Hoping for the best

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Cassville making full preparations for fall sports return

On a near-daily basis, Doug Martin, Cassville athletic director, is asked one simple question — Do you think there will be fall sports at Cassville this year?

His response is nearly automatic.

“We are waiting for MSHSAA (Missouri State High School Activities Association) to give us guidance,” Martin said. “We are also in constant contact with the Barry County Health Department.”

While Martin admitted that his response shifts a large part of the official call to other places, he did say that he believes that the season will take place.

“I can tell you that we are preparing our athletes to be ready for the start of the season,” Martin said. “If MSHSAA or the health department changes that on us, then we’ll deal with that later. But until then, we are getting back to normal.”

Martin stressed that the district is still taking steps to ensure social distance and limited contact between athletes, but teams were not competing in shootouts and hosting camps.

“This week, we had school here, and we utilized three gyms,” Martin said. “We didn’t allow fans or spectators, and each team had a designated area they had to stay in located in the bleachers.”

One area that has surprised and encouraged Martin was the number of kids that have come out to participate in summer activities.

“All of our teams have increased numbers,” Martin said. “Soccer and softball are way up. Coach (Lance) Parnell has more kids lifting than ever before. I think kids are sick of being trapped at home playing video games and this is their first chance to get out and go play or do something else. It is encouraging to see this enthusiasm.”

While Martin has deferred the ultimate decision of fall sports to MSHSAA, it has not stopped the athletic director from trying to get inside information.

“I’ve called friends in the organization to try to get a read on the situation,” Martin said. “The best answer I have received is, ‘Wait and see.’ We just need to be prepared and hope for the best.”

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