Bishop LeBlond experiences its first week without spring sports.
The school made the decision Sunday as a part of the Catholic School Diocese, to suspend its spring sports indefinitely. The announcement was made after the Missouri State High School Activities Association stated no practices or games should occur if that school is closing for a period of time due to the COVID-19.
“Once we made that decision to cancel school for the week, obviously no practices or athletics events would follow suit,” LeBlond Athletic Director Michael Evans said. “We did it with all the confidence of knowing it was the right decision at that moment.”
Evans said there is no set return date as it will be revisited on a week-by-week basis.
Despite the uncertainty, Evans wants the student-athletes to stay positive and spend this time wisely, with the mindset of returning.
“It’s not officially over yet. I’d really encourage them to continue to stay in shape and work hard, and stay committed to the classroom and stay committed to their body because two weeks down the road we may be past this and we may be back at it,” Evans said.
LeBlond is not encouraging group workouts at this time, but still recommends individual exercises. Evans said he is allowing coaches to send recommended workouts to their athletes. However, the workouts are not required.
“We’re trying to communicate with them via email and let them know some suggestions to stay healthy and get a little exercise in this time when we are supposed to be practicing social distancing,” LeBlond track and field coach Kim Huss said. “(The workouts) are very nonspecific, just general suggestions.”
Since the announcement was made Sunday night, Huss has not been able to discuss the situation face-to-face with her team, which is made up of 25 students. She and other coaches will continue to be available to their athletes through email.
With the hope of spring sports returning, Evans acknowledges the possibility of high school careers coming to an end for seniors.
“I hope that they’re mature enough and understanding enough to know that this is bigger than sports, but at the same time, I also completely sympathize with them as a former athlete myself,” Evans said.
MSHSAA announced that there will be no mandated cancellations of practice, games or championships at this time. It did state schools that remain open can operate at their own discretion.
Schools must still operate under the bylaw mandating 14 days of practice before playing in games under the supervision of a coach, which must take place while school is in session, while MSHSAA hopes to waive other a bylaw that would allow teams and athletes to compete in the postseason if the regular season is shortened.
“What we really want is to see our kids again, happy and healthy, and know that their families have remained healthy as well,” Huss said.
The St. Joseph School District, which LeBlond is separate from, also announced that all activities, including spring sports, have been suspended until further notice.