June 3, 2020

Stevens County Times

Your spot for community news in Stevens County, Minnesota

Spring sports hang in the balance with schools closed until May 4

mshsl

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued a “stay-at-home” order for Minnesotans on Wednesday, March 25 that included extending the closure of Minnesota schools statewide through May 4 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minnesota State High School League was quick to release a statement that mirrored the Governor’s order, stating that participation of spring activities for member schools would remain suspended at least until the May 4 date.

“We recognize the responsibility that everyone and every organization has in mitigating the spread of COVID-19,” MSHSL Executive Director Erich Martens said in the release. “In alignment with state leadership and the Governor, we support the actions to limit gatherings and to stay home as directed. The Minnesota State High School League will continue to provide leadership and support to its member schools throughout this challenge. The continued suspension of fine arts and athletic activities within our member schools is an example of our responsibility to the health and safety of our students, schools and communities.”

The MSHSL news release said that pending a reopening of schools by the Governor, return to participation protocols will be determined and communicated by the MSHSL Board and MSHSL staff. No decisions regarding the cancellation of spring activities have been made as of Friday, March 27.

“Like I have said in the past, we have had years where we did not get outside until the beginning of May, so some of this is not completely new for us. It is just coming at us in a different way than with the weather,” Hancock athletic director, and baseball coach, Chad Christianson said in response to the new stay at home order and what it means for spring sports.

Both area athletic directors remain hopeful that area teams will be able to play and compete yet this spring.

“I would like to think that we will have something yet especially for our seniors and for those students that love spring sports. It will be interesting to see what comes out from MSHSL yet on expectations for spring sports,” Christianson said.

“If we do have spring sports, it’s going to be a lot of games in a short period of time,” Ekrean said.

The MSHSL also announced its suspension indefinitely of Speech Section and State Tournaments, Music Contests, Visual Arts Competitions and State Festival, MSHSL State Robotics Tournament and MSHSL Clay Target State Tournament.

Brooke Kern