During a normal spring, Lodi athletic director Sue Meffert spends a lot of time rescheduling games due to typical Wisconsin weather. Not being able to make up some games is common.
Meffert and the Lodi spring athletic teams have lost a lot more than one game this year, they lost every game. The WIAA canceled all spring sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I actually miss all those cold games this spring,” Meffert said. “The weather has been pretty decent this spring and we probably would not have had many cancellations. That is the kicker of it all.”
After the Governor’s Safer-at-Home order went into effect, all schools were closed and the spring sports season was canceled.
Even as they are apart during this time, Meffert has been keeping in touch with the Blue Devil coaches and athletes.
“At first, everything was chaotic and we didn’t know what was going to happen,” Meffert said. “I was communicating with spring coaches at least once week to keep them up on everything that was changing from day to day. The coaches had a lot of questions and I was trying to get things organized for whatever type of season we possibly could have had.”
There is still a chance all the Blue Devil spring teams will get a chance to practice yet this year. The WIAA is allowing for a 30-day contact period this summer.
“The Capitol Conference is not doing anything for the 30-day period,” Meffert said. “Most schools are waiting to see what is going to happen in July. Right now, schools are closed until June 30, so the 30 days can’t start until July 1. We are going to have to wait and see what it all looks like.”
Meffert is heartbroken for all of the Blue Devil seniors in boys golf, track, baseball, softball and girls soccer who lost their final seasons.
“How do you support the seniors who have done so much for four years,” Meffert said. “Just think about all of the events you look forward to as a senior — you last chance at a championship, prom and graduation. All those things are important to them.”
With no spring sports, Meffert has had a chance to work ahead for the next academic school year.
“I’ve been working on scheduling and getting officials for next year,” Meffert said. “Right now, it is business as usual. It is a little bit different being this far ahead of scheduling in mi-May. We almost have everything set for next spring.”
The hard part for Meffert and athletic directors in Wisconsin is that nobody knows what the fall season will be like if the pandemic continues.
“We are working on getting things ready for the fall, but it is hard because we don’t know what anything will look like,” Meffert said. “As much as you want to plan, you are going to wait to see what happens down the road. Every day is a wait and see. We hope we have a fall season.”
Even if there is a fall season, it may look very different than past.
“There may be a size limit for crowds,” Meffert said. “We don’t know if fans are going to have to space out and wear masks. There are a lot of what-ifs that nobody seems to know. We don’t know if schools is going to function in the same way ever again.”
Meffert is especially excited about the fall with the Blue Devils getting new turf on their stadium field. The project is set to start the first week in June.
“With all the negative stuff that has happened, this is one positive to look forward to,” Meffert said. “I think it is something for our community to be proud of. Our community really stepped up for us.”