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Varsity status on hold for boys volleyball


December 30, 2020

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Boys volleyball got a two-year tryout at Niwot, but due to the pandemic, there won't be enough money in the 2021 athletics budget to proceed with a varsity team as planned.

After competing as a club team the past few seasons, the Niwot boys volleyball team will have to wait a little longer for the elusive official high school varsity designation. Budget cuts related to COVID-19 made the addition of a sport unfeasible in the St. Vrain Valley School District according to Niwot athletic director Joe Brown.

In April 2019, the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) had approved boys volleyball to become a CHSAA sanctioned sport for the 2020-21 season, but SVVSD has requested volleyball to be reconsidered in the next year or two, Brown said. Niwot boys volleyball players will be given the opportunity to play in another school district.

"We hope to offer it back as soon as possible," Brown said. "The good news is that any kid that wants to play (boys) volleyball (on a team) that is not offered in St. Vrain, they are free to go to any school district in the neighboring areas to participate."

Even though club teams already run on very little financial support, SVVSD wasn't able to continue a club program this year because boys volleyball had become a CHSAA sanctioned sport.

Tricia Grafelman coached Niwot's club boys volleyball team last year which consisted of 17 players. Grafelman is an assistant coach on the girls volleyball team, and Brown said she has been in the loop with the recent decision. Brown was disappointed their season had to be cancelled, especially after they played just a handful of matches last spring before COVID hit.

"Those kids didn't have that opportunity last year but were all understanding," Brown said. "These are some unprecedented times that we hope we never face again. But we have to be responsible during these times to make sure that we're covering everything we need to cover."

Along with boys volleyball, Niwot has pushed back on adding a girls lacrosse team this spring. Students interested in girls lacrosse will be given the opportunity to play in another school district nearby.


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