Football, other spring sports get fall voluntary practices
In a press release the MHSAA Council authorized competition in Volleyball, Soccer, Swimming & Diving where allowed.
Where is it allowed?
The U.P and northern regions are a go but here in Newaygo County we’re on hold for now.
The Council was prepared today to approve competition in volleyball, soccer and swimming & diving for all schools in all regions, but was unable to do so because of questions remaining on which activities are still not allowed. Outdoor practices which began August 12 are allowed to continue.
“Our Council has made clear it is ready to offer students these opportunities, pending approval from Governor Whitmer that we may do so,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “We have been told that within a week, future guidance will address athletic issues that exist in current executive orders. We are awaiting that guidance.
“The MHSAA and Representative Council are committed to following all current and future Executive Orders and safety precautions. However, we need more answers before we can give all of our member schools the go-ahead to play each other again, and the majority of our schools are in regions that are not yet allowed to take part in volleyball, soccer and swim.”
The Council also approved out-of-season coaching adjustments allowing football and spring sports coaches more contact with their athletes in advance of the 2021 season.
To provide additional offseason activity for sports that have had their full seasons canceled or moved, the Council approved 16 contact days for football and all spring sports to be used for voluntary practices among students from the same school only. Football may schedule their contact days from Aug. 24 through Oct 31. Spring sports – baseball, softball, girls soccer, track & field, girls and boys lacrosse, boys golf, Upper Peninsula girls golf, and Lower Peninsula girls tennis and Upper Peninsula boys tennis – may schedule their 16 contact days for voluntary practices from Sept. 8-Oct. 31, if the school permits and all safety protocols are followed.
Football and all spring sports then may conduct skill work with coaches and up to four players at a time beginning Nov. 1 until the first day of official practice this upcoming spring. Coaches also may work with an unlimited number of players on general conditioning during that time.
A calendar for the inclusion of football into Spring 2021 will be released later this fall, upon Council approval at a later meeting.
As for volleyball and soccer here in the Near North?
We're still waiting.
MHSAA Announces Football to Move to Spring Season for 2020-21
A cool crisp autumn night makes for a perfect evening of football with the marching band providing some entertainment, the concession stand serving up hot chocolate to take a bit of the chill out of the air and the teams competing on the field behind a backdrop of brilliant autumn foliage…
A cool and crisp spring evening with fans strolling over from the softball game and band members changing from concert competition clothes into their uniforms and the trees just beginning to bud...
Yep. No football this fall.
The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association pulled the plug that many saw coming with the announcement that football would be moved to the spring this year due to concerns over the COVID-19 virus.
The rest of the fall sports will proceed as scheduled.
According to their press release the football season switch was made based on consultation with state health department officials and after surveying MHSAA member high schools on their progress and preferences after the first four days of practice. Football is considered a high-risk sport for potential spread of the COVID-19 virus because of its level of player-to-player contact.
A total of 34,219 student-athletes played football at MHSAA member schools during the 2019 season. A total of 520 11-player teams and 83 8-player teams were anticipated during late summer to play football this fall season.
“At the end of the day, we did everything we could to find a path forward for football this fall,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “But while continuing to connect with the Governor’s office, state health department officials, our member schools’ personnel and the Council, there is just too much uncertainty and too many unknowns to play football this fall.
“No one is willing to take the risk of COVID being passed on because of a high-risk sport. Decisions have to be made on our other sports as well, but none of those carry the same close, consistent, and face-to-face contact as football.”
The MHSAA announced July 17 it would proceed this school year with its traditional calendar beginning with Fall sports but with enhanced precautions to help limit the spread of COVID-19. At that time, the MHSAA also stated it would move football, and other Fall sports seasons, to the spring of 2021 if they were deemed unsafe to proceed when originally scheduled. Football was allowed to begin practice, with helmets but no other padding, on Aug. 10.
Volleyball and soccer are considered moderate-risk for virus spread, while cross country, golf, tennis and swimming & diving are considered low-risk. Cross Country, Lower Peninsula girls golf and boys tennis and Upper Peninsula girls tennis began practice Aug. 12; golf and tennis teams may begin competing Aug. 19, and cross country teams may begin competing Aug. 21.
Volleyball, boys soccer and Lower Peninsula girls swimming & diving also began practice Aug. 12, and competition guidelines for those sports will be announced Aug. 19. Schools in regions under Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan remain unable to play volleyball or swim/dive indoors due to governmental restrictions. Further guidance from Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office is expected in the near future regarding these indoor facilities.
Details for the spring football season including a specific schedule and format will be announced over the next few months. The MHSAA will be working to limit overlap of spring football and the traditional Spring sport seasons.
“While this is tremendously disappointing, we will do everything possible to provide the best possible experience in the spring while adding football into the calendar,” Uyl said.
Newaygo Athletic Boosters Recognize Senior Athletes with First Annual Scholarships
Sophia Frisbie and Jessica Sanchez are the recipients for this year's Newaygo Lions Athletic Boosters club scholarship.
Both graduates completed applications that included describing a history of volunteering in and around the Newaygo community including the school or youth organizations; having achieved at least one varsity letter at Newaygo High School; and demonstrated a positive-impact involvement and/or significant improvement/success in scholarship and community involvement.
Their accomplishments include GPA’s of 4.6 for Frisbie and 4.8 for Sanchez. They were both multi sport participants and had extensive volunteer experience during their HS years. Sophia plans to attend University of Notre Dame majoring in engineering and Jessica plans to enroll at Grand Valley State University, majoring in Science/Nursing.
Their dedication and lessons in sports and their overall HS experience was expressed in their applications and provided insight as to their successes on the playing field, in the classrooms, and in the community.
Frisbie stated that: “When it comes to sports, people may look at my achievements and think that I am “naturally gifted” because I grasp skills that I learn from practices, lessons, and drills relatively quickly. However, I do not attribute talent to the successes in my life. In truth, all of the accolades I received through athletics were earned not only because of the support from phenomenal coaches and teammates, but also because of my commitment to investing hundreds of hours of work into my passions.”
Jessica put it this way: “My teammates have pushed me to be a better athlete and compete in each game like it’s my last. These friends are the ones who encouraged me each day during practices and pushed me because they knew that I could perform better. My teammates have believed in me after a shanked volleyball pass, a missed layup, or a strikeout. They picked me up when I became frustrated with my own performance.“
The Boosters are pleased and proud to award these two outstanding young women this year’s scholarship of $750 each.