Football Sports

Bobcats to face difficult gridiron grind

IHS Field will see gridiron action in 2020 after all. The Colorado High School Activities Association Board of Directors convened Wednesday night, Sept. 16, to discuss athletic variances approved by the COVID-19 Response Team from the Office of Gov. Jared Polis, and by a 12-3 vote, traditional CHSAA-sanctioned fall sports of football, field hockey, and sideline spirit were approved to proceed – if teams are able to do so safely under guidelines set by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. According to an Association press release from Assistant Commissioner Bert Borgmann’s office, schools will continue to have the option to play those sports in Spring ’21 (or Season C; Fall ’20 also goes by Season A) as previously upheld by the Board, if they elect not to in the fall. He noted that though the seasons would be treated equitably, schools may not play in both – allowing for schools and districts to make the determination locally. Requested variances for CHSAA’s remaining fall sports – including Girls’ Volleyball – still remain under consideration by the Response Team.
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum

SPC-only sked shows visits to loop’s best

If there was a true positive that came out of a season-opening cancellation, it was probably that both sides could immediately refocus upon beginning the hurriedly-rescheduled 2020 high-school football season against a conference foe instead.

Which in hindsight will prove invaluable; conference foes are now all that remain on the abbreviated slates of both 1A Southern Peaks member Ignacio and 1A Western Slope powerhouse Meeker, who was set to visit IHS Field Saturday, Oct. 10, for a 4 p.m. kickoff until the Bobcats – who haven’t seen the Cowboys since winning a 21-14 rumble at neutral Olathe H.S. nine years ago – regretfully had to nix the notion due to extensive eligibility issues.

The prospective clash certainly wouldn’t have been easy; MHS won the Slope with a 5-0 mark and finished 9-2 overall after a quarterfinal loss in the 2019 CHSAA State Playoffs to SPC rulers Centauri … who then succumbed in the semis to eventual State Runner-up Strasburg.

All that means is IHS’ campaign will now commence, barring any more schedule alterations, out in the San Luis Valley Thursday evening, Oct. 15, at Center. Ultimately finishing 4-5 overall in ’19 and a fourth-place 1-3 in the SoPeaks, the Vikings haven’t forgotten last season’s 38-21 loss to the ’Cats, who ended up saving third in conference at 2-2 and finishing 3-6 overall.

Kickoff time is, at present, set for 6 p.m.

Ignacio’s home opener will then follow at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23 versus nemesis Dolores, last year’s SPC cellar-dweller with an 0-4 record against the circuit and an 0-9 overall mark. Halloween weekend will see the Bobcats traveling out to La Jara for a 1 p.m. afternoon start at Centauri (10-2, 4-0 SPC) on Friday, Oct. 30, and IHS will again head east into the SLV to visit Monte Vista (3-6, 3-1) at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6.

Regular-season action then concludes a 7 p.m. Friday the 13th at home versus Del Norte. Back in the 11-man Southern Peaks loop after a long stretch in the 8-man Mountain, the Tigers went 3-6 overall last year but a sixth-place 1-5 in a 7-team conference – avoiding the basement only by claiming a season-ending 2-0 forfeit over Mosca Sangre de Cristo.

Ignacio last faced DNHS in 2013, both hosting and destroying the guests 55 to 0.

All times/dates are subject to change, no surprise given the environment associated with the ongoing global pandemic.

With players’ immediate families having first priority, IHS Athletics/Activities Director Leo Garand noted in an e-mail that, due to ongoing coronavirus-mitigation measures, only 125 tickets will be sold for all home games and that all attendees will be required to don face coverings and practice social distancing.

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