MWA, BCAM Pen Letter to Governor, Asking For Contact Sports To Begin Feb. 1
Over the weekend, the Michigan Wrestling Association and the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan sent letters to the office of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, offering their opinions against the latest emergency order update that pushed winter contact sports back to Feb. 21 due to COVID-19.
Before the latest change, contact sports, including basketball, cheer, wrestling and hockey, were set to begin on Feb. 1.
Today, BCAM sent a letter to Governor Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Health, and other members of state leadership…
In the MWA letter, they said:
“The student athletes of Michigan have endured an unimaginable year of turmoil, the likes of which we will not fully know for some time. The traumatic experience of the start and stop nature of athletics has left many student athletes despondent and coaches grasping for answers. We are beseeching you to reconsider the recent announcement to delay contact sports and to do so immediately.”
One of the names signed on the letter is Jaime Smith, the North Region Representative of the MWA and Frankfort’s head wrestling coach.
“We all jumped on and said we’re going to do what wrestlers do best and that’s fight off our backs,” Smith said. “And that’s exactly where we’re at because we know without a February 1 start date, our season is going to be extremely slim.”
Smith says they have been waiting since November 13 to have an official start date. She also says that despite the starts and pauses and trying to stay positive, that this is affecting kids in every sport and every city.
“All these athletes are suffering,” added Smith. “As coaches we all know the story. We all have that kid that we’ve seen the light turn on in the last three weeks. And we’re not ready to let it dim. But I will say that athletes are very much wanting answers.”
The Panthers, along with many other teams and sports across the state, have gotten creative with non-contact practices.
Smith said this week they are planning on helping their wrestlers write their own letters to the Governor and the MDHHS so they can tell their own experiences, while trying to make a difference.