GREEN BAY, Wis. — Dozens of Wisconsin high schools are playing football this spring after opting out of the fall season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, about 250 high schools played football last fall, but more than 100 schools are playing this spring, including about 50 games this past weekend.
The association's deputy director, Wade Labecki, said teams will play seven games during the alternate spring season. There's no postseason since football is set to start again in the fall, Wisconsin Public Radio reports.
At Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay, head coach Mike Rader said there are some logistical challenges with playing football in the spring. His football squad will have to start sharing its turf with the soccer and lacrosse teams.
Rader says athletics has been a helpful outlet after a hard year.
"As we started to open things back up a little bit and we would have kids throwing footballs around to each other and stuff like that, in a lot of cases the high school kids kind of looked like grade school kids because they were just happy to be out there," Rader said.
Football isn't the only sport with an alternate season taking place this spring. Swimming and volleyball are underway. And safety is the top priority, Labecki said.
When it comes to the pandemic, Wisconsin is in a better place now than in the fall, officials said. Still, Notre Dame is taking precautions including weekly COVID-19 testing, Rader said.