While some states didn’t get a chance to play sports this fall, there are state like Michigan who got an opportunity to start a season and a few rounds of the playoffs before the state leadership stepped in to shut everything back down again as part of a three-week lockdown.
The shut down in the Mitten State came as swimming and diving were preparing to head to the state finals that week, and sports like football and volleyball were stopped in their tracks. The decision forced coaches to do two things; A) face how to prepare for their next opponent if play is allowed to resume after the shut down, and B) seriously consider if taking the field again after not practicing and lifting for weeks is even a safe option in the best interest of the kids involved.
With people in nearly every state in America fearing another lockdown is around the corner as COVID cases surge, and hospitalizations in many areas are reaching an all-time high, Louisiana High School Athletic Association Executive director Eddie Bonine addressed some of those concerns in his state and let it be known where he stands on whether high school sports should continue to be played as many schools are opting to go virtual.
“There are people that don’t think, and there are people like myself who think that we should, and we are going to continue to do so.”
“On just my short hour drive up here today, I had 13 different phone calls from people wondering, as rumors swirl about a shutdown again. Schools are shutting down. Well shutting down means what? We’re going to go back to virtual learning full-time, satisfying state law when it comes to attendance and all those things.”
“I get that, but we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing, and keeping everyone safe and try to do everything that we can to make sure the athletes have something to look forward to toward the end of their season.”
“This is the same guy, that earlier this year, we played basketball without fans. Then, shortly after, we shut everything down. Then, before you knew it, spring sports were gone and winter championships were gone.”
Bonine goes on to share that he remembers how those decisions felt in his heart, and in his mind, and he ends the clip with the following vowing:
“As your executive director, it’s going to take a lot to make me do it again because I think the students need the opportunity to continue to do this. They’ve earned it.”
— Alex Anderson (@AAnderson_KTBS) November 18, 2020