High school winter sports start as scheduled but no fans allowed

Hannah Brown
Kiowa County Signal
Kiowa County Lady Maverick seniors Gracie Gray and Ellery McMurry battle for defensive postion in a 2019 basketball game. They are happy to get the opportunity to play in 2020, after KSHSAA official announced last week that high school basketball games will go forward as planned, but parents and other spectators will not be allowed in the gyms.

The Kansas State High School Athletic Association Board of Directors met on Tuesday, November 24 to discuss changing the starting dates of winter sports across Kansas due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The proposal was to push back the start back to January 14, which would cut the season in half for teams across the state.

Other discussions included the allowance of spectators and when teams would be allowed to practice throughout Christmas break.

 The board of directors voted to start winter sports using the original schedule but extended the moratorium from December 23 to January 7. No fans will be allowed January 28.  

For Thomas Derstein and the Kiowa County High School girls basketball team, the school board's decision was a good one. Going into the meeting, Coach Derstein said he was hopeful the season would happen. 

“My only thought going into the meeting was that I hoped they would try mitigation procedures before cancelling/limiting the season before it even began,” said Derstein. 

Derstein said it would have been deflating for his squad to lose an opportunity to play. He said he  feels that it would make the season feel even longer if they were to lose so many of their contests. 

The Lady Mavericks completed volleyball season with COVID-19 precautions in place so Coach Derstein said he was confident his girls will continue to buy into these mitigations. 

 “The girls have bought into the mitigation measures and are working hard to make sure they don't get exposed.  I'm glad they will be rewarded by getting the chance at a full season,” said Derstein.

The Lady Mavericks open their season on Friday, December 4 when they take on Skyline High School in Pratt. 

For the full results of the KSHSAA Board of Directors meeting, visit the KSHSAA website.