Corona Virus Quarantine Day #144: Two days in, updates galore! August 11, 2020:
It is such a joy to be back in the gym. We are two days in and it doesn’t lose its luster. The constant sanitization doesn’t even bother me. The kids have done an amazing job of social distancing and they don’t even have to be reminded (even on the second day) to space their water bottles out. I’ve really been so impressed on how they are managing the wearing of the masks while playing.
All of that aside. The best part is the joy I see on their faces. It’s been incredible.
I have a few updates for history’s sake.
The EKL, the league that St. James is a member of, decided today that they would make a decision every Friday based on the gating numbers put out by Johnson County on what would happen the next week. If the percentage is over 10% we will NOT be able to practice or compete the whole next week. The following Friday they will reevaluate and see if we can return to practice and competing if the numbers go down. If it is below 10% we will proceed as “normal.”
The complications of this are vast…for starters, it’s a scheduling nightmare. They also decided we cannot play in tournaments, which account for about half of our matches. So the question remains…do we try to schedule games in their place or leave our schedules as is? Everyone will be scrambling to figure those things out. If we lose a week mid September because the numbers are too high do we reschedule those matches? Hoe exactly to proceed is unclear. Those are just a few of the issues we are dealing with.
However, I choose to look on the positive side, as of right now, we get a chance to play, and that my friends, is better than nothing. That is more than the kids in the spring sports can say in the year 2020 and my heart aches for them still. This means we will get a chance to play. If it means a week off, a week on. I’ll take it. If it means we play in a mask, I’ll take it. If it means we can’t high five or huddle…I’ll take it.
I cannot stress enough how positive the impact of being in the gym has been for these kids. I can see it on their faces (and I can only see half of their faces). I can see it in how they compete. I can hear it in their voices. I hear them talking about it. I do believe they need this.
Secondly, if we cancel high school sports, kids are going to be playing anyways, at their clubs. So canceling high school sports which can be pretty well managed and controlled is not necessarily the answer.
I think that’s the point.
No one knows the answer.
I know parents are angry. I see it in my newsfeed every night. They are posting emotional messages about their kids missing their senior year or their school board cancelling the competitive football season. I get it. I write this without judgment of what these parents ,who only want what’s best for their kid, are saying.
The Olathe School District announced today that they are going to allow football to practice but not play in competitive games. There is no clarity on whether or not this will change if the gating numbers go down.
The Blue Valley School District has not voted yet (to my knowledge) on whether or not they will mandate the Johnson County gating criteria. As a large and incredibly influential school district in our state I imagine whatever they decide will have an impact on the rest of us.
Spring Hill, DeSoto and Mill Valley have all voted not to mandate the criteria, so as of right now, their fall sports athletes will compete.
All of these school districts fall in the Johnson County line. It will be interesting to see in the next week where we stand on all of this.
The Power Five collegiate conferences are all beginning to cancel. The Big 10 and Pac 12 announced no fall sports today. It’s likely the Big 12, SEC and ACC will follow. Only time will tell. There are many messages coming out from coaches, AD’s and players at this level and all of them want to play.
When people see college conferences cancelling they immediately think high schools should do the same. I’d say comparing high school to collegiate athletics is like comparing apples to oranges. Collegiate programs need to make money in order to stay in business and make no mistake they are a business. They don’t make money if they don’t have butts in the seats. It’s already been determined that having people at games isn’t possible. So that revenue can’t be recouped. The amount of money an athletic department needs to travel with large teams and staff is considerable. Again, without butts in the seats it’s difficult to manage that cost.
Also, at this level they want to test these kids weekly. The mere cost of doing just that is nearly impossible. At the high school level, we aren’t talking about these same problems. We can’t travel because of Covid so those schools that would travel to play no longer have that expense. We don’t make money (at least not a lot of it) from our gates at events. We aren’t discussing an expensive testing option for our players. Our problems are not the same. So it’s an unfair comparison. High school sports can’t be held to the same standard as collegiate athletics, they aren’t dealing with the same problems.
I want to play. You can’t take the competitor out of a warrior…but I also want the kids to be safe. We care so deeply about these kids. I think that is at the root of it for all the people making these decisions and those that are frustrated by the decisions that are being made. We all want the best thing for our kids…we just may all have different opinions on what the best thing is for our student-athletes. It’s a tough balance we adults are facing when we have to take into consideration not only their physical well being but also their mental well being.
The easy answer is, there is no easy answer.
This situation is ripe with issues.
The only thing I can say to these parents who are rightfully concerned, stressed and even a little angry about this situation is that the coaches I know…and I know a fair amount of them…are doing what they can to make the best of this situation for the kids. We all want our kids safe above all else but we all also want them out on the field or the court this fall.
I am hopeful that we can have both.
I will pray in the meantime…I will pray for an end to this hideous virus. I will pray people make good choices to stop the spread of this virus. I will pray that somehow we make the right and best decisions for all of our students. And finally, I will have hope. I will have hope that it will all work out the way it supposed to and that we will look back on this in 10 years and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done
In case you needed a break from all the Covid crap, here is Fletcher explaining to mommy what the Tooth Fairy brought him. I was already at camp when he awoke so I missed the first ever Tooth Fairy find. GOD bless my husband for filming something for me. I could listen to his voice all day (at one point he didn’t talk at all, we were worried). When I got home and he was showing me his treasures I told him I was sorry I missed it. He looked at me with total sincerity and said “well Mommy, you should have cancelled camp so you could be here to see it.” Oh man, the innocence of children. Nevertheless, we was pretty excited!