CPS athletics manages summer changes

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COLUMBIA - Friday morning at Hickman High School, there wasn't much action to be seen on the fields.

That's not uncommon for any CPS school on a typical summer day said Rock Bridge athletic director David Egan and CPS district athletic director Bruce Whitesides.

Egan and Whitesides said schools usually have guidelines which the Missouri State High School Activities Association requires coaches to follow during the summer months.

“Up to 20 contact days for each program," Egan said. "Those contact days can be whatever our programs want them to be.”

“That usually starts the Tuesday after Memorial Day and goes through till the end of July," Whitesides said. "Obviously this year was a little different.”

Difference may be the theme of CPS sports this summer for two reasons. First, the COVID-19 pandemic has slightly amended the rules.

“Contact sports and non-contact sports have different guidelines for coaches’ interactions,” Whitesides said.

“MSHSAA has indicated this summer they are removing the contact day requirement,” Egan said.

That comes with a caveat, though. Egan said schools must follow the phased guidelines set forth by the latest Boone County health order. Egan said the teams have also instituted their own guidelines, including washing hands and sanitizing equipment before and after workouts.

Both Whitesides and Egan said there’s no worry about a delayed fall season at the moment.

“As of 9 a.m. on June 5th, no," Egan said. "We are moving forward with having our fall season as scheduled.”

“We’re planning on starting fall practice as scheduled on August 10th just like the Missouri State High School Activities Association has presented the calendar to us,” Whitesides said.

The second difference this summer will be in terms of personnel. Egan is set to take over as CPS district athletic director when Whitesides retires at the end of the month after more than 20 years on the job.

“David is a great leader, and he’s gonna do a fine job," Whitesides said. It’s gonna be an easy transition.”

“I approach my work as one of trying to serve our kids and our coaches and our community so that they can have the greatest impact on kids’ lives,” Egan said.

Amongst the changes, Egan says returning to normalcy is the main goal moving forward.

“We need to make sure that we have as much in-person, in-seat school as possible next school year," Egan said. "If we’re not in-seat, if we’re not in-person, if we’re entirely online, then we’re not having sports next year.”