Air Academy Basketball Lives On


AAHS basketball players huddle while playing a victorious game against Coronado on January 30 2021. Photo Credit: Kadet Athletics.

Air Academy basketball has returned. After a delayed season for both boys and girls in response to COVID-19, Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) has put protocols in place.

Despite the pandemic, the season is underway with a few minor adjustments.

When schools moved Colorado high school sports into an alternate season to adjust for changing COVID guidelines and scheduling conflicts, Air Academy was prompted to combine the boys’ and girls’ basketball seasons into the same time frame. Fitting into Season B of the CHSAA 2020-2021 athletic schedule, the new season differs from the previously established schedule of first-semester basketball.

Due to the combined season, boys and girls will often play the same opponent on the same day.  One team will visit their opponent while the other hosts. This will condense the season and reduce scheduling conflicts brought on by COVID-19 guidelines. The new headline-making guideline for the new high school basketball season is the requirement for players to wear masks while playing, ideally reducing exposure in a naturally close-contact sport. For many players, however, the new guidelines take a backseat.

Junior Grant Corrigan explained, “COVID restrictions make practices and games more difficult at times…but it’s better to have a season with these restrictions than no season at all.”

Consistent with the outlook of countless professional athletes, Corrigan and many other players simply look to showcase their skills, although only two visitors per player are allowed to attend AAHS games.

The annual departure of senior players, many of which have been involved in the Air Academy basketball program for multiple seasons, brings on new challenges and expectations for younger players.

“I’m excited to be able to have another fun season with my teammates and for the opportunity to compete for my school,” continued Corrigan.

“Things are constantly changing and being able to adapt to those changes have been the hardest aspect of this season so far,” added junior Reagan Nohrenberg.

COVID-19 has caused students to be detached from their school environment in the absence of sports and activities. When school and all activities were abruptly put on hold in March of 2020, many students involved in the Air Academy community lost their outlet for creativity and performance. With the return of sports and activities in some abbreviated fashion, students across the country can begin to re-enter the school communities.

“This season I was just really excited to play games and actually have a basketball season,” Nohrenberg commented.

Air Academy basketball is underway, and with it, the return of normalcy. Even if students are not interested in basketball, sports in general, or the activities AAHS offers, those students are encouraged to attend a game before the end of the season to regain some of the sense of community that COVID-19 took away.

The upcoming games for the boys’ and girls’ squads are on February 17, with boys hosting Pine Creek and girls visiting.