Local coaches react to WIAA decision on fall sports

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 6:58 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - On Thursday, the WIAA made their decision on fall sports and there will be a season, but it will have a different look due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a special meeting of the WIAA Board of Control, it was decided to delay the start of football, soccer and volleyball, which are considered higher risk sports, until September 7th. While sports considered lower risk, girls golf, tennis, swimming and cross county will be allowed to start August 17th.

Local football coaches are excited their players will hopefully have a chance to hit the gridiron.

“I want to start football on August 4th, but I also understand that with the guidelines in place we wouldn’t be able to play football in a normal fashion that first week of practice”, says Altoona Head Coach Chad Hanson. “So this is really the best case scenario out of the worst case scenario that has been happening since March.”

“Let’s just get back to practice and have fun”, says Eau Claire Memorial Head Coach Mike Sinz. “Get kids running around and being active again, have team work and accountability. It will be nice to get back together.”

For McDonell volleyball head coach Kat Hanson, it will take some adjusting to get used to the delayed start to the season.

“It is hard to think about that changing. I think we tried to live under a rock and pretend it was going to go as normal and plan it as normal. We found out today that is not going to be the plan and that changes a lot. We had four hour practices the first week of the season and starting Sept. 7th we won’t be able to have that because school will be in session.”

Girls tennis is considered low risk and will start August 17th. For head coach Kyle Seyer, it’s nice to have a sense of normalcy.

“We Didn’t know what was going to happen and had a lot of scenarios the last few weeks. To come up with a solution to give the kids an opportunity to compete was very exciting and we are excited to get going.”

Regis Principal Paul Pederson is on the WIAA Board of Control and knew the decision was tough and not everybody was going to be happy.

“I felt we could have gone the week before school, others felt different so and I respect that tremendously. The people on the board are quality individuals and nobody made a rash decision, I can tell you that.”

The WIAA did leave the door open for those schools who cannot participate in the fall season to have a separate season for those sports in the spring. They also suggested the possibility of regional championships in-place of state championships if the state tournaments are unable to be played.

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