North Dakota winter activities, practices, and competitions were suspended due to high risk of COVID 19 on November 13th until December 14th per an executive order North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum – this executive order was later amended to permit activities to continue practice on November 30th. All activities require masks and fans are not allowed to attend without a mask. Activities have been going on without problems after the lift.
Todd Bertsch, a board member at NDHSAA, felt that the re-opening of activities went well. “The NDHSAA Staff established a Return to Competition Committee during the summer which created the Guidelines and Recommendations for Opening Sports/Activities document. Because of the outstanding work by the committee, NDHSAA staff, and school districts activities were all able to begin to start the school year and complete their seasons with state contests. In addition, the winter sports are well into their seasons and plans for region and state tournaments were recently shared with member schools.” Bertsch said. “I am very proud of the planning, communication, and execution of protocols by the NDHSAA to ensure competitive seasons with multiple safety measures. We look forward to the day that any spectator who would like to attend an event will be allowed to do so.”
The debate teams of the area competed in their first tournament at Sheyenne High School on December 19th. Sheyenne’s debate coach Nathan Kurtti states that the competition went well in terms of following the NDSAA’s guidelines. “The debate tournament was regulated based on the newly released guidelines by the NDHSAA. We are following COVID-19 guidelines and protocols to ensure the health and safety of competitors, judges, and coaches.” Said Kurtti. “All participants at the tournament including judges, competitors, coaches, and anyone else at the tournament must wear masks at all times.”
Even after the delay of the season, the debate teams came prepared to the competition. Kurtti states how well the teams were able to compete.“We had our first topic for debate cut short because of the suspension of activities in late November and early December, but all debate teams are excited to be back debating again.” Kurtti said. “We have had to adjust for practices and team numbers, but all teams are really stepping up to the plate and adapting extraordinarily well under these circumstances. We look forward to having many more throughout January and into early February.”
One section of fine arts that has not been able to display their talent is the WFHS band department., however with activities back in action, Sue Jordahl, director of the band, is able to finally perform. “Third quarter we are going to move to the theatre and live stream our next concert. We hope to do that during their class period and then leave the stream up for a couple of days so people can watch (audio and visual).” Said Jordahl.
Activities have made a great comeback in the West Fargo area, and are only looking better.