BOCC Letter to Governor, CDPHE & CHSAA

Published on March 10, 2021

2021 BOCC in the Centennial Hearing Room

During this morning’s meeting, residents and school board members from the Briggsdale School District addressed the Weld County Board of Commissioners and pled for the board’s assistance in an issue that has touched this northern Weld County community deeply.

For the second year in a row, the Briggsdale Girls Basketball team has made it to the finals – they are currently the number 1 seed in their division (1A). And for the second year in a row, their hard work and determination are in danger of succumbing to COVID-19 and the health-related restrictions that continue to damage our youth.

On March 6, 2021, the Briggsdale Girls Basketball Team played a game against an opposing team. Both teams took all CDPHE and CHSAA required precautions, including mask wearing on and off the court.

On March 8, 2021, the Briggsdale team was informed that a player from that opposing team had tested positive for COVD-19, effectively threatening to end the hard work of the Briggsdale team days before their potential Cinderella moment at the state basketball tournament to be held tomorrow, March 11.

None of the athletes on the Briggsdale team are exhibiting any symptoms nor have tested positive for COVID-19; yet, through no fault of their own, their punishment will be the same as if they had - they are being denied the chance to reach their goals.

It is no secret that the impacts of COVID-19 and the associated health-related restrictions are causing our youth mental and emotional stress.

A study conducted by the Stanford Graduate School of Education and NBC News states:

  • The results show that nationwide, 56% of all students reported an increase in stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Black and Latino students showed an even higher rate, at 63%.

  • The study states that 42% of students say they're more disengaged.

The study concludes by stating, “The data presented here paint a concerning picture of high school students’ well-being…during the pandemic.” This should concern us all.

It is no secret that the health impacts of COVID-19 on school-aged youth are often minimal as they are best equipped to recover from any symptoms of the virus.

It is also no secret that anytime a mother or father permits their child to engage in sports, they do so knowing the potential risks, be that a sprained ankle, a jammed finger, or catching a cold. The point is, family members along with their children make decisions based on their needs, desires and calculated risks. Perhaps this is even more true during this pandemic. No parent wants to see their child hurt, and no parent wants to see their child denied an opportunity.

When looking at the health of a child, one must look holistically. No one can appreciate more the desire to protect a child than that child’s parent. But when looking at protecting children, we must look at protecting their physical health, their mental health and their emotional health.

Disallowing this team, or frankly, any high school team in the same situation, the opportunity to improve their physical, mental and emotional health is a disservice to these kids that frankly, we as the Board of County Commissioners are not supportive of.

We implore you to relax your guidelines and to allow these athletes the chance to reach their goal; to realize their dream. We implore you to give them the opportunity to find a bright spot – a silver lining, if you will – in an otherwise dark 12 months. We ask you to let them play.

Time is of the essence, and a prompt response is greatly appreciated. 

Click here to see the signed letter.