by Chris Hartley, director of athletics
February 22 (the first day for fall sport practices) is just around the corner, and we want to make sure families have most, if not all, of their questions answered and have the correct information in front of them. We hope answers to these questions will help everyone understand how Lakeside Athletics is functioning and what will be required for participation.
As a reminder, Lakeside is hosting a webinar on Thursday, February 11, 8-9 a.m., for parents and guardians that will focus on what is happening in athletics for the remainder of the school year. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the parent/guardian webpage shortly after. If you would like to submit a question for the panelists to consider, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT IS THE UNDERLYING PHILOSPHY IN PLANNING FOR THE RETURN OF ATHLETICS?
We are focused on creating systems and protocols that create the best possible environment for every athlete to participate in interscholastic athletics for as long as possible. It is not our goal to make things look like they did prior to the pandemic. We have stripped away anything that adds unnecessary risk, putting the health and safety of our coaches and athletes as our top priority.
WHY AREN’T THERE PLANS FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL TEAMS?
First, most of the Middle School sports at Lakeside are organized by the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). They have canceled volleyball and track & field for this spring. In pre-pandemic years, some eighth graders have joined the Upper School crew program in the spring. That is not possible this year because of facilities and equipment restrictions. Our lacrosse teams cannot practice and compete because of how the cohorts are arranged for in-person learning. Grade levels are completely separated and need to remain that way.
WHAT ARE THE SEASONS AND WHICH TEAMS ARE IN EACH?
February 22 – April 17: Crew, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Girls Soccer, Girls Swim & Dive, and Volleyball.
April 19- June 12: Baseball, Basketball, Crew, Boys Soccer, Boys Swim & Dive, Tennis, Track & Field, Wrestling.
WHY AREN’T LACROSSE AND ULTIMATE INCLUDED IN THAT LIST?
Those two sports are run by organizations outside of the WIAA. Those organizations are still making decisions about when to schedule their seasons. We will get that information to athletes on those teams as soon as we have it.
WHO CAN COME TO PRACTICE AND COMPETE?
As long as students have a negative COVID-19 test from the previous Friday and have not traveled out of the state within the previous week, all students, regardless of where they are during the school day (remote or in-person) can attend in-person practices and competitions. This is true of students who are attending classes remotely all of the time.
WILL TEAMS BE IN ACTION OVER SPRING BREAK?
Yes! The last week of the first season is our spring break. It would be best if families made arrangements to be in the area so that all teams can have full rosters for the last week of the season.
For athletes who will be participating in the second season (winter and spring sports), they will need to stay in-state over spring break and be tested on April 16 to be eligible for the first day of practice on April 19.
WHEN DO STUDENTS NEED TO BE TESTED?
If a student plans to practice or compete during any given week, they will need to be tested at Lakeside the Friday prior to that week. Testing is on Fridays is 8 am – 3 pm.
DOES THE HEALTH SCREENING (MAGNUS APP) NEED TO BE USED?
Yes! Anyone planning to participate with their team must complete the health screening on the Magnus app. We ask that students who are remote complete the health screening in the morning. Coaches will be notified if athletes have not completed the screening. Athletes who show up to a team event without the screening completed will need to have an in-person screening (including a temperature reading). This will impact the start of practice, so please make it a priority to complete the Magnus form each day.
WHEN DOES THE TRACE APP NEED TO BE ON?
Whenever an athlete arrives at a site or rides in a vehicle with teammates, the app must be on. This includes the Lakeside campus, any practice facility, and any competition site. Recognizing that athletes cannot always have their phones on them, attendance will be taken daily to ensure the school knows who was participating.
CAN CARPOOLS BE USED TO TRANSPORT ATHLETES?
Yes! Everyone in the car must have masks on. The maximum number of people in a vehicle is FOUR. The maximum number of families per vehicle is THREE. Athletes must have their Trace app running. A form will be sent to families that must be completed and returned prior to the start of the season to participate in carpools.
WILL THERE BE AN ACTIVITY BUS?
No. Families will need to make arrangements for their students to be picked up from the school, boathouse, or competition site if only carpools were used to arrive at the site. If a minibus or charter bus is used for transportation to a competition, families can pick up their athlete at the site or at the school.
WHAT IS THE RULE ABOUT MASKS?
Masks have to be worn at all times, including during competitions. The only exception is for our swimmers, divers, and rowers. At pools, masks are worn up until the point that an athlete will be entering the pool. Our rowers will only be in singles and will remove their masks when they are on the water. Wearing a mask on the water is a safety issue due to the possibility that a boat overturns. Coaches will have masks on at all times.
WHAT KIND OF MASK SHOULD ATHLETES WEAR?
We will be providing all athletes with blue, three-ply, surgical masks each day. Athletes can use two if they would like, and we will replace masks that become wet or are torn. At the beginning of a team event, a coach will hand a new mask to each athlete. At the end of the event, athletes will throw out those masks and put on their personal masks.
WHAT ARE YOUR CLEANING PROTOCOLS?
All equipment (including balls) will be disinfected before use and after use. Items that are touched multiple times by several people (like volleyballs or footballs) will be disinfected several times during the team event. Indoor facilities (gyms, bathrooms, locker rooms, etc.) will be disinfected each evening.
CAN WE USE THE LOCKER ROOMS?
Yes, but only to change. Nothing can be stored in the locker rooms. Each team will be given a designated space to leave school items that will be monitored. The capacity of locker rooms has been greatly reduced, and we are exploring alternative sites for athletes to change. To decrease the number of students who need to change, all students participating in remote learning are asked to come to practice already dressed for practice.
WHAT WILL COMPETITIONS LOOK LIKE?
Great question. And, we do not have all the answers yet. The Metro League athletic directors have been meeting weekly to share ideas and create good systems. While we do not have definitive plans, here are a few things you can anticipate:
- Fans will not be allowed at any Lakeside home event and likely all Metro League events.
- The league will be divided into north and south divisions to simplify travel.
- Any playoff scenario will be greatly simplified or not exist at all.
We hope that this information is beneficial. The Lakeside Athletics staff will be meeting with all coaches on Monday, Feb. 8 to go over all of the safety and cleaning protocols so that adults are prepared for the first day of practice.
If you have other questions, please submit them to email@example.com so that they can be addressed in the webinar for parents and guardians on Thursday, February 11, 8-9 am.
Follow Lakeside Athletics on Twitter at @LakesideLions.