Fall Sports Adjust to Pilot Program with Rapid Testing
With the newest emergency order, the remaining fall sports were able to begin practice again on Monday. Part of that order includes a pilot program that consists of rapid COVID-19 testing.
“It’s going to be another hoop to jump through but again at the end of the day, Coach Mallory and Coach Brines, when they got the news on Friday, they were just very happy,” said Cadillac athletic director, Fred Bryant. “They weren’t even worried about the logisitics, they were just glad to get the opportunity to possibly finish the season.”
Only three sports remain to complete their fall tournaments including football, volleyball, and swimming and diving. All players, coaches and staff for the teams have to be tested for participation.
Cadillac is one local school that has two teams still left to play, volleyball and football. They are hoping their testing kits will be delivered by Tuesday morning so they can begin the testing.
“Granted we only have to test three times a week and the state does not require us to test on gameday or the day before. It’s just our responsibility to test three times during the week,” said Bryant. “Now obviously we are probably going to be testing either the day before or the day of but there’s no mandated dates.”
When there is a positive test, it does not mean the end of the season for the team.
“The good thing is it’s not the end all be all because with that now we direct them to their healthcare provider and then they go through the proper channels to get tested more in depth, but then if an athlete or coach tests positive after confirmation from their doctor then our contact tracing kicks into place there,” said Bryant.
Competition begins in 2021. Football games start on January 2, volleyball on January 5, and swimming and diving on January 15. There will be no spectators at these games.
The MHSAA Representative Council is meeting on Tuesday to put together a plan for the winter sports season.