Governor updates guidelines for winter contact sports

Seniors+Devin+Womack+and+Brandon+Rawls+and+junior+Jay+Wambere+wait+to+enter+the+gym+at+Huron+High+School.+The+boys+play+for+the+River+Rat+basketball+team.

Jackson Den Houter

Seniors Devin Womack and Brandon Rawls and junior Jay Wambere wait to enter the gym at Huron High School. The boys play for the River Rat basketball team.

Lydia Hargett, News Editor

This afternoon, Governor Gretchen Witmer announced that winter contact sports will be able to resume games with new safety protocols in place. This comes after originally having contact sports including basketball, hockey, wrestling and cheer suspended until Feb. 21.

“We are excited and happy; it is about time,” Huron athletic director Tony Whiren said. “The statistics are overwhelming showing that sports are not having outbreaks.” 

In November, AAPS announced a delay of all winter sports.

“I was extremely frustrated with the on-again, off-again, apparently capricious decisions about sports,” Margaret Baker, a parent of student athletes, said. “I think we will see over the next few months that cancelling sports has consequences that will be with us for a long time.”

The Michigan High School Sports Association has also been meeting with school board members and Whitmer’s administration. Whitmer said that students will be required to wear masks at all times, and will have a strict testing schedule.

“We still need to wait for MHSAA’s statement to get the full details on the testing procedures for the athletes,” Whiren said.

Whitmer understands that athletes have lost the feeling of connection and belonging, and wants to give it back to them.

“Our numbers are now in a place where we can allow our kids to get back in the game with their coaches and teammates,” Whitmer said in her press conference earlier today.

Whitmer also stated that Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services is issuing a new epidemic order that will allow sport teams to begin in person practicing on Feb. 8, as long as masks are worn at all times.

“I am really excited to start scrimmaging and playing basketball again since this is my first high school season,” freshman Graham Baker said.