Summer Sports Not an Option

Petition Shut Down Despite Record-Breaking Number of Signatures


Josh Human

Joey Witt (22) is attempting to steal the ball from Joe Burns (22) during an after school soccer practice.

On April 2, Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts issued a state-wide executive order that officially canceled high school sports for the spring season. This was issued in hopes to not overwhelm the healthcare system. Desperate to keep spring sports alive, Elkhorn High School senior Lexie Gilbert started an online petition asking the NSAA to find a way to let spring athletes compete.
“Spring sports should be moved to the summer just for the simple reason of all the work that everyone has put in up to this point,” boys varsity soccer player junior Cedar Moyer said. “ It just doesn’t seem right to have it all just canceled when everyone, not even just soccer players, have their entire season ripped away from them after months of hard work.”
Despite the fact that the petition gained over 9,445 signatures, NSAA executive director Jay Bellar publicly announced that summer sports cannot happen. According to Bellar in an article by NET, moving the spring season into summer would require the moving around and cancellation of summer activities such as youth camps and summer practices for fall sports along with board action. For this reason, spring sports can not take place in the summer.
“This petition is great in merit, but I just don’t know that it’s feasible,” JV Girls Tennis Coach Ms. Sarah Benzel said. “I’m more than happy to play in the summer, but realistically, I don’t see this getting much traction.”
With no chance of summer sports, seniors are left finishing out high school with no ability to compete in their spring sports. Senior Kaylee Moore is one senior, in particular, who is upset about having to leave her track and field season behind.
“I was looking forward to having one last season before college,” Moore said. “Part of being a senior is being able to get closure for everything you did in high school, and I’m sad that I wasn’t able to get this sense of closure.”

Delany Jepsen
Stephanie Kittleson (22) and Kristen Keith (22) are practicing their discus shots during one of their after school track and field practices. “I was very upset when track was cancelled,” Keith said. “We were putting in a lot of work and never got the chance to compete in any actual track meets.” On March 13, the track and field team concluded their season with one last team practice.

As for the spring sports coaches, they are also upset at not being able to see their players compete; they sympathize with senior athletes who were not given the ability to compete in their spring sport before leaving high school.
“I instantly felt bad for all student-athletes, especially for the seniors who only do spring sports,” Ms. Benzel said. “They put so much work in the off-season but weren’t able to showcase their talents, experience the senior traditions or get to spend time with their teammates.”
Despite the unexpected cancellation of spring sports, there is nothing anyone can do to bring them back. In hopes to not overwhelm the healthcare system and to keep everyone healthy, drastic social distancing measures have been put into place.