WAYNE – With the winter commencement in the books and the three-week course to begin following Thanksgiving, staff in the Wayne State College Athletics Department are busy at work preparing for the winter sports season.
Director of Athletics at Wayne State College, Mike Powicki said teams were able to get back on campus for practices in the fall with no interruptions to their academic course work which was a huge benefit for program development and student-athlete engagement.
“After kind of what we did with last spring and having to go remote and sports being canceled,” said Powicki. “Along with implementing all of these new safety precautions and procedures with screening and testing and PPEs and masking.”
The athletic department has looked to keep their student-athletes and staff engaged and safe along with working with the NCAA and NSIC in returning to practice.
Fall sports of volleyball, football and women’s soccer were able to host scrimmages in front of fans while the women’s and men’s basketball teams played against each other with only family and WSC personal in attendance.
Powicki has been serving on the task force to return to sport for winters ports as the group has been meeting weekly for the past couple of months.
“But then what comes next is actually operationalizing that schedule and what that looks like across 16 campuses,” Powicki added. “With testing officials and screening and contact tracing and reporting back to the conference office. So, we’re still working through a lot of those logistics.”
The basketball schedule was recently released as WSC is scheduled to host Northern State on Saturday, January 2 and Sunday, January 3 before welcoming in Concordia-St. Paul on Friday, January 8 – Saturday, January 9.
There hasn’t been a home event on the WSC campus dating back to the basketball season last year.
Details are also still being worked out for indoor track & field on how you can host meets.
Powicki mentioned they’ll continue to work on passing news along once more is finalized.
“We’ll most certainly make sure to get that information out to the public and our season ticket holders and our corporate sponsors,” Powicki mentioned. “All the people who have tickets to those events we’ll be making sure to communicate to everyone once some decisions can be made.”
The big question mark is will fans be allowed to watch in person as some of that right now is to be determined. Wayne State Athletics will be working through several game management protocols and cross compare that with what the NSIC along with what the NCAA has released from the Sports Science Institutes Resocialization of College Basketball.
According to the updated Nebraska Directed Health Measure color-coded phase comparison, the state is currently in the orange (20%). This pertains to hospital bed thresholds-percent of COVID-19 inpatients of a 14 day rolling average of staffed beds. If Nebraska would move into the red (25%), fan attendance for college, staff and only immediate family members will be allowed during the winter sports season.