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Doug's Dugout: Safety the new priority

Doug's Dugout: Safety the new priority


The 2019-2020 school year was unlike any other. I wish I could say that with a positive slant in mind, but with COVID-19 rearing its ugly head, the negatives far outweighed the good. 

The year certainly started off well enough with all the usual late summer and early fall activities. The first football games, softball games, volleyball matches, golf meets and cross country meets went as scheduled and the marching band was hard at work preparing its competition show that would land the group a “Superior” rating at Pierce last October. Yes, all seemed right with the high school world.

The annual Schuyler Labor Day was another big hit with people lined up along the streets of Schuyler (yes, even within six feet of each other). There was not a facemask in sight as candy was being tossed and children were diving at the sweet treasures.

The months of August, September, and October flew by. There were many thrilling triumphs in the SCHS sporting world as well as several bitter defeats, but no one was prepared for what was to come as we turned the final page of the calendar from 2019-2020. 

Buried on the nightly news shows were comments about a dangerous virus coming out of China. But we were much more interested in how our Warrior basketball players and wrestlers were doing in their games and matches. 

January turned to February. The wrestling came to another successful conclusion in Omaha and the basketball teams were winding down their seasons. Sadly, at the same time, those quiet rumblings of some far-off virus were quickly becoming an alarming reality here in the United States. Surely this COVID deal would quickly pass us by and we would get back to normal before we even knew what had hit us. 

That was then. This is now. The last school year ended without any spring sports. It ended without any activities at all as students were being taught in their homes via the internet and schools, for the most part, were eerily quiet and vacant. 

Now, school districts across the country are trying to figure out how to return to the classrooms this fall. They are wondering if there will be any fall sports or other activities at all. As COVID-19 continues its stranglehold around the world, there are certainly more questions today than available answers. 

What is best for the students? What is best for teachers, staff members, and coaches in our schools. What is best for the families of these students? 

We are about three weeks away from the first scheduled activities at Schuyler Central High School and things are supposed to proceed as close to “normal” as possible. I am hoping that this 2020-2021 school year turns out better for all students involved than the one they had to endure last year. I am sincerely hoping that games will be played and activities will be held but only with the safety of all involved as the top priority.


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