It is hard to put into words how I feel about the loss of this year’s spring sports season. 

For me, as the Stanwood High School athletic director, I am sad that 297 student athletes lost the opportunity to participate in high school spring athletics. I truly believe that educationally based high school sports help to develop a student athlete’s character and teach lifelong skills.

I am also sorry for our families, coaches and community. Everyone is losing something due to this pandemic. Parents are not getting to watch their kids play, coaches are not getting the opportunity to work with kids and community members are not able to support the local teams as Spartan fans.

You don’t really realize what you have until you lose it. We all have lost something this spring, but as the old saying goes, “We will be stronger when we get through this,” stands true. 

I believe our kids, families, coaches and community will come back with a renewed passion and appreciation for all things, including high school athletics.

What will sports next school year look like? At this point, we are on a wait-and-see basis. All school facilities are shut down through June. If and when the governor moves us to Phase 2, we will have to see what that means for athletics.

The Wesco athletic directors meet monthly (recently twice a month) and COVID-19 is a consistent topic. All Washington schools are still required to follow the WIAA rules regarding in- and out-of-season contact with kids. It is still officially the spring season, so fall and winter coaches are not allowed to work with kids.   

I have told our head coaches that they need to prepare for many different scenarios for returning to work with kids, including scenarios such as: 

  • Having summer activities (with group size modifications).

  • Not having summer contact but starting football practices on Aug. 19 and other fall sports practices on Aug. 24.

  • Starting practices on Day 1 of school.

  • Planning for modifying practices to fit smaller groups.

The WIAA is researching different ideas for the 2020-21 sports seasons if COVID-19 affects the return to normal activities. 

Everyone is trying to be proactive and plan, but we just don’t know what to expect.

Tom Wilfong is the Stanwood High School athletic director.

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