The year 2020 tested our patience.
Just because the calendar flipped to 2021 does not mean that test is over. Not by a long shot. And not in the sports world.
Milton High athletics teams, coaches, parents and supporters will need to continue being patient now that many winter seasons have begun.
One team that is still waiting is the Red Hawks gymnastics team.
Head coach Kristine Farnsworth and her team will not start what will be a very short season for a couple weeks yet.
“We can’t get into our (facility) until Jan. 19,” Farnsworth said, indicating there was asbestos found as part of a construction project that is underway. “So we are working with CSA out of Janesville, and they were willing to work with us from Jan. 4 until we can get into our gym on the 19th.
“It’s just been one curveball after another, but we’ll make do with what we’ve got and salvage some type of season.”
Milton’s athletic programs were allowed to start competitions after the first of the year, as long as they had met WIAA practice requirements. The requirement for gymnastics, though, is 20 practices before starting competitions, which means the Red Hawks will need a few weeks before they can begin competing in dual meets.
As of Monday, the first competition was slated to be a nonconference dual meet at Janesville Parker on Feb. 2.
“We’ve got Parker, then Reedsburg and Baraboo,” Farnsworth said. “We’ll take advantage of the little opportunity we’ve been given.”
Even the teams that did see their seasons start this week have started to see a little of the adversity some of the other area schools have seen in their month of winter sports competitions.
The boys basketball team opened its season Monday, but before that game had even tipped off it had lost the second game on its schedule.
“We have lost our Tuesday game this coming week,” a tweet from the Milton boys basketball program’s Twitter account said Sunday. “Milton is looking for a game this Tues, Weds, Thurs, or Fri. Would prefer to travel, but can be flexible. Varsity only.”
Such posts on social media sites have been prevalent around the state in both the fall and winter as teams do their best to fill out their schedules and find new opponents when an old one has a COVID-19 issue and cannot play.
Those are just some of the examples of the perils of playing during a pandemic.
Even though the winter season has been cut short in 2021, patience will still be key.