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CHSAA commissioner aims to bring new perspective to job


Rhonda Blanford-Green is a former track star who has been displaying her speed in her new job as Colorado High School Activities Association commissioner.

Blanford-Green was hired in March and his been proactive in addressing issues and initiating new concepts that could foil unanticipated issues.

Sometimes the old-school ways have to be tweaked, and Blanford-Green banks on her experience.

"What I bring to the table is a different perspective and I've seen it differently," she said.

Blanford-Green, a 1981 Aurora Central graduate, set several Colorado track and field records that stood for years. She won 18 conference championships as a collegiate standout at Nebraska, where she was an 11-time track All-American and competed in several international events.

She worked 16 years for the CHSAA as an assistant/associate commissioner, was the executive director of the Nebraska School Activities Association for three seasons and was an assistant executive director the Louisiana High School Athletic Association from 2015 until returning to Colorado.

The CHSAA held a media day Aug. 30 with a round-table discussion, and a much-needed format for interviews after state championship games was revealed.

"Our vision and mission was building relationships with our media," said Blanford-Green. "We wanted a round-table discussion in an informal matter and not at a state championship, where sometimes those conversations don't go very well. In a non-competitive atmosphere we can really start to build those relationships, having an open dialogue with our media partners."

The CSHAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, a group consisting of doctors, school personnel and athletic trainers, met earlier in the day, and the launching of a Head, Heart and Heat Program was announced, which focuses on three major areas of concern for student safety.

Blanford-Green revealed that all art departments in CHSAA member schools have been advised that one student will create the logo for the Head, Heart and Heat Program. The student who designs the winning logo will be paid for the copyright for that logo.

"This isn't reactionary," said Blanford-Green. "This is proactivity that we understand where we need to be going, and this is kind of like when you see the CHSAA logo, it might be a more modern look, you know this is from CHSAA and it has to do with safety and right now there is nothing that does that for us."

Fast start

Chaparral senior Adrienne Visintine started the softball season with a bang and was named the MaxPreps/NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) National High School Player of the Week for games played Aug. 21-27.

Visintine, an outfielder who has committed to play at Coastal Carolina, had a slugging percentage of 3.000 with three home runs and a double in five at-bats and started the season with a 1.000 batting average. She drove in seven runs, scored nine times and reached base safely in 11 plate appearances.

She was 3-for-3 with a homer and double, had three runs batted in and scored three runs in a 12-4 win over Wheat Ridge. She walked four times in a 9-5 loss to Ralston Valley but scored three of the Wolverines' five runs. In a 20-0 victory over Overland, Visintine belted two homers, had four RBI, scored twice and drew a walk.

"The first week of high school softball has been very exciting and I'm grateful that my hard work is paying off," Visintine said. "I look forward to all the challenges that lie ahead both on and off the field!"

Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at jbenton@coloradocommunitymedia.com or at 303-566-4083.


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