BY JIM MISUNAS
ST. JOHN – Macksville High School, St. John and Stafford High School sports practices will begin Wednesday afternoon after the Stafford County Board of Commissioners voted to allow each Stafford County school district to decide whether to practice for fall sports.
Each respective school board approved permission to begin fall workouts Wednesday.
Stafford County commissioners are Clayton Grimmett, Todd Wycoff and Kurt Fairfield.
"It is with excitement that all Mustang athletes are good to go," said Macksville football coach Kyle Bright. "We will have practice Wednesday at 3:45. Temp checks will be done before practice."
St. John football coach Justin Nusser reports, "I heard from my administration that we will be starting practice today (Wednesday).We will have the required number of practices for our first game Sept. 4 if everything runs smoothly."
The Stafford County Health Department director had delayed fall sports practices at Stafford, St. John High School and Macksville after 11 active cases of coronavirus. Shannon Snyder, Stafford County health department director, reports 11 active virus cases, five associated with school districts. Stafford County reports 39 quarantine orders are being served.
Snyder recommends that anyone who visited St. John's White's Foodliner Aug. 11 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. are cautioned to monitor any virus symptoms and notify their primary health care doctor if needed.
Stafford, St. John and Macksville school officials had passed the word Monday through social media accounts that workouts would be delayed.
“It's with regret that we will not be having practice Monday or for the next two weeks,” reports Macksville coach Bright. “We have more than 10 active cases in our county and we are shutdown. I will keep you guys updated as best I can as we move forward.”
St. John's twitter account reports that, “the active COVID 19 case count for Stafford County is 11 today (Monday). According to county orders, there can be no athletic practices until further notice.”
Stafford schools reported a similar report, “Due to the number of active COVID-19 cases in Stafford County, practices are postponed until further notice. We will stay in contact with the local health department and keep everyone updated.”
Macksville cross country coach Mike Hullman said the Mustangs will miss their first meet at Hoisington.
“The runners have been looking forward since they missed out on their track season. We just found out the news,” Hullman said. “We are going to be behind since we have to wait a couple weeks due to Stafford County having too many active COVID-19 cases. This wait will make us miss the first meet. Hoisington was always a nice meet for us to get our season started. It was quite a bit smaller than most other meets we go to. We hope we can get back to running after two weeks.”
One Stafford County resident has died from complications with COVID-19.
“The Stafford County Health Department is deeply saddened to report that a Stafford County resident has died due to complications with COVID-19 infection,” Snyder wrote. “This person died while receiving treatment in a hospital.”
Wichita USD 259 has canceled most activities outside Sedgwick County, proposing competition between City League teams. Great Bend's Wichita Titan soccer Classic has been canceled, as well as a soccer game against Wichita North. Great Bend's Sept. 25 football home game against Wichita-Kapaun Mt. Carmel has been canceled.
The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment has suspended all county-wide activities and athletics after Friday, Aug. 21.