KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Educators in one metro school district are feeling a change of heart.
Leaders with the Kansas City, Kansas School District will have fall sports after all, although a modified version of athletics with pandemic restrictions in mind.
The decision was made at a Tuesday night school board meeting, where board members voted 4-3 in favor of beginning workouts on September 14.
Tammie Romstad, KCK School District Athletic Director, said activity will be limited to group workouts similar to the ones allowed by the Kansas State High School Activities Association during the off season. Schools will not compete against each other in a traditional game format.
“It will be more about strength and conditioning. It gives our kids an opportunity to come to see each other and engage the way teams do when it comes to seeing their teammates and coaches,” Romstad said on Wednesday.
Romstad said pandemic provisions we’ve seen in various summer athletic leagues will be in effect, as roughly 4,000 student-athletes from 13 middle and high schools adjust.
Students at J.C. Harmon High School, F.L. Schlagle High School, Sumner Academy, Washington High School and Wyandotte High School will be affected, in addition to the middle school students who’ll eventually attend those high schools.
“The skill development is the only thing kids can do in the offseason. At this point we’re limited by KSHSAA rules by what we can do with our kids,” Romstad said.
“This moment is only a moment. The yards to collect has a million moments. This is one of them. It hurts. It’s painful. It’s not what we want, but who we become as a result of the moment, and how we work through it. That’s the lesson athletics, I hope, teaches all students.”
This format will permit student-athletes and coaches to resume activity and socialization as groups, which has proven to be important to the mental health of teenagers. Juan Garcia, a Sumner Acacdemy soccer player, said this modification will take time to embrace.
“I don’t think it will be the same. We have a mentality in practice and going forward to the game, but without a game, it’ll just be calm every practice. We wouldn’t have the same mentality,” Garcia said.