creek — said they decided to play in Season A, which begins with practice Sept. 24.

Regis Jesuit hasn’t made an official announcement, but is leaning towards Season A.

CHSAA plans to make both fall and spring seasons identical and will make up the schedules when the lists are finalized. Teams will all have a six-game regular season and will be assured of a seventh game as part of the eight-team postseason bracket or against another non-qualifier. A state champion will be crowned in each season.

The spring season begins on Feb. 25 and open postseason play April 24, followed by semifinals May 1 and championship May 8.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports

SCHOOLS EXPECTED TO PLAY FOOTBALL IN SEASON C

Per Coloradopreps.com

  1. Hinkley (5A)
  2. Rangeview (5A)
  3. Denver East (5A)
  4. Adams City (5A)
  5. Westminster (5A)
  6. Mountain Range (5A)
  7. Northglenn (5A)
  8. Boulder (5A)
  9. Far Northeast (5A)
  10. Aurora Central (4A)
  11. Gateway (4A)
  12. Vista Peak (4A)
  13. Denver South (4A)
  14. Sierra (3A)
  15. Harrison (3A)
  16. Canon City (3A)
  17. George Washington (3A)
  18. Kennedy (3A)
  19. Lincoln (3A)
  20. Denver North (3A)
  21. Thomas Jefferson (3A)
  22. Glenwood Springs (3A)
  23. Denver West (2A)
  24. Classical Academy (2A)
  25. Northfield (2A)
  26. Basalt (2A)
  27. Manual (1A)
  28. Roaring Fork (1A)
  29. Justice (8man)
  30. Custer County (8man)
  31. Front Range Christian (8man)
  32. Primero (6man)