It’s too late for Mullen girls basketball as well as for Mustangs teams in seven spring sports, but reaction to the worldwide pandemic will soon include a return for in-state student-athletes.
Looking ahead to the 2020-21 year and as of Monday, June 1, the moratorium set in place against in-person conditioning between coaches and student-athletes will be lifted. Hence, decisions on athletics and activities during off-season, summer months will be made at local district levels, and in Mullen’s case, by Mustang administration.
Longer term, it will return to the state level for camps, clinics and fall-sports practice.
"This isn't recreational park play or a free-for-all," Colorado High School Activities Association commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green said in a release. "Our schools will face some challenges, no different than professional and collegiate sports to resume any level of student participation."
Colleges also are loosening their restrictions next month and assorted professional sports already have plans in place and/or are further developing them.
"Our school administrators have assessed their local situations and have made the best decisions based on the safety and well-being of their students and school personnel," Blanford-Green said.
Colorado schools have been given suggestions for all levels of health guidelines, notably concerning safety.
"There is light at the end of the tunnel," Blanford-Green added.
Statewide discussions also will continue next month as the much-anticipated return begins.
"As with [the] reopening our country and our state, taking incremental steps within the mandated and suggested guidelines will be critical in ensuring the success of transitioning from virtual to in-person,” she said.
"I have strongly recommended that each school or district have a comprehensive plan in place during this transition, and that their school communities including participants, parents and especially coaches are informed of the expectations prior to physical contact or conducting in-person sessions.
"Our students, coaches, schools and the Association are ready to re-socialize back to participation. The importance of returning to education-based athletics and activities reaches beyond a contest or a perceived scholarship. It is about reconnecting our students — socially, emotionally and physically."
In March, Mullen girls basketball got to a second consecutive Class 4A championship game, but it was cancelled. Apparently, the Mustangs’ title in 2019 will serve as returning champion. And in spring sports, Mullen baseball won its opener 11-1 and girls golf finished fourth in a Centennial League match at Springhill Golf Course in Aurora – headed by sophomore Sofia Choi’s runner-up showing – but Mustangs teams in boys and girls lacrosse, girls soccer, boys swimming and diving, girls tennis, and track and field never got the chance to compete.