Spring sports season was just around the corner. Now there’s a minimum wait of a month.
In accordance with much of the state’s closures and social distancing to limit the potential spread of COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, the Perry School District announced Sunday, March 15 that all after school activities and events including athletics practice will be indefinitely postponed.
Perry superintendent Clark Wicks said Sunday that the whole situation has been fluid but the first documented case in Dallas County “was a factor in the decision.” An additional case was reported in Dallas County during a press conference with Gov. Kim Reynolds on Monday, March 16.
The school district was one step ahead of the curve as the Iowa High School Athletics Association announced Monday, March 16 that all sports activities would be shuttered for four weeks effective immediately following Reynolds’ recommendation. The date currently runs through Friday, April 10. Schools would return to normal business no sooner than April 13.
Perry Schools announced on Tuesday, March 17 that it will be following the governor’s recommendation and closing its doors through at least April 13.
With the postponements, school golf, track and soccer teams will all have to wait a month to officially begin the season. Per the IHSAA, this also means “no in-person contact between coaches/administrators and student-athletes for the duration.”
As of Sunday evening, the Centers for Disease Control issued a national recommendation to cancel all events containing more than 50 people for the next eight weeks. Gov. Reynolds issued a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency on March 17. Gatherings of more than 10 people are now prohibited at all locations, including sports and other events.
Track and field began voluntary practice back in mid-February and mandatory sessions started the first week of March to prep for the Perry Coed Invitational meet initially scheduled for April 2.
Both girls and boys soccer, and golf teams were also scheduled to begin formal practice on Monday, March 16. Now teams are left hoping to keep their student-athletes warmed up, ready for when the call comes permitting official team practice.
Jayettes soccer was also set to have a preseason clinic with Grand View University. That has been canceled. Head coach Nathan Krohn told the Perry Chief he plans to create workouts and playlists of video tutorials for his players to practice ball handling, speed and agility circuits, and shooting drills.
Girls soccer’s first game was scheduled for April 7 while the boys team originally planned to host a tournament April 4 to kick off the season.
Though the golf teams are at a further disadvantage without the luxury of a full course at their disposal, boys head coach Adam Kealhofer said there’s still work they can do from their homes to make a “big difference in the long term.”
“It’s going to be an interesting start to the season,” Kealhofer said. “If they have a carpeted hallway in their home or a backyard to chip in, that would be great. Short game is where success happens.”
The girls team will be in the same waiting period, looking to keep up the work they put in over the winter. MaryLou Ledesma, Bryce Eastman and Kennedy Tunink all went twice a week to Grand View’s winter golf camp, leading head coach Joel Happel to say he believes “with leaders like that I am confident that we can be ready.”
Both golf squads had their first tee time set for April 7. Now it’s a matter of how much of the seasons can be salvaged.
As of now, softball and baseball seasons have not yet been affected with practices beginning May 4 until further information is provided.