School sports and activities are not ready to throw in the towel just yet.
Even though the Newton Community School District is treading in “unknown” territory, athletics and activities director Ryan Rump told school board members at their Monday, July 27, meeting that he believes students will be able to participate in fall season sports. But more state guidance is needed.
Sporting associations are working on plans to have fall sports, Rump said. From what he has heard, fall sports — including high school football — will resume on Aug. 10, as scheduled. Football schedules in Iowa have decreased from nine games to five district games and, at most, two additional games.
Newton has opted for seven football games this year. Rump said the final schedule is expected to be finished by the end of the week.
Other fall sports like volleyball, cross country, golf and swimming should be receiving more direction from their respective associations and state public health officials soon, Rump said. For now, he sees no indication that Newton will cancel fall sports season.
Prior to the upcoming season, the school district has been allowed to hold out-of-season workouts in July, including Cardinal Power. This summer training program teaches students proper techniques, improves strength and conditions them to meet the demands of athletic participation.
“Safety protocols have been put in place,” Rump said. “Cardinal Power has been requiring masks in the weight room since Day One. We’ve been sanitizing all the equipment regularly …. (Coaches are) putting the priorities where we need to and putting our student athletes and their safety first.”
Rump acknowledged Newton coaches for adapting to difficult changes. They have been “fantastic” and are doing “the best they can,” he said, to prioritize keeping student athletes safe. Newton’s summer sports — baseball and softball — began July 1. Rump said both went well, “all things considered.”
Newton’s baseball and softball teams did not have any issues with COVID-19 exposure. The school district also hosted its fair share of games, which had their own sets of restrictions. Rump said fans did a good job of adhering to rules and social distancing themselves.
Robyn Friedman, president of the NCSD Board of Education, asked Rump if other activities such as band or theater will have any specific directives. Rump those conversations are still ongoing. However, he does know marching band has made the decision to not participate in festivals this fall.
Marching band will still perform at football games this year, but Rump said it will likely be a “stand still” performance at home games. As of now, school activities such as cheerleading, dance and miscellaneous clubs will resume as normally scheduled, but with higher safety protocols.
“We’ll be communicating just as much as we can via our social media sites as changes are happening and we’re getting information,” Rump said.
Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or firstname.lastname@example.org