Back to the court

Marshall’s all-time leading scorer Anna Lutz will get the opportunity to lead the Cardinals into the 2020-21 season after the Marshall School Board’s ruling to allow winter sports.

{child_kicker}MARSHALL SCHOOL BOARD{/child_kicker}

AD hopes to carry

success of safely playing fall sports into winter

{child_byline}By Amber Gerber

{/child_byline}

Without a case of coronavirus among Marshall High School athletes so far this fall, Athletic Director Matt Kleinheinz is looking forward to that same type of outcome for the boys and girls basketball and wrestling seasons.

The school board voted 5-1 during the Oct. 21 board meeting to allow high school and middle school students the opportunity to participate in winter sports with board member Eric Armstrong voting no. Board member Cecil Chadwick was dialed into the meeting, but due to technical difficulties was unable to supply her vote.

Kleinheinz created a draft return to play document for the winter sports season, which he said was similar to the one for the fall sports season.

“We’ve been very thankful to have a fall sports season,” he said. “Even if we had only gotten a few things in, it would have been successful.”

As of the Oct. 21 meeting, the regular high school seasons for volleyball and cross-country had concluded and the football season was more than halfway completed.

The athletic director was not aware of any high school athlete testing positive for COVID-19, though a few had to quarantine due to close contact with someone who was diagnosed with the virus. That close contact was not through any type of athletic practice or competition, Kleinheinz said.

“The kids have been really good, the coaches have been outstanding and we’re really thankful for that,” he said. “I believe we’re going to do our best to make (winter sports) work.”

The WIAA has produced guidelines for winter sports; however, Armstrong pointed out there were inconsistencies regarding masking in protocols outlining who needs to be wearing a face covering and when it needs to be worn.

Kleinheinz said Marshall is able to be stricter with its own guidelines and must still abide by the Dane County mandate. With that being said, it means the Cardinals will not be competing at home just like the fall sports.

Under the Dane County mandates, no more than 10 athletes can utilize the same practice site at a time. Grady said at the district’s largest facilities, a curtain can be drawn across the gym to create a pair of spaces that would allow for 10 students on each side “as long as the kids don’t co-mingle during practice.”

Kleinheinz pointed out if the Marshall School District was not in compliance with Dane County mandates, the high school sports would be shut down.

As for the middle school sports, students would practice skills and compete amongst each other instead of other schools.

Five parents spoke during public comment in favor of holding winter sports, noting how they saw their own children’s demeanor and mental health improve by being able to participate in football, volleyball or cross country compared to when spring high school sports were canceled.

The board also:

• Decided to only allow local groups to use the district’s facilities. Grady said the district had been receiving requests to use the buildings. The superintendent said the district wants to support the community, but also has some expectations for users such as requiring masks and social distancing and not allowing the groups to host any competitions.

While the district traditionally has not charge local groups to use the facilities, business manager Bob Chady suggested it may want to consider this to help pay for the extra costs incurred for cleaning the facilities.• Heard from Early Learning Center principal Rich Peters about the first couple days of having students back in the building. He said the second day was better than the first, but the first day “wasn’t too shabby.”

Peters said while students all enter through the same doors, each grade exits out of a specific set of doors to prevent congestion at the end of the school day, and hallways have a one-way flow of traffic. Furthermore, support staff from other district buildings to help supervise recess to provide teachers more time to accomplish other tasks.

According to the principal, there are 135 kindergarten through second grade students attending in-person classes.

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