School District 166

A report on fall sports, a look ahead at school activities

Fall sports at School District 166 finished up just before Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced that all school sports needed to come to a halt. Athletics and some other activities are now postponed to December 18–and that date is contingent on the COVID-19 pandemic outlook at that time.

The governor’s announcement came in the middle of the November 18 School District 166 school board meeting and it was no surprise to the board or to Mitch Dorr, assistant principal and activities director.

Dorr gave a summary of the fall sports that took place under the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) guidelines. Those sports guidelines are based on recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC.

Dorr reported that the Vikings football team was able to play all six of their contests without COVID-19 cancelations. He said three different athletes were in a two-week quarantine due to contact with others outside of school. Dorr added that two of them were his own children as his own family had to quarantine for a time.

The Viking volleyball team had competed in nine contests and were scheduled to play another the day of the school board meeting. Dorr said they had three contests cancelled due to COVID-19 issues at other schools. The volleyball team also had three athletes in two-week quarantine throughout the season.

Dorr said spectators were very cooperative with the COVID-19 restrictions. Football, which is allowed a larger amount of fans as it is outside, saw 150 – 250 fans in attendance for the three games played at Lyle Anderson Field.

Volleyball was much more restrictive, as it is played indoors. Athletes were allowed to invite two spectators. Attendance in the Pam Taylor Gymnasium ranged from 26 to 35 fans.

Dorr serves on the MSHSL advisory board and has been in frequent contact with other activities directors. No decisions have been made yet on game schedules for girls’ or boys’ basketball, Nordic skiing or Alpine skiing.

Dorr said it is very likely that the One Act Play competition will take place with schools participating online.

And, the Knowledge Bowl competition is taking place, also online. At the school board meeting, Dorr announced that the JV Knowledge Bowl team had taken first place in their first meet of the season.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence learns more about fall sports and how games were played under the pandemic guidelines, as well as more about what’s ahead for winter sports and activities in this interview.