WAKEFIELD – Another northeast Nebraska track & field high school program who was missing out on the 2020 NSAA State Track Meet this past weekend were members with the Wakefield Trojans.
Like all spring sport participants, student-athletes were unable to have that chance to even qualify for state let alone compete against other teams during their regular season that was canceled prior to any opening meet.
Mike Hassler has led the Trojan track & field program in Wakefield the past 13 years and said the initial reaction from the early postponements was shock.
“We were hopeful were going to get back,” said Hassler. “So, when we kind of parted ways from them we kind of sent them home with that homework out to do. We were kind of hoping we might still get a track season in and as we know from there on out it just didn’t happen.”
Iris Borg, Shannon Carroll and Austin Galles were going to assist coach Hassler for track & field.
Numbers on the boys side were going to be in the upper 20s with the girls being upper teens into the 20s. There were no senior girls and the boys team were going to have eight.
Following a scheduled March 31 Stanton Invite, Wakefield would have had a jam-packed month of six invites hosted by Wayne, Lyons-Decatur, Wisner-Pilger (twice), Wausa and the Norfolk Classic in April. The Lewis & Clark Conference meet was going to be hosted by Winnebago and prior to the C-4 District that was scheduled to be held at the Ponca Sports complex, the Trojans would have competed in the Norfolk Catholic Invite.
Coach Hassler added with the state meet was scheduled to take place this past weekend on May 23 – 24 and this was only the second time since 1994 he has missed the state competition.
“That was pretty tough for me when state track rolls around,” Hassler added. “I even texted my coaches on that Friday just saying ‘hey we’d be on our way to state track right now’. Just was kind of surreal.”
Coach Hassler mentioned that state track is special and the track & field season is that one sport that the numbers show progress.
“You don’t always see that in all the other sports,” Hassler mentioned. “As you kind of progress through that season you see your kid’s improvement and that state track meet kind of the culmination of everything coming together. I really missed seeing that this spring.”
Just like other schools across the state, Wakefield Community school student-athletes will be permitted back into the gyms and weight room starting June 1.
“We have several gyms so we’re going to kind of do a rotation,” said Hassler. “We think we can get two groups of 10 through in about an hour and a half with all the cleaning and sanitizing we’re going to need to do.”
Administration is in the process to follow the guidelines, working with the school and get groups set up.
In a release from the NSAA on Tuesday, updated numbers will allow schools to have a maximum 25 students which must be pre-determined. The 50% of rated occupancy does not apply to high school weight rooms per the express directive of the Governor’s office. Member schools located in Hall, Hamilton, Merrick and Dakota counties are limited to groups of 10 students per local Directed Health Measures (DHMs).
Each session can only include weightlifting (no spotters), running and exercises designed to promote physical fitness. Sport-specific drills are not permitted and sport-specific equipment may not be used as part of school-sponsored summer conditioning.
The following activities of basketball, cheerleading, football, soccer and wrestling are prohibited pursuant of the Governor’s DHM. Should Governor Ricketts issue further DHMs that would modify the foregoing provisions or other conditions warrant, those requirements will be adjusted.