Cowboy basketball gets underway with first game this week

MEEKER | Cowboy basketball is finally in full swing. The winter sports seasons were delayed from the beginning of the school year, delayed again, and finally the first official practices were set for Jan. 18, but both teams were unable to make it to the court that week. The boys, delayed by COVID-19 quarantine, took to the court Saturday, five days after the beginning of the season, only the girls had a full week of practice.

The Cowboys are ready to play their first games in the new gymnasium at MHS. | TIFFANY JEHOREK PHOTO

Monday found both gyms full of ballers ready to play. This year the boys have 22 members on the team.

“We are ready to play,” said head coach Klark Kindler, “It is nice to finally get the boys on the court.”

Kindler’s coaching staff, for the second year, are assistants Greg Cravens and Dylan Mobley.

Returning seniors are Braden Garcia, Ryan Phelan, Spud White, Junior Gaeta and Ethan Drake.

There will be 14 regular season games, which is down from a normal of 19, and in order for a player to be able to play in a game they must have participated in three official practices. The first games of the year will be Friday, where our local county rival, the Rangely Panthers, come to Meeker. JV will begin at 4 p.m. and boys varsity at 6 pm. So any player that can return to the court by Tuesday, should be able to play.

Saturday’s games will also be at home against Cedaredge, JV at 1 p.m., and boys’ varsity at 5 p.m.

Girls varsity, which began its second week of practices Jan. 25, has 17 members this year.

“We are down a few players this year from our normal numbers, with no seniors on the team that is expected,” said head coach Jamie Rogers. “The girls are ready to be back on the court and we are looking forward to the season.”

Rogers is once again joined by Ivy Coryell and Marki Grant as assistant coaches.

The games this weekend will begin on Friday at 4 p.m. for JV and girls’ varsity will be at 6 p.m. against the Panthers. Saturday they take on the Bruins, with JV at 1 p.m. and girls’ varsity at 3 p.m.

There will be no fans admitted into any basketball game without a ticket. The Colorado Department of Public Health Environment has issued capacity restrictions for spectators which for counties in orange is 50 people, yellow is 100, and blue 175; no fans allowed in red or purple tiers.

Each player will get two tickets to share with family and they are game specific. JV players will only have tickets for JV and varsity only for varsity. Only 50 spectators are allowed into the gym at this time as Rio Blanco County is at the orange level.

“If you do not have a ticket you will not be allowed into the gym,” said Kindler.

After each game the gym will be cleared and the spectators holding tickets for the next game will be allowed to enter.

Spectator expectations as outlined in the Winter Activity Spectator Guidelines from the Meeker School District:

  • Wear a face mask at all times
  • Sit only with those in your personal family or cohort
  • Maintain appropriate physical distancing at all times with those not in your personal family or cohort
  • Leave the facility once the game/event is complete and do not congregate in the common spaces
  • Engage in proper handwashing and respiratory etiquette practices
  • Attempt to stagger arrival and departure so there are not large groups of people entering/exiting at the same time.

Spectators shall not attend a Meeker School District event if in the last 14 days:

  • Tested positive for COVID-19
  • Have a known exposure to a positive COVID-19 individual
  • Experienced major symptoms of COVID-19
  • Contracted any other unknown illness recently and are not fully recovered

The primary goal of the Meeker School District this year is to keep the students in the classroom.

For fans unable to attend, the school district has joined the NFHS Network, the link is: https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/schools/meeker-high-school-meeker-co

TIFFANY JEHOREK PHOTO

According to Principal Amy Chinn, “Once a viewer has set up an account and “followed” Meeker High School, it will list all of the events on their homepage. If the viewer chooses this link they will notice at the bottom of the page it allows them to search by sport.”

Viewers can set up alerts on NFHS for Meeker events, Athletic Director Klark Kindler enters all schedules into NFHS so it is “pretty user friendly,” says Chinn.

According to the NFHS website the monthly pass, which can be cancelled at any time, is $10.99 and an annual pass is $69.99. There is an app available on Apple, Apple TV, Android, ROKU, Amazon Fire TV, and you can watch from any browser.

Meeker High School b-ball requirements

Meeker High School Basketball games begin this weekend. In order to maintain compliance with capacity restrictions, the Meeker School District is enacting the following measures:\

  • Capacity restrictions only allow for parents of participants to attend in person.
  • Spectators must have a ticket issued by the Meeker School District to attend games in person.
  • Students who participate in activities will be given tickets to share with their parents.
  • Unique tickets will be issued for each individual contest (i.e. JV Boys, Varsity Girls, etc…).
  • The gym(s) will be cleared between games for cleaning, and spectators will be readmitted for subsequent contests.