Much like the school itself, the Orfordville Parkview athletic department has been shuttered.
The Vikings cross country and volleyball teams were shut down last week when a student from Parkview was diagnosed with COVID-19 and the school transitioned to virtual learning.
That will again be the case for this week, with the high school planning to reopen Sept. 28.
Parkview athletic director Guy Stricker said the decision to shut down sports came at the school level.
“We did have the choice to continue while the school went to virtual,” Stricker said. “There are schools that are entirely virtual that are competing, so there’s no WIAA guideline against it. But when you go virtual because of a case, you have to do the right thing and be cautious. We don’t want students to acquire the virus through sports, so this was just the safest option.”
Stricker said he feels for the athletes that have once again had a season interrupted.
“My heart breaks for the student-athletes,” Stricker said. “I believe we’ve done more than any district to keep kids safe. We’ve had our HVAC system redone to improve the filtration system, we’ve got hand sanitizer in every classroom, but that’s the thing: You just don’t know.
“At the snap of a finger, through nobody’s fault, you can have a positive test, and when you go through the contact tracing, that’s when you have to make decisions like that.”
The cross country team has had a pair of meets canceled, including the a meet hosted by Big Foot at the Duck Pond Recretational Facility today.
Stricker said as long as the school is given the all-clear, the runners will start back up Monday.
“I’ve got a very open mind when it comes to cross training, because I believe that sport naturally lends itself to social distancing,” Stricker said.
“And the boys also have been the two-time defending conference champions, and they’ve got the opportunity to defend that. So even if they only have four meets, but one of them is the conference championship, I think that would be fine for them.”
The story could be different for the volleyball team.
“They had just started practice,” Stricker said. “And I don’t think starting right back up with matches would be good for anyone. So then you have to wonder if it’s worth it to play two or three matches this fall, or take advantage of the WIAA’s alternative fall season where they would have the chance to potentially have their full season. I’ll make the decision along with the admin team and the input from the coaches.
“If our coach asks the players and they want to give it a shot this fall, I’d be open to that. If they want to wait, I’d support that, too. I’m a firm believer in letting the athletes have their say in the matter. It’s their season.”