High School Coaches Wrestling With COVID-19

By Brian Jerzak

The 2019-20 high school wrestling season just got in under the wire before the sports world came to a screeching halt. Since that week in March – while we are nowhere near back to normal – the sports world has slowly come back. Some have been able to compete, while others wait – impatiently – for their time to get back to competition. Based on timing, the high school wrestling world has not lost any competitions, but as we have all seen, we do not know what is going to happen two days from now – much less two months from now. How have high school coaches approached an offseason like no other, and what – if any – plans have they made going forward?

I talked with the head coaches from four of Minnesota’s top high school wrestling teams to find out their thoughts on wrestling with COVID-19.

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MSHSL Board of Directors approve returning volleyball, football to fall season

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. — The Minnesota State High School League’s Board of Directors today approved a reconsideration placement of fall activities, a decision that brings football and volleyball back to the fall season.

The plan, which fits within COVID-19 guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health, will have an approved football season beginning on Sept. 28 with the first of six regular season games scheduled for the week of Oct. 5. Since Sept. 14, member schools have had the option of participating in fall training sessions. In the framework that was adopted by the Board of Directors, a planned two-week football postseason will begin the week of Nov. 16.

Volleyball will begin an 11-week season on Sept. 28 and member schools may play their first matches on Oct. 8. In the framework that was approved by the board, two weeks of postseason play would begin the week of Nov. 30. Like football, member schools have had the option of participating in voluntary training sessions since Sept. 14.

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The Al and Josh Show Podcast – Let Them Play

The MSHSL delayed football and volleyball to a new spring season and there is a large push for them to reconsider. Al and Josh talk with a couple of people who took the challenge head-on and are actively fighting to help get sports happening again in Minnesota high schools including one of the three parties involved with a lawsuit aimed at getting the MSHSL to reconsider allowing fall football and volleyball.

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With fate of high school wrestling pending, some organizations get creative

It’s been a tough summer on the mat for wrestlers of all ages due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nick Lyden, president of Minnesota/USA Wrestling said watching many events and opportunities get canceled since mid-March has been a “gut-wrenching experience,” adding sports like wrestling provide numerous mental and physical benefits to kids and teenagers.

“I’m personally worried by the opportunities lost and those we may lose in the future,” he said. Continue reading at swnewsmedia.com

NWCA DI Leadership Group Takes a Position on the 2020-2021 Competition Season

Manheim, PA – The NWCA Division I Leadership Group (LG) sent a letter on Wednesday to all Division I Coaches, Athletic Directors, Senior Women’s Administrators and Conference Liaisons to recommend a shift to the 2020-21 season as a result of ongoing complications related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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NSIC Cancels Fall Competition & Championships; Suspends All Sports Competition Through December 31

BURNSVILLE, Minn. – In light of the NCAA Board of Governors’ decision to direct all institutions and conferences to meet specific requirements to conduct fall sports and the NCAA Division II Presidents Council’s announcement that all NCAA Division II fall championships are canceled, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference’s Board of Directors has canceled NSIC fall competition & championships, and has suspended all athletic competition through December 31, 2020.

The NSIC recognizes the value an NCAA championship experience provides for student-athletes and that was a factor in the analysis. However, health and safety concerns prevailed in the league’s decision. Additionally, current recommendations for testing, exposure, and quarantine make it very difficult for a season to be successfully completed at an institution or across the conference without severe disruptions.

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The Big Ten Conference Postpones 2020-21 Fall Sports Season

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced the postponement of the 2020-21 fall sports season, including all regular-season contests and Big Ten Championships and Tournaments, due to ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In making its decision, which was based on multiple factors, the Big Ten Conference relied on the medical advice and counsel of the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.

“Our primary responsibility is to make the best possible decisions in the interest of our students, faculty and staff,” said Morton Schapiro, Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors and Northwestern University President.

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MSHSL Board of Directors address Fall Activities

The Minnesota State High School League’s Board of Directors, at its meeting on Aug. 4, approved moving forward as scheduled with four Fall activities. Girls Tennis, Boys and Girls Cross Country, Boys and Girls Soccer and Girls Swimming and Diving beginning on Aug. 17 with limitations. The Board of Directors also approved moving Football and Volleyball to a modified spring season. 

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