Delay of Game

The Cowley Cup football game between arch rivals Arkansas City and Winfield is scheduled for Sept. 4 at Bulldog Stadium — three days before Labor Day. The entire fall sports season has been thrown into disarray with the executive order by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly to postpone the start of the 2020-21 school year until after Labor Day.

The Cowley Cup football game is just one of the latest activities likely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the start of the 2020-21 school year has been delayed, so has the start of the high school sports season.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order delaying the opening of the 2020-21 school year until after Labor Day caused an announcement by the Kansas State High School Activities Association that was scheduled for today to be canceled.

Instead, the KSHSAA released the following statement:

“The KSHSAA believes participation in school and school activities is critical for the students of Kansas and we strive to provide those opportunities for students this fall. This Friday (7/17) the KSHSAA had planned to distribute considerations and guidance for all fall activities to take place starting August 17. With the announcement today (7/15) from Governor Kelly, we will not release any information Friday. Rather we will go back and look at models and plans that are in place with a delayed start and release information when appropriate.”

When asked about the status of the fall sports season, Arkansas City High School athletic director Aaron Bucher said he has more questions than answers.

“It would be hard for me to make an official comment when we are not even sure what the details of executive order are or what the guidelines from KSHSAA are,” Bucher said Thursday. “We were supposed to get direction from KSHSAA (today), but that has been delayed with the governor’s decision.”

The first day of fall practices, scrimmages and jamborees likely won’t happen in August.

The annual Cowley Cup game between arch rivals Winfield and Arkansas City is scheduled for Sept. 4 at Bulldog Stadium in Ark City — three days before Labor Day. Every other fall sport was scheduled to begin before Labor Day (Sept. 7), as well.

Both Ark City and Winfield cross country teams are set to kick off the fall campaign Sept. 3 at the Clearwater Invitational. Both girls golf teams were slated to compete Sept. 1 at the Derby Invitational, with the Lady Vikings set to compete Sept. 3 at the Newton Invitational.

The boys soccer season was to get under way Sept. 1, with the Bulldogs at Towanda-Circle and Winfield at home against Mulvane. Ark City was to play Sept. 3 at Maize, while the Vikings took on Augusta at home.

The early girls tennis schedule had Ark City competing Aug. 29 at the Salina Central Duals before the Lady Bulldogs returned home Sept. 5 for the Arkansas City Invitational, including participation by Winfield.

The Lady Vikings were set to open volleyball season Aug. 29 with the Winfield Early Bird Invitational, with Ark City participating. Triangulars on Sept. 1 included the Lady Bulldogs at Cheney and Winfield at Andale.

All those are up in the air until athletic directors hear from the KSHSAA.

“All we know is that school is starting later and not much else at this point,” Bucher said. “Once we have more information I would be willing to comment on the situation.”

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