AURORA — The 97th year of Colorado High School Activities Association winter sports practice begins just as many of its fall sports are winding down and volleyball and boys' soccer are gearing up for state tournaments and football is in the midst of its playoff run. Official practice starts on Friday for basketball, wrestling, ice hockey and girl's swimming and diving. Skiing gets started a bit earlier in the season. Teams may begin interschoalstic scrimmages on Nov. 16 and the first contests begin on Nov. 29.
In May 1921, a group of superintendents and principals met in Boulder and organized the Colorado High School Athletic Conference. The purpose of this organization was to better regulate and develop the interscholastic school athletic program.
There were nine leagues by the time the first constitution was published, including the Northern, North Central, Western Slope, Suburban, Arkansas Valley, South Central and San Juan Basin leagues.
The first champions crowned that school year were Colorado Springs in football, Greeley in basketball and Fort Collins in track and field.
In 1924, the Colorado High School Athletic Conference joined the National Federation of State High School Associations and has remained an active member of that organization ever since.
Loveland's R.W. Truscott was the the assocaition's first president and Eaton's J.C. Casey its first secretary (commissioner). Truscott replaced Casey as secretary in December 1926 and he held that post until July 1948 when Glenn T. Wilson became commissioner. Ray C. Ball took over the commissioner's post in 1966 and he remained in the office until August 1968 when Ray Plutko assumed the duties. Bob Ottewill became the association's sixth commissioner on July 1, 1990, followed by Bill Reader (2002-10) and Paul Angelico (2010-17). Rhonda Blanford-Green is the ninth commissioner, taking the reins of the association on July 1, 2017.
The CHSAA has had 60 presidents dating back to 1921. Its current president, Pine Creek assistant principal Jim Lucas Hartnett, is in the first year of a two-year term as president.