I think it's safe to say that no one is sad to see 2020 come to an end. But we can't let that stop us from looking back on the high school sports stories that kept us going through a grueling year.
Here's our list of the most-read Gazette Preps stories of 2020, and a few of my editor's picks to help us ring in the new year.
The Colorado High School Activities Association issued its first statement about the coronavirus pandemic on March 4, and it has been a twisting, pothole-ridden journey from there.
Here's a timeline of the complicated events from March 2020, when the virus began to impact Colorado high school sports.
Due to the cancellation of the state basketball tournament, we crowned our own Co-Champions as the TCA boys' basketball program, and St. Mary's girls' were still in the hunt for a state championship as the state shut down.
Through all of the anxiety and uncertainty, local schools kept the light on as a reminder that better days were ahead.
The 2020 spring sports season was officially canceled in April.
And questions loomed in the the summer about the fate of fall sports across the nation.
Football, volleyball, boys' soccer and other fall sports were moved as a part of CHSAA's reopening plan.
And the state association received pushback from athletes, parents and coaches to reinstate all fall sports.
Finally, in mid-September CHSAA board announced schools may choose to compete in football, field hockey and spirit in either the fall or spring.
After the completion of the fall season, in which more than 200 football programs competed across the state, student-athletes, coaches and parents continue their fight into winter sports.
As of Dec. 31, 2020 CHSAA has not provided additional updates or details regarding high school sports in 2021. Stay with Gazette Preps through the new year for the latest.
The biggest Gazette Preps story of the year was longtime girls' basketball coach Patrick McKiernan's removal from his position at Doherty High School. He spent 10 years with the program and coached the Spartans to a 153-72 record.
About four months later, however, McKiernan accepted a coaching position at Sand Creek High School, inheriting the girls' basketball program which in 2019-20 earned the No. 1 seed in the Class 4A state tournament.
Here's some of the other coaching changes we saw around the Pikes Peak region:
Colorado Springs also lost legendary football coach Jim Hartman in December. The former Mitchell, Widefield and Doherty coach is a member of the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame, and the most winningest football coach in city history.
Columns by Paul Klee
Here are some of my favorite high school stories of 2020 by our sports columnist Paul Klee.
Nearly 250 student athletes in the Class of 2020 signed National Letters of Intent.
Due to COVID-19 related closures, some athletes did not have the chance to celebrate signing day with their coaches and teammates. So Liberty High School brought the signing day celebration to them.
Here's the most recent list of 2020 signees among the Class of 2021.
We also had a big-time college football commitment from the Class of 2022 as Palmer Ridge junior Connor Jones announced his verbal commitment to the University of Michigan.
Here are a few of the most-read game stories from 2020.
Finally, here's a look at a few of our features taking a deeper dive into the evolution of high school sports with youth and club programs, controversial mascots and the race to reopen high school sports in the midst of a pandemic.
Reopening high school sports
Introducing Colorado Prep
Be sure to continue following Gazette Preps for more in 2021!