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View from the cheap seats

View from the cheap seats View from the cheap seats

A weekly perspective on sports

Casey Krautkramer Reporter The Record-Review

I discovered on Tuesday how the winter high school sports season will be conducted during the statewide mask mandate, which our governor just extended to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

My sports coverage plan on Tuesday night was to take pictures at both local varsity girls basketball season-opening games in Edgar and Stratford, even though my sports section this week was already full with football coverage. The Athens and Marathon varsity girls’ basketball games were postponed because of COVID-19.

I witnessed firsthand the challenges this winter high school sports season presents, because I had difficulty hearing the referees’ electronic whistles they pressed in their hands at the Edgar against Assumption girls basketball game. I could only clearly hear veteran Marshfield referee Al Ashbeck’s whistle, because he blows into a traditional whistle inside the mask he wears. I remember Ashbeck refereeing my Marathon High School varsity boy’s basketball games 24 years ago, and I’m glad he decided to referee at least one more season instead retiring.

Marawood Conference varsity wrestling teams are adapting to having limited conference dual meets this season because of COVID-19.

Stratford’s wrestling team, which can easily fill all 14 starting weight classes, requested the other conference schools co-op together for this season only, so all of Stratford’s starting wrestlers could get matches. No team wants to travel to a school and only wrestle five matches because the rest of them are forfeits.

Therefore, this year the Athens and Edgar wrestling teams have formed a co-op, and Marathon and Auburndale will also wrestle together against other conference opponents in order to fill all 14 weight classes. Stratford and Phillips’ wrestling squads both have enough kids competing in the sport to be on their own, while Chequamegon winter sports isn’t starting until January at the earliest.

Marawood Conference wrestling teams can schedule non-conference dual meets in December. The Marawood Conference wrestling season will consist of three dual meets at 6 p.m. on Thursdays–Jan. 7, 14 and 21. Teams in the wrestling co-ops will practice at their own schools and only meet to wrestle matches against their opponents.

There is no conference wrestling tournament championship this season, and the WIAA hasn’t decided yet if they’ll be regional, sectional and state wrestling this season.

The number of fans allowed to attend Marawood Conference winter sporting events is based on 25 percent of the host school’s gym capacity, just like during the fall volleyball season. This winter sports season will be odd.