This week, The Nonpareil spoke to activities directors from the city as they prepare for the return of prep athletics with softball and baseball. Practice starts June 1, and games can be played beginning June 15. Our series continues today with St. Albert’s Ken Schreiber.
What was your reaction when summer sports got the OK?
Even though I’ve been working with Hawk-10 and city ADs to prepare for summer sports, we haven’t been all that hopeful that we would get the season in. I have to admit I was a little surprised. With all of the issues out there we just weren’t sure it would happen. I’m happy for the athletes, especially the seniors.
What has the past week been like for you trying to figure out how to proceed this summer?
It’s been pretty hectic. I’ve been working through the guidelines with St. Albert administration. The week has been filled with virtual meetings with athletic directors in the Hawkeye 10 Conference, city athletic directors and the IGHSAU and IHSAA. We all want this to be a great season for the athletes, but our number one concern is keeping everybody safe.
What are your thoughts on the guidelines for summer sports?
It’s nice to have the guidance from the state. When I look at how different people have reacted to social distancing and general guidelines during the past weeks, I am concerned about having crowds at games. We are working hard right now to get the players, coaches and fans ready for the season.
Do you have any hesitation/concern about playing this summer?
I think our coaches can maintain distance between athletes during practice and games. My biggest concern has been how to safely transport athletes. We travel a pretty good distance to most of our games in the Hawekeye-10. We are currently working through the busing situation. We have strong parent support at SA, and I am confident our parents will work with us to assure the safety of our kids.
Have you spoken to your fellow ADs in the area, and if so what have the conversations been like?
We have had many meetings. We all want to get this right and keep athletes and fans safe. We’ve discussed scheduling lower level games within the city to keep transportation to a minimum. We’ve worked hard on the guidelines within the conference to keep things consistent from field to field, so players and fans have the same expectation wherever they go.
With the shortened summer season, what has scheduling been like?
Within the conference, we had already been talking about it. We were somewhat ready for the season if the state went in that direction. When the decision was made, we finalized the schedule.
Do you have a protocol in place yet in case someone related to the team tests positive for COVID-19?
We, as administrators at St. Albert, have discussed this thoroughly. If anyone related to the team tests positive for COVID-19, we will contact public health and will follow their guidance on how to proceed.
What has been the reaction from the coaches, kids, and parents?
Generally, everyone seems pretty excited about the opportunity to get the season in. We are all concerned about the safety issues, but I think if we all work together we can make it a good season for the kids.
Is there anything you want the fans to know about attending games this summer?
I know people have different opinions about the guidelines for social distancing. I hope everyone can set their own opinions aside and follow the guidelines set by the states, so we can have a safe season. We will have signs posted outlining these guidelines around the field to help remind players and spectators of the expectations to keep us all safe. We are sending out information to our community to make everyone aware of the guidelines. I really think that if everyone follows the guidelines, we can look back on this season and know we all worked together for the safety of the athletes and all of us. That should be our priority.
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