Menomonie’s football coach in favor of playing fall sports
Menomonie, Wis. (WEAU) - The Menomonie High School football team was originally scheduled to kick-off a new season at Williams Stadium on August 20. While football still might be played this fall, the school district and Dunn County Health officials have yet to make a decision.
“I really think it’s a logistical nightmare,” said Mustangs head football coach Joe La Buda.
La Buda does not mince words in sharing his opinion on whether WIAA fall sports should be moved to the spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have the majority of our kids play both sports. Play either track, tennis or baseball, and I think it would be very tough for those kids, putting them in a position where they need to make a decision,” he said.
Coach La Buda says the student-athletes overall mental health needs to be considered when making a final decision on fall sports.
“Sports in general right now, not just football, is so needed right now for kids, and I really think if this is taken away from kids you’re going to have a lot of issues with kids and their mental health. I think you’re going to have academic issues, I think you’re going to have attendance issues, behavior issues,” said La Buda.
La Buda points to the state of Utah as a test model that high school football can be played safely. Mandatory splash shields are being used developed specifically to block droplets from coughs and sneezes.
“I really like what Utah did, they have one game under their belt and their looking at their second game coming up and have gotten through so far without any issues. You know, they went with the mandatory splash guards that Schutt has come out with, really limits any transmission because it fits over the top of the facemask and they went state mandatory that you had to wear the splash guards, I think that’s a great idea,” he said.
While the Eau Claire and La Crosse School Districts have decided to push fall sports to the spring, many districts around the state are moving forward with the fall. Onalaska schools confirmed with WEAU Monday that they will play football in September. La Buda says there are enough teams to put together a competitive schedule.
“I’ve even heard some conference talking about playing an additional team twice because they have two teams in their league not playing so I don’t think we can base the decision on one or two teams in our league that decide to go spring,” said Joe La Buda.
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