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High school sports: County schools awaiting more information to determine course for athletics
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WIAA

High school sports: County schools awaiting more information to determine course for athletics

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A big decision Monday to move all schools in La Crosse County to virtual learning for at least the first 30 days of the 2020-2021 school year didn’t have an immediate impact on the fall sports season.

Administrators have been meeting regularly in recent weeks to discuss possible formats and scenarios amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but decisions there are on hold until more information is received from the WIAA and while working with La Crosse County health officials.

“We don’t have a lot to talk about until we get some specific direction,” Central High School activities director Joe Beran said Tuesday. “Wade Labecki (of the WIAA) said that they would release on August 14 some spring dates to show what football would be like then instead of now, so we can’t do much yet with that.

“We can’t get a jump on scheduling anything because getting games and officials ready, then finding out you are off a week (from plan) doesn’t help anything.”

Beran said MVC activities director met Tuesday morning to discuss a little more of what each school is doing to try and stay on the same page, much like the county is handling the next steps of education.

Going virtual in September, Beran said, won’t impact the eligibility of students and teams should the county guidelines allow for competition. The county is supposed to release more specific guidelines for practices and more sometime this week.

The county moved back from orange (high risk) to red (severe risk) last week, and that puts the clamps on just about everything. The compass is updated every Wednesday.

It is thought that a football game, for example, could not be played unless the compass was green, and the county appears to have a long way to go to make that happen.

Some sports — think volleyball, soccer, cross country or swimming — may be able to be played a bit sooner, while it’s possible that golf and tennis could be played in orange because they have the lowest risk involved.

Golf courses have been open all summer, and tennis courts around the county have been used plenty while the pandemic has shut down other events.

The WIAA announced last week that some of the fall starting dates would be pushed back.

Girls golf, girls tennis, girls swimming and boys and girls cross country are scheduled for first practices on Aug. 17

Football, boys soccer, and boys and girls volleyball are scheduled for first practices on Sept. 7.

Should golf and tennis — or any other sport — be deemed safe to play, the next decision to be made is whether schools will shut down all sports if one can’t go or allow those that can compete.

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