WDC struggles with COVID-19 challenges, athletic schedule uncertainty

The Wolverines will play next on Thursday Nov. 19 if COVID-19 doesn't push back games even further. (Dana Cantleberry/WDC Schools)

Wadena-Deer Creek athletic schedules hang in the balance as the district faces COVID-19 exposures and quarantines while cases continue to rise in the area.

Norman Gallant WDC activities director said on Monday that A,B and C squad volleyball has been cancelled until Nov. 17. The decisions regarding other athletics and activities will be made in the near future. Gallant said that the situation is being monitored to the best of the district's ability as it is ever changing and evolving.

“WDC is also having concerns with COVID, which are causing cancellations and quarantines,” Gallant said. “It is extremely hard. Our coaches and kids are doing the best we can to roll with things but it is awful.”

Wadena County is sitting at 425 positive COVID-19 cases, while Otter Tail County has 1,348 and Todd County 1,222. The spikes within the area have driven a number of local schools to cancel athletic events with their move to distance learning.

Gallant said that coaches and athletes are doing their best to handle the changes being thrown their way day to day. But, the uncertainty of the situation is difficult to handle. The school is focusing on the fact that nothing is promised this year as COVID-19 has brought about so many unideal circumstances.


“We have to send kids home, they are missing events. Some are seniors; that's really hard,” Gallant. “The uncertainty of the day to day is stressful. I know as football, we have talked many times about enjoying every minute because nothing is promised to anyone this year. Our coaches are dealing with never knowing who will be at games or practices, that makes things very hard to prepare.”

As of now there is no plan to reschedule volleyball games to be missed this week. Gallant said that WDC is running out of time to be able to reschedule.

“We have done the best we can, but we are at a point now where we will lose games,” Gallant said.

Looking forward for the Wolverines, Gallant is unsure what the remainder of the season will look like. WDC football is scheduled to play on Wednesday Nov. 11. But, that could change depending on the circumstances in the coming days. The next game for WDC volleyball is on Thursday Nov. 19 against Pillager. But, the schedule is subject to more changes as the week goes on.

According to Gallant there is also a postseason possibility for both volleyball and football. Football is starting on Nov. 17 while volleyball is slated for Dec. 1. Gallant is hopeful that WDC will overcome their challenges and be able to participate in some sort of post-season competition.

Natalie Hilden is the Sports Editor at the Perham Focus and Wadena Pioneer Journal. Hilden graduated from South Dakota State University in May of 2020. She came back to Northern Minnesota the place she has called home since she graduated from Nevis High School in 2017.
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