Roseau Athletic Director has high hopes for the school year
August 22, 2020
by Jeff Olsen
Ivan Hirst, the Roseau High School Principal and Athletic Director, is looking at the glass as half full these days.
Which it really is.
However, with no football and volleyball games this fall in the State of Minnesota, some oldtimers won't know what to do on Friday nights.
Maybe they'll hang out in the bleachers in the dark with other old jocks and relive the good times.
And maybe share a beer and toast the good old days when they were young studs.
It's a whole new world.
The Rams fall sports season did start this past Monday with cross country, swimming and tennis.
That's the good news, according to Mr. Hirst, who's finding things challenging and still up in the air.
"We're still receiving guidance from the Minnesota State High School League," he said, adding that the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) also approved a fall training season.
"These are the sports that are not having competition this fall. So, they can have practice," he said, noting that the volleyball and football practices will run from September 14 to October 3.
"They can have a max of 12 practices during that time," he said.
Credit the MSHSL with allowing these athletes to get in some additional training.
The spring sports training season will run from October 5 to October 24.
"Again, they can have 12 practices during that time. These athletes can have 12 football practice sessions and then 12 baseball practice sessions," he said, adding that these are considered to be the beginning of the season.
"So, if you're the parent and your athlete wants to start football in the fall training season on September 14, they have to complete all the paperwork that the school district requires prior to these practices," he said. That includes completing an MSHSL eligibility form, doing a concussion test and paying their participation fees before they can begin fall practices.
He noted that in mid-March, both football and volleyball will kick off their competitive seasons.
Have Gun Will Compete
"Additionally, all of our students have the opportunity to be in the fall trapshooting league. That is an option for them as well," said Hirst, adding that interested students should contact Troy Weiland and Scott Kokal.
"It's more of a club sport and not directly involved with the Minnesota State High School League. It's an outdoors, socially-distanced sport that young people can enjoy."
Back to School
"September 8 will be the first day of school and the current plan is for students to start in-person based on the most recent numbers from Roseau County Public Health," said Hirst, adding that everyone needs to do their part by masking up and practicing social distancing.
"We don't want to go to a prolonged distance learning event like last spring," he said, before turning his focus to the new normal.
"All students have to wear masks in the school building and on school transportation. So, if we're in-person, we can run buses as normal but while wearing masks."
However, the next pandemic classification will see a different setting.
"If we are designated as a hybrid school, then we will follow 50-percent capacity on our school buses and do our best to adhere to six-foot social distancing while being masked."
Hirst further highlighted the hybrid mode of learning.
"It means kids will come to school two days a week, and the other three days a week they will be distance learning from home," he said.
"We'll take half the kids on two days of the week and the other half another two days the week, and then teachers and students will distance learn on the fifth day of the week."
If Roseau is designated as a hybrid school, there will be modifications in the school and in transportation.
"We will have many disposable masks that students can borrow for the day. That's a resource that is limited at the present time," he said. "We're not going to turn a kid away. We will find him a mask."
What are some of the new rules?
"Athletes will not be sharing equipment, clothing, or water bottles. We all need to do our part to prep our kids to be prepared with masks and their own personal equipment," he said, emphasizing that everything is constantly evolving.
"So, we have to be flexible. The goal is for our kids to come to school everyday. That's what we want, that's what we like, and that's what we believe in."
He remarked on the importance of all Roseau students having the opportunity to continue to participate in athletics and extracurriculars.
"Our community revolves around athletics. It's good for mental health, and it's good for practicing all those skills our young people need - teamwork, preparation, responsibility, time management, and sportsmanship," he said.
"So, we need everyone to do their part so that we can continue to have school in-person and continue with the activities for our young people. When they're not practicing, then they're encouraged to social distance and when practice is over, they're expected to wear a mask until they leave the premises."
However, when they are actively engaged in practice, they don't have to wear a mask.