Here We Go Again

Fall and spring athletes and coaches prepare to return to the fields


art by caeli harman

Anja Royko, Sports & Entertainment Editor


For the past 10 months, student athletes have been forced to avoid most group practices and competitions altogether due to the rapid spreading COVID-19. 

With the exception of the allotted contact days in October, the extent of practice that student athletes have participated in has been on their own time. However, with the return of in-person education, many extracurricular activities have also been given the go-ahead to hold practices and meetings again. 

As of right now, fall sports will be allowed to hold their seasons during the next few months and Spring sports will continue as planned.

SHS’s Athletic and Activities Director, Mel Dow, expressed that the decision to allow sports to take place was not taken lightly. 

There is always hesitation when looking at all things impacting the health and wellbeing of students and staff,” Dow says. “This hesitation allowed us to ensure we were taking appropriate steps.”

In order to maintain the safest environment possible, Dow said that the athletic department will be following the recommendations from the WIAA and feedback from the athletes and their families.

Many of the coaches this year are trying to stay positive and hope for the best. Nathan Nelson, SHS’s head boy’s track and field coach, believes that this season will help make the year seem a bit more normal.

“We went without a season last year, and I’m hoping we can have a semblance of normalcy this season,” Nelson says. “Athletics are such an outlet to combat anxiety and boredom. The athletes need for this season to happen.”

Even though a lot of the Stoughton Vikings will not be able to compete during their normal seasons, Head Football Coach, Jason Becker, says that they still have a lot in store.

“You can expect our absolute best each and every night,” Becker says. “This senior class especially is out to prove just how talented they truly are. While we can’t compete for a conference or state championship like we had dreamed of when our season ended a year and a half ago, we are out to make the most of every opportunity we’ve been given.”

With the addition of masks and sanitizing the equipment throughout practices, this year’s sports seasons will be far from normal. However,even though they will be totally different from the years prior,the teams will still be allowed to hold games and meets. 

“There will be games and events for all teams.  Those attending will be essential personnel for the events to take place initially. As things progress, spectators may have the possibility of attending based on the hosting school’s regulations,” Dow says.

With so much still up in the air, only time will tell what these next few months will really look like, but for the time being, SHS is looking forward to their vikings being able to return to the fields.

“I am excited for the students of SHS to start the process of returning to a lifestyle they grew up expecting in and outside of the classroom. Looking forward to seeing the success they have associated with Stoughton High School,” Dow says.

“We will continue to be working within the public health guidelines and restrictions to ensure as safe as possible participation. Schedules will be condensed to accommodate multiple activities going on at the same time.”

— Mel Dow, Athletic Director