Low and Moderate Contact Sports Approved for Competition

Matthew Jacobi and Ava Bearskin

Last week, Pattonville High School’s Activities Director, Jason Sellers, announced plans for how fall sports will be held this year. Following St. Louis County Guidelines about youth sports, and MSHSAA (Missouri’s State High School Activities Association), Pattonville was allowing low-contact sports to compete this fall, allowing moderate-contact sports to practice only, and high-contact sports as well as sports that are having district competitions soon to participate in the alternate spring season in March-May. As of this week, the moderate-contact sports Boys’ Soccer, Softball, and Girls’ Volleyball have also been approved for competition.

Cross Country and Boys’ Swimming and Diving are planning on competing this fall, as they are considered low-contact. Cross Country Coach McClellan stated, “The plan for the season is to first be grateful that we have a season, and then we are going to use the seven weeks we have to get into the best shape possible. It is a challenge but we have some really good runners who will take on the challenge and will be competitive against other teams this season.”

Cross Country has about a seven week season this year because of the changes that Pattonville has enacted. They will be practicing every day and doing meets when they can with limited runners and spectators allowed at the meets.

“We are doing everything we can to recruit Pattonville students to run with us this season. I am hoping since we are one of the only teams able to compete this fall that we might add to our numbers. Us not being in school has definitely made it more challenging to connect with future runners and convince them to run. If anyone wants to join us, let us know!” His hope is that the Cross Country team will grow as it is one of the only teams to be competing this season.

Sellers is excited that low-contact sports will be able to compete this fall. “I’m excited for them to be cleared to compete. I hope things change for other sports, as well. I have concerns, like any AD (Activities Director) does now, but I feel like we can do this safely by following the guidelines, protocols and recommendations from the county health department. And do so successfully.”

Field Hockey, Boys’ Soccer, Softball, and Girls’ Volleyball, which are classified as moderate-contact sports, are currently practicing. These coaches will notify their players about when practices will start back up. As of September 24th, Boys’ Soccer, Volleyball, and Softball are cleared to be able to compete. More information will be sent out at a later date.

Football, Girls’ Tennis, and Girls’ Golf are being postponed for the alternate season being held by MSHSAA in March-May.

“Obviously, I’d rather play football right now. However, with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation, it just makes sense to wait. I’ve been affected by this virus seeing various family and friends infected. Have lost some family and friends to it. As much as I’d like to be competing in games right now, it just seems right to wait,” says Coach Smith, Pattonville’s Football Coach. The hope is that Pattonville’s Football program will be able to start doing weight workouts to keep the players in shape for the upcoming spring season.

Sellers thinks the alternate season is a good option for sports that are currently unable to meet. “I

think the alternate fall season is a fantastic opportunity for those sports that may not get going in the current fall. We are waiting for MSHSAA to lay out exactly what that may look like, but we are glad to have the hope of competing down the road. Being unsure of what the alternate fall will look like exactly, I am sure other neighboring districts will decide to take advantage of this opportunity, and yes, we would be able to compete with them.”

Coach Sellers hopes for a spring season but says he is excited and ready to see how the fall season plays out for now. “My focus right now is on getting the fall going in the best way that we can. We are formulating our plans for the spring as things play out. With so many recent changes in so many facets of high school activities, it’s hard to nail down exactly what spring will look like. So we have a short term focus on fall, with a long term focus on spring,” Sellers stated.

Coach Sellers had some closing words for the Pattonville community: We appreciate the community support we have had with our programs, and we hope to see our kids back on the field as soon as allowed.

You can find Pattonville High School’s update on fall sports here.