KCKPS starting alternative fall sports schedule in February

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Board of Education and Kansas State High School Activities Association Executive Board approved the alternative fall sports schedule for Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools to begin on Feb. 1, 2021.

The alternative schedule will accommodate the 2020-21 sports seasons under the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines outlined by KSHSAA and the Unified Government Public Health Department.

“This opportunity gives our student-athletes another chance to connect with their coaches and teammates,” Tammie Romstad, KCKPS athletic director, said. “While allowing us to get them in better physical and mental shape and train them on sport-specific skill work.”

According to a press release from the district, the new schedule will:

  • Allow for a fewer number of coaches and student-athletes overlapping during sporting seasons   
  • Allows for minimal interference with spring sports programs who have already lost a full year  
  • Recommend school districts to cohort teams. The schedule allows KCKPS to complete the fall season prior to student-athletes who would like to participate in a spring sport 
    • We will continue to follow masking and mitigations protocols  
  • Allow KCKPS to use existing facilities while cohorting sports teams   
    • Students will not be able to play on two different teams during the same season due to recommendations by the UGPHD. 
  • Allows 10 days of practice before scrimmages/competition  
    • Allows for more controlled scrimmages and contests due to lower numbers of students competing.  
    • Opportunity to work with fall athletes that are not playing winter sports  

Student-athletes must complete physicals and sign the appropriate forms before they can take part.

This decision comes weeks after the school board approved the start of the wrestling season.

Antuan Jones was looking forward to his sophomore football season at Wyandotte High. 

“I just really wanted to play football and to see everybody else doing it. I hate to say I was kind of jealous,” he said. 

KSHSAA approved districts that missed fall sports to play in spring. KCKPS ended up being the only not to play.

“Since we were the only 5, I requested an alternate date that would work better for our district to not create a lot of overlap for the coaches and to limit any overlap as much as possible for spring,” Romstad said. 

“I got a text from my team’s group chat they voted yes to play football that was probably the most excited I’ve been all year,” Jones said. 

Like winter sports, which got a late start, everyone will have to wear masks during practice and play if there are games. There will be no spectators.

The district says Wyandotte, Washington, Harmon Schlegel and Sumner will play each other if there are enough participants with games starting Feb. 13 and ending March 6. 

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