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Regis Catholic Schools begin sorting out details for fall sports

Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 8:19 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Regis Catholic Schools in Eau Claire is officially one of 257 schools in Wisconsin set to play football this fall. The other Eau Claire schools, North and Memorial, are included in the 121 programs waiting until spring to play.

Although the Eau Claire City-County Health Department advises schools to ‘think twice’ about playing this fall, Regis’ principal Paul Pedersen says he’s thankful for the health department’s guidance and instruction as the school navigates practices beginning next week.

While many athletes and families are excited that Regis is playing this fall, there are many tough decisions still needing to be made by administrators including Pedersen.

“Our athletic director and our coaches have these very detailed sports specific guidelines from the WIAA that will be implemented and if we can’t do that right then we’d be foolish to start talking about a game,” said Pedersen.

Practices for high-risk sports begin next week.

However, Pedersen says the school doesn’t have answers yet on spectator limitations, how to travel the team safely, or who potential competitors may be.

Wednesday, Eau Claire City-County Health Department director Lieske Giese addressed the risk of playing.

“Some schools and individuals are choosing to participate is high risk sports despite the fact that these are extremely risky. Because of that we yesterday, provided recommendations to a variety of stakeholders on how to mitigate risk for players, coaches and staff in those sports,” said Giese.

Examples include not switching benches between sets for volleyball, eliminating the coin toss and no shaking hands after games.

If schools such as Regis are unable to safely start or complete their season this fall, the WIAA will allow their participation in the alternate spring season under specific circumstances.

“We are going to play on and do it as safe as we can and at some point if we can’t then we respect that. Everybody has to respect COVID-19,” said Pedersen.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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