Area ADs React to MHSAA’s Phased-In Approach to Fall Sports

With the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Representative Council approving a phased-in approach to fall high school sports on Wednesday, MISportsNow caught up with area high school athletic directors to get their thoughts.

Cadillac High School is in Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan and is one of many schools in northern Michigan that will have to make adjustments to their normal routines and practices to satisfy the state’s guidelines.

“There will definitely be some logistical challenges,” Cadillac athletic director Fred Bryant said. “They’re suggesting practicing in pods. So they’re talking that the same coaches coach with the same kids and those kids stay with the same group. For volleyball, for soccer, it might be a little bit more realistic, but it’ll still be a challenge just because of the spacing and the staff that we have, the facilities that we have. Now it’s just going to be a little bit of anxiety of who you’re going to play and when you’re going to play and the modifications for when it comes to playing.”

For schools in Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan, like Big Rapids High School, there will be even greater challenges for sports like volleyball.

“Obviously, it makes it difficult to go out and play beach volleyball all the time, which is great and our kids have done some of that this summer, but strategy wise it’s a little bit different than being in a gym,” Big Rapids athletic director Dawn Thompson said. “Our kids will adjust. Everybody in the state is in the same situation so we’re just thankful we get to participate in some form right now. Even if it’s practice for now, obviously we want to compete, but right now if we can just do this and stay safe hopefully the competition will come later on down the road.”

Bear Lake High School athletic director and MHSAA Representative Council member Karen Leinaar was encouraged by Wednesday’s meeting.

“We want the kids to get started, we want them in school sports, and this is a way to do it, so we’re going to start slow,” she said. “The important thing was to get the protocols worked out now so we could get practices and for planning for athletic administrators so we could start planning some things.”