(WFRV) – For the first time ever, there was a spring high school football season in areas throughout Wisconsin and it’s something the WIAA is proud of when reflecting.
Due to the pandemic, more than 100 teams opted to play their seasons in the spring. This caused for the WIAA to get creative in how to attack it.
With spring seasons like track and baseball and multi-sport athletes, the WIAA created a seven-game football season for teams that opted to play in the Spring.
“We found out as the season went on just how important it was to the kids. I’m sure the kids just enjoyed being around their buddies again”, says WIAA Deputy Director Wade Labecki.
Unlike a normal year or even the fall season, there were no playoffs or a State Tournament for these teams due to work load for the athletes and the timetable.
“I think they understand it. When you weigh everything out, having a season was priority number one. Being with your friends and playing football was number two. I don’t think playoffs was a high priority when you looked at the list”, says Labecki.
Labecki tells Local 5 that he’s proud of all parties involved for how they were able to manage a season for the players and coaches.
“I think the kids did a great job of, starting out in August, saying to mask up and socially distance and use proper hygiene in order to play”, says Labecki. “I think kids were leaders in their communities in order to get their high school athletics and that’s a good thing to have.”
According to the Wisconsin Sports Network, teams in the WIAA were able to play and complete 95% of their games this spring.
One point the WIAA emphasized was the referees and their willingness to be out on the field every week.
“It says something about those people, as well. That they would take the risk, obviously they probably got vaccinated and wore their masks, and be there for the kids. Without officials, we don’t have sports”, Labecki adds.