James Manu, center, and the Rangeview softball team will be able to begin practice on Aug. 10, 2020, as Aurora Public Schools announced Tuesday that it had approved competition for fall sports, which so far is only made up of softball, boys golf and boys tennis. The district begins the school year remotely. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | While the answer of what prep sports will be played in Colorado this fall is still not fully answered, at least coaches and athletes in Aurora Public Schools know they will get to participate.

District leadership gave approval to athletic director Casey Powell’s proposal to safely allow competition, beginning with boys golf, softball and boys tennis, the only three sports that the Colorado High School Activities Association has green lighted so far in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m just excited that we are able to offer these sports to these kids, it’s a great opportunity,” Powell told the Sentinel Tuesday after a letter from APS Chief Operating Officer Anthony Sturges went out to district principals and athletic directors with the news.

The Cherry Creek School District originally stated and recently reiterated that if the district begins the school year with remote learning — a decision that is expected to come down Thursday — that it would not have teams participate in fall sports. On the other hand, APS decided that it would beneficial to allow athletes to compete even as campuses will be empty until at least Oct. 8, when the first quarter ends.

Powell said the district conducted its reduced price physicals over the weekend at Hinkley High School and that 65 athletes had taken advantage. It’s a long ways from the 300-plus APS is used to at the event, but given that only a few sports are certain, it wasn’t unexpected.

Athletes who try out for sports at their schools must have a physical completed and also have a COVID-19 liability form signed by a parent or guardian. The waiver requires families to assume the risk of the contraction of coronavirus and not hold the district responsible.

Temperature checks, social distancing and cohort tracing — all effective protocols district coaches have been using for the last month during summer workouts — will be mandated.

Powell expects that with the uncertainty surrounding the other fall prep sports that more of those athletes may choose to try out for teams in sports that have been approved.

The letter from Sturges also detailed the creation of an extensive variety of virtual activities that districts students can participate in, including quite a few in which they can participate at schools other than the ones they normally attend.

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