Winter Sports Return

Kole Scheneman

After a three week break to discuss and plan new protocols for LPS sporting events, winter sports are back.

A decision was made on Dec 4 to bring back winter sports on Dec 7. The winter sports season was originally planned to start back in November, but was postponed due to rising COVID-19 cases in the state of Nebraska.

“It feels great,” senior Ethan Reida said. “I know everyone is ready to be back and destroy the competition.”

However, the return of winter sports does come at a cost. Aside from the delay, new guidelines have been put in place by the NSAA. All schools are required to meet the following:

  •  Active participants are permitted, but not required, to wear face coverings during competitions.
  • Coaches and non-active participants (ones who are not currently participating) are required to wear face coverings at all times
  • Spectators are required to wear face coverings at all times while attending indoor events
  • Face coverings must cover the nose and mouth
  • Host school requirements must be the same for all schools, officials, judges and spectators. The host school also may establish additional requirements in consultation with local health departments.

“I don’t think they’ll be an issue for us,” Principal Michael Gillotti said. “We’ve done as much as we possibly can, from the beginning of all of this. Once we got clearance to do off-season conditioning, there were a ton of guidelines, which we value because the goal is to keep everybody safe and healthy, and find that balance of, ‘How do we still let kids be able to have the opportunities that they have?’ So those won’t be an issue for us. We’ve already been operating at those guidelines. So it’s not new for us. It may be for some other schools statewide, but we’ve already been operating with pretty tight restrictions.”

For some athletes, the postponement gave them time to practice and hone their skills for when the season started.

“The swimmers were practicing over break,” Reida said. “So I know that they are prepared for this season.”

The entire list of the new guidelines can be found on the NSAA website.

“I’m glad to see them back because of the opportunity that it provides kids,” Principal Gillotti said. “Having had a successful fall sports season, the safety precautions aren’t new. I think kids have done a great job throughout all of this, even going into the summer. So I’m glad to see that opportunities can come back for them.”