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Missouri schools allowed to select an ‘alternative fall sports season’ to be played in the spring because of COVID-19 concerns

Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 5:16 PM CDT
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WARSAW, Mo. (KY3) - The excitement of a “fall Friday night under the lights” is something football players, parents, and coaches look forward to every summer. Maybe even more so this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

”When you’re out here practicing, you wouldn’t know any of this is going on,” said Ryan Boyer, Warsaw’s Athletic Director. “It’s great being around the kids. With the kids, it doesn’t even come up once. It’s nice to have a break from it all.”

Even though the break is nice, there are still a lot of protocols schools like Warsaw are following to make sure student-athletes and coaches stay protected from COVID-19 as much as possible - things like wearing masks, social distancing, and doing temperature checks.

Even with those precautions, a football player may still come in close contact with someone with COVID-19, and get sick.

That could wreak havoc on an entire team.

”If it’s [the positive test] on a Thursday, you have a game the next day, and you have to quarantine your whole team for two weeks, or half your team, what do you do in that situation, you know,” Boyer questioned.

Missouri State High School Activities Association, or MSHSAA, the board that oversees high school sports across the state, is giving schools the option to move any of their fall sports to an alternative ‘fall’ season -- to be played Between March and May.

While Warsaw is moving forward with it’s traditional fall season, if it has to cancel because of a spike in coronavirus cases, it will.

”We just tell them, be fortunate for each day, and that’s the approach we’re taking right now,” Boyer said.

Schools have until September 11 to opt into moving their fall sports to the spring.

If a sport has to be shut down because of the coronavirus after that deadline, they’ll be able to ask MSHSAA for access to that alternate season.

Dr. Shawn Poyser, Warsaw’s Superintendent, said there are still a lot of questions moving forward.

”The tough part here is do you play a couple games, and then shut it down,” Poyser asked. “When do you make that decision, and are you going to be on your own? Is a class 2 school going to have to play class 6 schools in March in football?”

Click here to read more about MSHSAA’s proposal.

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