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AURORA – When Fort Lupton football coach Jeff Priestley took over the program in the summer, he wanted to re-establish a rivalry between the Bluedevils and Valley High School. He went so far as …
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AURORA – When Fort Lupton football coach Jeff Priestley took over the program in the summer, he wanted to re-establish a rivalry between the Bluedevils and Valley High School. He went so far as to start the annual Bell Game, which Fort Lupton won but had to forfeit because of the use of an ineligible player.
Priestley may not have to schedule a game with the Vikings as a nonconference game the next two years. If the Colorado High School Activities Association approves the new alignment of football conferences, Valley and Fort Lupton will be in the same class 2A conference starting next season.
The new Patriot League would also include Brush, Eaton, Platte Valley, Sterling, Strasburg and University high schools. CHSAA’s meeting is Jan. 19. It’s the first of two decision-making meetings for the governing board of the state’s high school athletic programs.
“That’s a strong, solid bunch of teams that are real well coached,” Priestley said. “It would be an opportunity to play against some teams close by that will create excitement for our team and for the fans because the teams are well known amongst each other.”
Priestley said there was another advantage, too.
“The fact is, the teams in the Patriot League are well established and well coached, so it’s an opportunity to be in a very strong league,” he said.
Fort Lupton has been in the Skyline/Eastern Metro Athletic League the past several years. But the EMAC schools wanted a conference of 5A schools. The Bluedevils will be class 3A in all sports except football. CHSAA allows a separate enrollment count for football-playing schools to determine conference lineups every two years. The football enrollment count tends to be lower than it is for a school’s other sports.
This arrangement will be in place for two years.
Contact Sports Editor Steve Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303-659-2522, ext. 224.
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