GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Fall sports...here they come.
Thursday, the WIAA Board of Control voted 8-3 to have a fall sports season that has two starting dates. After placing high school sports on ice in mid-March because of COVID-19, Thursday's news was welcomed.
"Excited to have something," West De Pere athletics director Scott Eggart said. "The kids have something to look forward to, the community has something to look forward to. It's exciting to have something. It's a first step and hopefully things go well from here."
“Because of the Board’s action, while they can’t make any guarantees that things will work out as we plan them, they have given us the opportunity to at least hope and work in that direction,” WIAA executive director Dave Anderson said. “We understand this decision will make some happy and others disappointed, but we will do our best to deliver to our membership what they have directed us to do.”
On Aug. 17th the "low-risk" sports will start practice -- that is girls golf, girls tennis, girls swimming and diving and cross country. Then on Sept. 7 "high-risk" sports will start practicing -- that is football, boys soccer and volleyball."
The first Friday night for football would be Sept. 25.
"I think they're just hungry for anything they can get," Eggart said of the athletes. "They understand the situation we're in. How it could be bad, it could be good. They're just happy to get anything and we'll see what happens."
Nevertheless, most fall sports teams and athletes have a direction to start the season, but the end is unknown. Anderson said he isn't sure a postseason or state championship tournament will happen.
"In our office we have begun not talking about state championships,'" he said. "We have begun talking about a culminating event. Our first and biggest hope is to get kids as many games as they might get.
"If we can do a near can get a near state championship we're going to be excited about that. But if it ends up that the best we can do this year is a regional champion, a district champion or whatever it might look like. Some sort of a culminating opportunity, you know, I'm going to be satisfied with that."
After not having sports since mid-March it's likely everybody would feel the same.
- Aug. 20: Earliest girls golf can start competing.
- Aug. 21: Earliest date girls tennis can compete.
- Aug. 25: Earliest date cross country and girls swimming and diving can compete.
- Sept. 15: Earliest date boys soccer and volleyball can compete.
- Sept. 23: Earliest date football can compete.
- Football would have six regular season games and possibly three postseason games.
- The winter and spring sports calendars were not altered.
- Another component of the Board’s decision provides schools, which are unable to start fall sports in 2020, an opportunity in the spring to conduct their fall seasons. The Board directed the executive staff to develop details and calendars for an alternative three-sport season in the second semester of the 2020-21 school year to be presented at a later date. The alternate three-sport season plan was derived from a proposal submitted to the WIAA executive staff by school district administrators from the southwest area of the state.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay