Unified School District 353 releases information on Wellington athletics when classes resume

Greg Williams
Wellington Daily News
Wellington water tower

Before the Crusaders could start competing against other schools, the Wellington Unified School District entered a temporary shutdown on Thursday, Aug. 26.

This would postpone/cancel practices, games, and after-school activities until Tuesday, Sept. 7.

The Wellington USD 353 Board of Education met on Wednesday, Sept. 1 to determine how they will get students back into school after the COVID-19 outbreak. The BOE ruled 6-1 in favor of the mask mandate.

After the meeting, USD 353 District Athletic/Activities Director Luke Smith released a statement:

We understand the issues that this pause has caused and we are committed to having as much of a fall season as possible. As always, student safety is our top priority and we will continue to work with medical staff and our health department to make the best decisions possible for our students. We have lost all our events that were scheduled thru Sept. 6th at this point and will work to reschedule or find any other games as possible make up games. Some events will be difficult to make up such as tournaments, games and meets that will be played on their regularly scheduled dates that include other schools.

Students participating in KSHSAA activities that have tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to have a doctor’s release to resume athletic activities. This should be given to the athletic director and/or medical staff in the building.

The plan for Wellington is to start practicing on Sept. 7 at normal times. Football and cross country have a minimum number of practices to participate in before their first contest (high school 14, middle school 13). Wellington will need those sports to practice from Sept. 7 through Sept. 11. 

Right now, Wellington still plans on hosting their middle school and high school cross county meet on Sept. 11 at Hargis Creek. However, football will have two schedule changes. 

The high school will be moving their Week 2 football game vs. Collegiate to Sept. 11 and the middle school game at Augusta will not be made up. 

Tennis, golf, and volleyball do not have the minimum number of practices like football and cross country. However, coming off a pause in activities from Aug. 27 through Sept. 6, the Crusaders will need to have practices before they have their first events.

This is for the safety of all students and will allow them to see how they are doing with this pandemic and to reacclimate to the condition of their sport. These athletes will practice from Sept. 7 through Sept. 10. 

Tennis, golf, and volleyball will be eligible to compete in activities on Sept. 11. Activities before that date will have to be rescheduled or canceled. 

Smith added in his statement on if Wellington is unable to make up any events. 

We are hopeful that this pause will result in us being able to conduct the rest of our season without further interruptions. If we are unable to make up any events we apologize for this loss, but we are thankful that this happened now versuses the end of the season and postseason play. We appreciate your support and flexibility through this process. We will continue to keep the student’s safety as our top priority with the intent of providing as many opportunities as possible for them to be involved in their activities.

Anyone with questions regarding Wellington athletics and activities should contact Luke Smith at lsmith@usd353.com.