Fall high school sports season up in the air
COLUMBIA — The fall athletics season is rapidly approaching, but local coaches and players still don't know what to expect.
"Right now we're planning on a regular start to the fall," Bruce Whitesides, CPS district athletic director said. "I think the Boone County Health Department is going to have to dictate crowd size and any other hurdles we need to go through."
Crowd size is just one of the many hurdles that teams have to account for to prepare for the 2020 fall season.
For some football coaches, this opportunity means a time to prepare and not a time to speculate on the future.
"We need to be prepared to play no matter what," Michael Egnew, Tolton High School head football coach, said. "What happens, what's the situation if they do stop... We have to be prepared and if [the football season is canceled] then that's what happens and it's out of our control. It's important to control what we can control."
This uncertainty is a problem for many high school coaches as summer workouts and in-person training resumes.
A possible mask ordinance drafted by city manager John Glascock last week also could also impact the season.
"My crystal ball's a little foggy right now," Whitesides said. "[The possibility of fall sports being canceled] could be an option I guess if it defaults to that like it did in the spring."
However, Whitesides remains confident that they are ready for anything the fall season throws at them.
"If we get honest facts from the data from the COVID numbers, I think that we have smart enough people to make decisions that's going to be safe for our kids," Whitesides said.
Some local athletes aren't as confident.
"I think it's 50-50 at this point," Emma Schudel, a senior volleyball player at Battle High School, said. "We're doing practices at this point still but there's still a potential that they can get canceled and that would be very sad."
Some worry that cancelations that cut many spring athletic events could impact the fall season as well.
"It's my senior year, so I've been working for this for three years, I've been on the team all three years," Schudel said. "Finally when I get to play with my friends. Senior night, senior pictures, videos, if I don't get to have that that'll be disappointing."
As of right now, Columbia Public Schools athletics is continuing to follow Boone County health orders and will have to wait for further direction.