STEVENS POINT, Wis. (NBC 26) -- An executive for the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) believes the high school football season went "very well" and is happy schools were able to provide their students opportunities to play high school sports amid the pandemic.
"(Back in the summer) we were really afraid that we wouldn't be able to play any fall sports - much less football, which was deemed a high risk of exposure sport," Wade Labecki, the WIAA's deputy director, told NBC 26 on Friday, a day after the season ended.
"It was really pleasant to see that our kids could get out there to play some football," he added. "And I think as the season went along and quarantines were put in place the (athletic directors) did an awesome job of being flexible with their scheduling and picking up games and providing opportunities for kids. And it just went well."
Several schools across the state were forced to cancel multiple games due to COVID-19 positives. Labecki said most schools played 5-7 games, while some schools were able to play an entire nine-game schedule.
With winter sports like basketball, hockey and wrestling set to begin in the coming weeks, Labecki said it's important players and coaches continue to follow proper health protocols.
"In order for these kids to have these opportunities - especially now going into winter - you have to mask up," he said. "You have to keep your social distance. You have to go ahead and use the proper hygiene for keeping your hands clean and disinfecting. But everybody has to do that in order for us to provide a healthy environment and for us to go ahead and provide these opportunities."
Teams participating in winter sports were allowed to begin practice for girls basketball and boys and girls hockey last week. Boys basketball and wrestling can begin practicing this upcoming Monday.
Schools that did not participate in fall football will have an opportunity to play in an alternate spring season beginning in March.