Schools move forward with winter sports season after KSHSAA votes to start on time

KSHSAA voted 53-22 to allow the winter sports season, including basketball and wrestling, to begin on December 1st.

With winter sports practices already underway, coaches and teams across the state of Kansas breathed a sigh of relief Tuesday.

“It did make it a little uneasy that they were going back after the season started and we’d already been practicing for a week and saying alright now we’re going to decide whether or not you guys are actually going to be competing in December,” says Frontenac wrestling coach Keith Aikin.

“Once they released that we were getting to play it was a breath of fresh air,” adds Colgan girls basketball coach Abby Farabi.

KSHSAA voted 53-22 to allow the winter sports season, including basketball and wrestling, to begin on December 1st.

“It’s an important deal to get kids motivated, to get them training hard and to make sure that they are staying focused on what we’re really hear to do,” says Aikin.

One major change this season is the game atmosphere will be different at the start. The board voted not to allow fans at events until after January 28th.

“I heard over and over and over again on the meeting — we’re tired trying to enforce masks on spectators. We’re tired of trying to keep them six feet apart,” says Aikin. “And so to me, it kind of fell back on the parents and spectators — they put it in your hands and maybe you didn’t follow through all the way. And I’m not just saying that about our community, I’m just saying that as a whole that it was obvious not everybody was following the recommended guidelines.”

The student athletes say with or without fans in the stands, they are still competing.

“Everybody’s parents wants them to be there to see their kids, but it’s also good for the coaches because you can here them and do better on what you need to, says Frontenac Senior Clay Jameson.

“Even if we had to play in an old gym — whatever we had to do, any way we can play we’d want to play,” adds Colgan senior Kaitlin Crossland.

While they will have the chance to play, teams are taking steps to make sure they also have a chance to *finish*

“No kids gets to walk through that door without getting their temperature checked, they don’t get to walk through that door without a mask and they got to keep it on until we actually physically start wrestling,” says Aikin.

“We’re spreading them out, we’re switching groups — all that stuff and you know they’ve handled it like champs. They know what’s on the line,” says Farabi.

“We’re just trying to be extremely careful because we don’t want to be the one that takes it away for the rest of our team,” adds Crossland.

The board also voted to have a break in competition that stretches from December 23 to January 7. Games will be allowed to resume on January 8.