Dickinson High games for all sports affected by schedule changes
The Western Dakota Association in conjunction with the Eastern Dakota Conference made changes to their schedules for fall seasons affecting Dickinson High School.
Non-conference games in football were canceled, meaning two Dickinson High football games vs. Fargo schools will no longer be played.
They will only play seven games all vs. WDA foes.
The Midgets will open the season on August 28 vs. Jamestown, and they will have two open weeks during the season.
The open weeks on Sept. 11 and Oct. 2 gives Dickinson and all WDA teams flexibility if an outbreak is to occur or teams have positive COVID-19 cases.
“We met as west AD’s and we have been in conversation with the east AD’s about how football will look. Everybody normally plays two non-conference games at the beginning of the year,” Dickinson High activities director Guy Fridley said. “We felt it was responsible and necessary to eliminate some risks of crossing over across the state. We had games against Fargo teams and Williston was playing a game in Grand Forks. More or less, it was the distance and riding a bus for that long.”
In other sports, volleyball tournaments have been canceled and cross country meets and girls’ swimming and diving meets must have six teams or less competing at an event.
In boys’ soccer and boys’ tennis contests vs. the East region have also been canceled along with no east-west crossover tournament in girls’ golf.
“I voted to not have tournaments. I thought in my mind how we can successfully have 30 teams in our facility and exit and enter them safely,” Fridley said. “Trying to wrap my head around how we could pull off a 30 team volleyball tournament was a daunting task.”
For the fall, contests held indoors are being capped at 75% capacity or 500 people meaning that tournaments would have been over the North Dakota High Schools Activities Association capacity limit.
Fridley acknowledges that Dickinson’s geographic location is not ideal as teams will still have bus trips that are several hours, but that is something that will have to be dealt with.
“Our geographic location hamstrings us a little bit with having to travel,” he said. “We don’t have the luxury of being in the Bismarck-Mandan area where there are five teams close by. … We understand going to Jamestown and it being a conference game.”
Fridley also understands that athletics is important to high school students and their mental health. The toll the spring season took left a profound impact, and he hopes that the fall season can go off with little to no incidents.
“Optimism takes over my mind and I am an optimistic person, but I’d be lying if I wasn’t nervous on the trend of where COVID is going through the state and country,” he said. “We have to stay positive and keep grinding. We have to try to exhaust every possible avenue to create this opportunity for our student-athletes and the rest of our student-body. Over 70% of our students are involved in extracurricular activities. There is research from March that the mental health of students took a hit in the spring for not having an opportunity at extracurriculars.”