Vidakovich column: A conversation with Glenwood HS Athletic Director Craig Denney
I sat down recently with Glenwood High School athletics director Craig Denney to chat and get some details as to how the upcoming season B in Colorado high school sports would shape up in this most unusual year and the challenges that will need to be met in order to keep kids on the basketball court, wrestling mat, ice rink, and swimming pool this winter.
It was a sunny late December afternoon when we talked, just three days prior to the start of the new year, and Denney was cautiously optimistic that sports seasons will unfold as they have been planned, but at the same time admitting that things have been changing on a daily basis, and could continue to do so when we jump headlong into 2021. Now in his 13th year guiding Demon athletics, Denney’s main opposition is a relentless virus that has altered lives since last spring and figures to continue to be disruptive well into the spring.
“This year by far, has been the most challenging year I have had as athletics director,” stated Denney. “Not in terms of physical labor or attending sporting events, but the office work, the meetings, the updates from CHSAA, directives are changing constantly. Many of the state AD’s feel the same way.”
Colorado’s season B will commence with practices allowed to begin on January 18, with the first contest to take place a week later on January 25. No fans will be allowed to attend these events initially, but Denney said there is a slight possibility this could change if the county covid-19 infection rate decreases.
“No fans will be allowed to attend, but KMTS will broadcast basketball games and the print media will be permitted to get the game story. We will also have cameras to stream games online through the NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations). If the county health code would change to the orange level, we would revisit fans being allowed to attend,” said Denney. “Access would be given to parents first, and that could be it. Until we get a handle on this, we have to continue to be safe.”
Denney said that transportation to sports events could also present an obstacle as the season progresses.
“Transportation of teams is going to be tricky because we are only allowed to have 12 people per bus on any trips over 90 miles. We’re ok with our trips to Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley, Rifle, and Palisade in our league, but the logistics of the trips to Summit and Steamboat will have to be worked out, “Denney said.
Shortened seasons, no fans, limited number of contests, and endless safety procedures don’t’ seem to be getting Denney down in the least bit. He’s just happy to see kids in the school building and getting the opportunity to play the sports they love.
“Our teachers have done an incredible job to teach in person and online. They have just been phenomenal through all of this.”
Denney is anxious to see what 2021 has in store for his Glenwood Demons. With the amount of effort school officials, teachers, and coaches have been putting in this year to make things turn out well for high school athletes, it’s a good bet that kids will get to kick off 2021 in a positive way.
They deserve it. We all do.
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During my senior year at Glenwood Springs High School, our much-anticipated basketball season began on the usual mid-November day in 1978. Our season held an abundance of promise, even though we were kicking off the…