Parents, students remain frustrated over fall sports postponement

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – On Aug. 15, the Eau Claire Area School District announced it was following the WIAA’s alternative sports schedule and pushing its fall season to the spring.

The district is the only one in the Chippewa Valley to do so as of yet.

Parents and students are hoping the decision can be reversed, as school is set to start Tuesday.

For students like Ty Jacobs at Eau Claire North High School, the decision to push his fall sport of cross country to the spring was a shock.

“I saw the high risk sports being canceled, but I didn’t see cross country, tennis. You know you can replace the ball every serve, wash it. You don’t have to touch each other during cross country and I just didn’t see it being canceled,” said Jacobs.

Monday, parents and students rallied in front of the Eau Claire School District office in hopes of getting answers on why the fall season was postponed.

“It’s not just sports, again it’s band, choir, debate, forensics, those type of things. Who collectively made this decision, because as parents we certainly were not surveyed which that would have been appreciated I believe,” said Parent of three in the district Lynn Archibald-Smith.

Madalyn Archibald-Smith was hoping she’d be in the middle of her swim season at North right now.

The senior says the decision not only affects her fall, but her other sport of track is also going to be impacted.

Many questions for her remain, such as who they will compete against in the spring and summer.

“So far only the Eau Claire Area School District canceled their sports so that’s North and Memorial so apparently we’re going to have our season in the spring but who are we supposed to compete against because Chippewa is having their swim season now, Menomonie is having their swim season now. Everybody around us and in our conference is happening now,” said Archibald-Smith.

In Chippewa Falls, competition has already begun for some fall sports while the high-risk sports, like football and volleyball, will begin practices next week.

“The feeling I’ve gotten it’s been going really well. I’ve been making it out to practices and obviously hosting a few competitions here and there and all the students and the opponents and the coaches are all on board to make it work and whatever it takes to keep competing and playing and getting back into school,” explained Chippewa Falls High School Activities Director Mike Thompson.

Thompson said the decision to hold fall sports was jump started by having in person instruction.

In the Eau Claire Area School District, Superintendent Michael Johnson has said it was a tough decision but after consulting with the city-county health department decided to postpone the season to the spring.

Johnson declined to comment for this story.

With the alternative schedule, fall sports begin in March and finish in May or June, depending on the sport.

While spring sports have been pushed to April or the first week of May and will end in June.

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