Winter sports season given green light, pre-season cancelled

Amber Roth, Copy Editor

Despite the 2020 fall and spring sport seasons being cancelled, Omaha Public Schools (OPS) has elected to let student athletes participate in winter sports.

The decision came after much debate on whether it was safe for student athletes and coaches to return to having practices and games and how to keep everyone safe.

“We will have safety procedures for all athletes and coaches, similar to the safety procedures that are mandated during the day,” athletic director Ryan Murtaugh said.

These restrictions include everyone must wear masks while practicing and social distance whenever possible, everyone must bring their own water bottle and be in groups of 25 or smaller for each sport.

“I think it’s a good idea if everyone plays their roles and keeps their masks on and their six feet distance,” junior wrestler Yusuf Mohamed said. “Sports are going on right now around the world with a pandemic going on and some of us count on sports for a brighter future and to stay out of trouble.”

Because of the pandemic, athletes will not be allowed to attend any out of state competitions. As of right now, the district is not sure whether they will limit competition to state-wide, or just in the metro area. The most important thing to them right now is keeping the athletes and coaches safe.

“We will do what we have always done,” head varsity wrestling coach Jason Susnjar said. “Make the athletes aware of what the expectations are and follow suit. I think our wrestlers know if we want a season, they will have to follow the safety protocols put in place.”

The district is hopeful that spring sports who usually condition in the winter will be allowed to practice prior to the start of the winter sports season on Dec. 16. They are also hopeful that winter sports will be able to condition prior to their season.