DENVER – High school students in Colorado will soon have three more options when choosing a sport.
The Colorado High School Activities Association voted Wednesday to extend sanctioned play for boys volleyball, girls wrestling and unified bowling. This is the first time CHSAA has recognized new sports since it added field hockey and lacrosse in the late 1990s.
“I think it’s awesome because finally people get to play their sport. They get to do what they love,” Cherry Creek High School sophomore Erik Siegfried told FOX31.
Siegfried plays volleyball for an intramural club team at his high school. The team is made up of students who attend Cherry Creek as well as other students in the district.
“It’s pretty much a high school sport, just without quite as much recognition,” teammate Vaughn Ramsey said.
With the new recognition from CHSAA, students will be eligible to play for varsity teams organized through their school, similar to basketball, baseball, soccer and football.
“I know at my high school last year, at least there were a lot of boys that were really interested in playing and played a lot just on their own during lunch time. So I think it’s really going to help get more and more boys involved,” Ramsey said.
Students say they are most excited about the opportunities that organized volleyball, wrestling and bowling could mean for their futures.
“Colleges don’t really recruit for boys volleyball out in Colorado as much as they would in California or Chicago,” Horizon High School senior Rowdy Martin said.
“Now that it’s on the path to being sanctioned by CHSAA, that means that you could get a lot more recognition for it by colleges and you could also letter in it at high school for varsity,” Ramsey said.
Sanctioning three more activities also helps to give more kids a place to belong in high school.
“This is a kid who’s stepping into a high school atmosphere who maybe doesn’t have a sport yet, and today he [or she] does,” Cherry Creek boys volleyball coach Mike Degitis told FOX31. “The more ways we can get kids involved — whether it’s athletics, academics, extracurriculars — the better.”
Girls wrestling, unified bowling and boys volleyball teams will be available in Colorado for high school students beginning in the 2020-2021 school year. Girls wrestling and unified bowling will be played in the winter and boys volleyball will be played in the spring.