KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Kansas City, Kansas, Public School Board voted 5-2 Tuesday evening to suspend all involvement in KSHAA fall sports over concerns of the coronavirus pandemic.
The school board said this includes football,volleyball, cross country, girls tennis and boys soccer. The vote also suspends band and spirit squad. Practice would have started Monday.
“The board specifically chose the word suspend, and I appreciate that because they are recognizing this moment and time right now is not the moment for this right now, and it gives us an opportunity if there are some changes that come about,” KCKPS Athletic Director Tammie Romstad said.
Romstad said the next step is working with seniors on scholarships and different opportunities after high school and with coaches and athletic staff on new roles and contracts.
“We are going to start focusing on how to help kids now,” Romstad said. “We got a little taste of that last spring with spring sports, and we will be reaching out to colleges, contacting and doing everything we can to help these kids.”
The news comes after the Big Ten and the Pac 12 officially postponed all fall sports.
KCK public schools are the first in the metro to suspend fall sports.
As of right now, other high schools across the metro are following county and sports athletic guidelines at practices.
The school district voted last month to start the first nine weeks of the school year completely online.
Wyandotte County has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 in Kansas. As of Tuesday there have been 4,959 reported cases since the middle of March, according to the health department. There have been 101 deaths and 1,411 recoveries.
“Considering the county and the rate of infection, it is a decision we are trying to make sure our kids are safe,” Romstad said.” It’s tough though. My heart goes out to the athletes training for a long time, and parents who want to see those kids compete.”
For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as a fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The majority of people recover.