Minot High feeling impact of suspended sports season
On Friday evening, Governor Doug Burgum announced stricter measures to be put in place with the goal of slowing the spread of COVID-19 within the state of North Dakota.
Among the new policies to be put in place effective Monday, all high school winter sports and other extracurricular K-12 school activities are suspended until Dec. 14. This also applies to all associations, community, and club sports for youth and adults.
Meanwhile, playoff championship contests and performance events sponsored by the North Dakota High School Activities Association during the month of November may continue under NDHSAA requirements. According to Our Redeemer’s Christian School head volleyball coach Kara Nunziato, her team will still travel to the Fargodome to compete in the Class B State Championship starting on Thursday, Nov. 19.
Locally, the news came as a disappointment to many, including Minot High School swim and dive head coach Emily Jensen. Despite growing concerns due to the coronavirus, Jensen’s club successfully completed their season without interruption en route to a third place finish at state over the weekend. Given the unusual circumstance created by COVID-19, Jensen says she was satisfied with the level of compliance her athletes displayed while ahering to social distancing precautions throughout the season.
“Although I am no expert in what should be happening, from what I witnessed in our season, the athletes followed all the guidelines that were placed on them,” Jensen told the Minot Daily News via email. “The kids were remarkable in handling the guidelines because they just want to train, play and compete. When they get the opportunity to play again, I know they will follow any safety guidelines that are asked of them. My fingers are crossed for the winter athletes and coaches, and I will do what I can as a community member to support them.”
Moving forward, one of the challenges facing winter sports will be how to reschedule events that will be missed at the beginning of the season. Meanwhile, Minot activities director Mitch Lunde expresses the need for patience while he and other activity directors in the state must now navigate through an interrupted schedule. “As an administrator, I’m disappointed for our teams, fine arts, coaches and advisors. I’m hoping that we are able to start on Dec. 14 as planned, and allow our participants to compete and display their talents,” Lunde stated in a text message. “I share the same frustrations as a parent and understand the importance these activities have for our youth. Right now, I think the overall question is if we can start on Dec. 14, what will happen to postponed events and how will those events be managed. It will be very difficult to reschedule all the missed events due to busing and overall open dates.”