Coaches React to the Possibility of No High School Soccer Season
With schools closed and classes going online, the fate of Wyoming high school spring sports remains unknown.
WyoPreps reached out to soccer coaches around the state to gain their reaction to the current climate. As we told you in our previous story, coaches are having their players work out to be ready and are hopeful of a season.
What if that doesn’t happen with the coronavirus pandemic? While coaches and players are cautiously optimistic, the uncertainty of when sports will resume remains a difficult question that does not have a definite answer.
Buffalo girls head coach and Wyoming Coaches Association Soccer representative Mike Sauers told WyoPreps he’d be a bit surprised but realizes what’s going on.
“I’d be shocked, but I feel like the country and Wyoming, in general, is going through something completely new, so we’ve got to be prepared to approach things a little bit differently.”
Worland boys head coach Ron Overcast’s team has captured the last two Class 3A boys’ titles. Overcast admitted it’s something he’d rather not think about.
“It will be difficult (to not have a season), it really will. These guys have worked hard, and I think we’ve built a really good program here… We have a lot of players returning off of our last two state championship teams, just not off of last year’s. They are seniors, and I know they’d be extremely disappointed.”
Overcast added, “I want to keep their spirits up.”
Thunder Basin girls head coach Lyle Foster mentioned something similar.
“I can tell you that our girls would be extremely disappointed, there’s no question. Our message at the beginning of the year was with us being the defending state champions, we have a new group of kids, but a very talented group of kids eager to get going. A lot of them are younger kids in the program, want to show what they bring to the program to their upperclassmen teammates. It would be very disappointing for them. They have every intent and know the goal going into the season is to take it back (the state title).”
Cheyenne Central girls head coach Jeff Norman said if we didn’t play, “It would probably be the ultimate disappointment, particularly for this team. We’ve been in the finals the last two years. I have the vast majority of my team from those past two years returning, a lot of them seniors. They have been an engine behind this team, in terms of talent, for the last four years, frankly, even dating back to when we were in the semis and they were freshmen… and then to absolutely not have any season at all their senior year, I don’t think any of us could be more disappointed.”
Jackson boys head coach Matt Hoelscher said his message would be to look to next year for the younger players.
“To the seniors, I guess it would be apologizing. Us as a nation and a world are in a situation and that they are children and that it’s kind of ruined for them. An unfortunate situation that we probably shouldn’t have found ourselves in, but we are. I guess it’s just a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing, and it’s a heartbreaker for them.”
Powell boys head coach David Gilliatt said he’s staying positive.
“I think that’s part of my job description is to remain optimistic in the face of adversity. To just assume that it’s going to be canceled, I think is the wrong approach to take, even if the odds are stacked that way.”
Gilliatt feels it would be harsh on all involved.
“I think it would be really hard for everyone. I think kids, parents, coaches, everybody involved. I’d like to see something, as opposed to nothing.”
He’s not alone, as all the coaches WyoPreps visited with know there’s a chance the season may be canceled. Their wish is to find a way to salvage any that they can.
The WHSAA is surveying member schools to get a pulse of what they believe are the best options they can pursue moving forward.
WyoPreps will continue to monitor the status of updates from the WHSAA. Our series will continue with the perspective of track and field coaches around the state.