The impact of Omaha Public Schools suspending sports for the first quarter of the new school year affects the rest of Class A, especially in football.
But new schedules won’t be made, the head of the Nebraska School Activities Association said Friday.
“We are going to hold steady,” Jay Bellar said. “I don’t know that we could say we planned for this because I didn’t think (the OPS decision) was going to be for nine weeks.
“I was planning on a late start (from OPS) more than anything.”
OPS Superintendent Cheryl Logan, as part of the district’s announcement Friday on its changes in returning to school this month, said there will be no sports or activities in the district while remote learning is in place.
The earliest OPS will have in-person instruction is the first day of the second quarter Oct. 19 — the final week of the regular season in Class A football. Thus the only sport in which there could be a semblance of a season for OPS is volleyball, since Class A districts tournaments start the week of Oct. 26.
It’s conceivable that if the pandemic doesn’t subside by October, OPS could remain in remote learning longer and possibly affect winter sports. Girls and boys basketball are the district’s strongest sports across the board.
In football, the OPS decision wiped out 44 games with opponents from outside the district. Lincoln Southwest is in the worst spot, losing four of its nine games. Seven schools are short three games apiece.
Bellar said Nate Neuhaus of the NSAA, who oversees football, is assisting schools that are losing games to pair them up for “replacement games.” Those games won’t count toward postseason qualifying points.
Because it takes more than a month to draw up statewide schedules, Bellar said, “How can we get that done in a short amount of time now?”
At a Friday press conference, Logan was asked whether OPS would have started fall sports workouts Monday had it stayed with its 3/2 Family Model. It would have had students at school five of every 10 days.
“That’s a hypothetical, and I’ve learned in my life that I have enough real questions to answer that I don’t have a hypothetical answer,” she said.
Fall sports workouts statewide are to begin Monday. Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas are neighboring states that are keeping fall sports on schedule. Colorado is moving some fall sports, including football and volleyball, to the spring while creating four sports seasons during the first half of 2021.
Bellar said he has empathy for OPS losing fall sports.
“I feel for Omaha, I feel for the kids not getting to have their fall sports, but as long as we can, we made the determination that if it’s not the same in all our communities that we would do our best to try to continue on,” he said. “At this point in time that’s what we’re going to do.”
Schools losing football games
Bellevue East: Aug. 28, Omaha Benson; Sept. 11, Omaha South; Sept. 17, Omaha Northwest
Bellevue West: Aug. 27, Omaha Burke; Oct. 2, Northwest.
Columbus: Aug. 28, Omaha Central; Oct. 9, Northwest.
Elkhorn South: Sept. 11, Central.
Fremont: Sept. 11, Benson; Sept. 24, South; Oct. 16, North.
Grand Island: Oct. 2, Benson. Oct. 23, Omaha Bryan.
Gretna: Sept. 4, Central.
Kearney: Sept. 4, Burke. Oct. 23, Northwest.
Lincoln High: Sept. 4, Bryan; Sept. 18, Central; Oct. 16, Northwest.
Lincoln North Star: Oct. 23, North.
Lincoln Northeast: Sept. 11, Northwest.
Lincoln Pius X: Oct. 9: North.
Lincoln Southeast: Aug. 28, North.
Lincoln Southwest: Sept. 11, North; Oct. 2, South; Oct. 16, Burke; Oct. 23, Central.
Millard North: Sept. 11, Burke; Sept. 25, Bryan; Oct. 15, Benson.
Millard South: Sept. 24, North; Oct. 23, Burke.
Norfolk: Aug. 28, South; Sept. 25, Benson; Oct. 2, Bryan.
Omaha Westside: Sept. 4, North; Oct. 16, Bryan; Oct. 22, Benson.
Papillion-La Vista South: Oct. 2, Burke; Oct. 9, Central; Oct. 23, South.
Ralston: Sept. 11, Bryan.
South Sioux City: Sept. 18, Bryan; Sept. 25, Northwest.