Luke Graham:

Make spring football a reality

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There's nothing better than spring football.

There's a lot of stuff better than CHSAA.

But finally the organization that governs high school activities will have a chance to make a decision that makes sense in every word.

On Jan. 25, 66 members of CHSAA that make up its legislative body will decide on whether to allow Colorado high school football coaches to run 12 days of spring football practice, nine of which would include full contact.

Proposed by Arvada West coach Casey Coons, the idea would allow high school coaches to hold the practices between May 15 and June 15. Athletes already competing in a spring sport would be able to participate once their seasons were done, most of which end by late May.

While Coons admitted to the Rocky Mountain News earlier this month he doesn't expect the proposal to pass at this time, CHSAA should sit down and take a long hard look at it.

Spring football - at every level - breeds competition, instills fundamentals and gets players exposure at the next level.

Why wait until summer, or even fall, to put on pads? Why not acclimate incoming freshmen, current freshmen and anyone who plays football months before the actual season starts?

All three local high school teams would greatly benefit from a spring football venture.

At Soroco, it would give time for the new coach to put in offensive and defensive sets and see what type of talent he has.

A deep Hayden team would be able to refine an attack and springboard toward summer camps and weightlifting sessions.

In Steamboat, position battles at quarterback and other key areas could partially be decided before progressing to the summer.

Besides, Colorado is already behind the ball as far as spring football goes.

In Florida and Texas high school coaches get a minimum of 15 practice days and a game in the months of May and June.

Why not give Colorado the same type of opportunities the traditional football power states have in competition and recruiting?

The spring periods are always a big time for college recruiting. Practices would give athletes - especially on the Western Slope - a month period where recruiting coordinators could see some of the hidden talent.

If I could, I would make every season football season. I can't but CHSAA can. Will they? Probably not this time. But high school football has already become a year-round undertaking. CHSAA should take the steps to help further facilitate this.

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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