Local high schools gearing up to start summer activities

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Usually during this time of year, spring athletes would be competing for a state championship, while fall athletes would be gearing up for their seasons to start.

The date for those athletes to start summer workouts have been in limbo for a while, but June 1 is the baseline date set for schools set by the Kansas State High School Activities Association.

“I know it was tough on the schools for sure and hopefully we’ve just been able to support them and try to find an avenue back to normal,” said Assistant Executive Director Jeremy Holaday.

KSHSAA gave the go-ahead for voluntary summer activities to begin on June 1.

But, they’re deferring to county health officials, who will ultimately have the final say on if they’re going with that or going to make them hold off longer.

“Our board decided that it was best to take this plan on a county by county basis,” said Holaday. “So, we had already entered that spectrum of letting local health departments decide what’s best for their school district.”

But, there have been some concerns raised about some schools having an advantage over others by being able to start earlier.

Topeka West principal Dustin Dick, who also oversees athletics and activities for USD 501 said he’s been in contact with other school districts in the county about what their plans are.

“We haven’t talked much about it from the perspective of some competitive advantage by going earlier than somebody else,” said Dick. “But, we do all certainly talk quite a bit and try for the most part, even though we’re all separate and individual districts and schools to be somewhat similar in what we’re trying to do.”

He said he’s talked with Shawnee County health officials and from those conversations they’ve picked June 8 as a start day for summer activities. He said he’s confident they’ll be able to bring their coaches and athletes back safely.

“I know none of them want to do anything to jeopardize the ability to be able to do that or delay the ability to do that so I’m pretty confident that everybody will do everything they can to follow and adhere to the policy,” said Dick.

Dick said once the activites begin, coaches and students will have their temperatures checked at the beginning of each day and sessions will be staggered in order to comply with gathering size limits.

KSNT News reached out to other area school districts on when they plan to start summer activities and have yet to hear back.

Manhattan High School will be waiting until July to start theirs.

KSHSAA has laid out guidelines and recommendations for schools as they begin summer activities.

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