State allows winter prep sports to start practice Nov. 30

Competition still won't start until Dec. 14 at the earliest.

North Dakota winter prep sports, including girls' hockey, will be able to start practice Nov. 30. (Matthew Curry/The Dickinson Press)

After announcing Nov. 13 that all prep sports were to temporarily halt practice and competition until Dec. 14, North Dakota Gov. Burgum altered course on Wednesday, Nov. 18, saying that prep sports will be able to begin tryouts and practices on Monday, Nov. 30. According to the new guidance, competition will still not be permitted until Dec. 14., however players may resume practices.

"There is no organized team activities that can be organized through our coaches or captain. Everything has to be individually based," Guy Fridley, athletic director for Dickinson High, said. "If a kid wants to go and shoot hoops at the WRCC, or skate at the WRCC, they can. But there is nothing that we can set forth that our kids need to be at and our coaches kind of need to be hands-off right now until the Nov. 30th."

Fridley discussed what the recent adjustment means to the players and coaches.

"All the kids are getting together if there's open gym at the community center or open skate at the ice rink, they’re doing the things right now to get prepared for the season," he said. "I think it’s great that we’re able to get them back in the facility and can control the amount of time and atmosphere, and we can definitely make sure that they’re following the guidelines that we can mitigate anymore spread of COVID-19."

Fridley added, "After talking with their coaches and their coaches relaying the messages onto our kids is to make sure that we do what we can control."


Fridley said Dickinson Athletics will continue to do everything it can to allow the winter teams to have a successful season just as its fall teams were able to do. Fridley also urges players, coaches, parents and fans to do the same, including following the protocols set by the Centers of Disease Control, including wearing a mask as much as possible when inside the facilities for games or any events.

"Yea, it’s not fun, but it’s also not fun getting your season canceled either, and that’s something that we’re trying to do our best to avoid," Fridley said. "If we can follow those protocols, it gives us the best opportunity to get our kids' seasons started and finished.

"I have to do my part, the kids have to do their part, the parents have to do their part, everyone has to do their part," Fridley added. "If we all do our part in terms of creating the best environment and safe environment, we are going to have a season. That’s really the thing that I’m looking forward to, creating that positive culture in terms of creating the protocols and fondness protocols as we move forward."

Fridley spoke not just as the athletic director, but as a parent whose child also competes during the winter season.

"I have a high school athlete in my household, too, and I just try to keep them understanding that if we all do what we need to do, to continue or provide them a season, is following those guidelines that we have in place," he said.

"This is something that is being asked of people that don’t probably agree," Fridley added. "But this gives our kids the best opportunity to play and have fun. I think that’s all we’re asking for is everyone to buy into what we’re asking, giving the kids the opportunity to keep competing on a day-in and day-out basis."

Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
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