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Winona Senior High sports receives the OK to practice Tuesday; competitions to resume Thursday
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Winona Senior High sports receives the OK to practice Tuesday; competitions to resume Thursday


Sports are back on at Winona Senior High School.

Just a few hours after the MSHSL announced they had voted to return both volleyball and football to the fall, Winona Area Public Schools announced all students would start learning in a hybrid format Monday, Sept. 28.

With students back in school, sports return.

Casey Indra mug


“Anytime we can get the kids back into school — that’s the ultimate goal,” Activities Director Casey Indra said. “It feels good. Now we just have to hope everyone is doing it right and we can keep everyone safe and healthy.”

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The Winhawks returned to practice Tuesday with competition resuming Thursday. Sports and other co-curricular activities had been postponed since Sept. 4 in response to a rising number of COVID-19 cases, but the district noted Monday that new daily case increases in the past two weeks have decreased on average greatly in Winona County, compared to what the daily numbers were in late August and early September.

“I think that was one of the big reasons we were able to make these moves because those numbers are trending downward,” Indra said. “Bless the community for figuring out whatever we figured out getting that back toward a downward trend. We just hope now that it will stay that way. And we can continue to do what we love here.”

It’s a welcomed sight for not only the sports that were postponed in the middle of their season, but also for football and volleyball.

This was supposed to be week 2 of the three week “offseason” workouts the MSHSL originally allowed for volleyball and football as well as spring sports, but the Winhawks haven’t had that opportunity. With getting the go-ahead to start they can now begin to implement different health and safety protocols to insure their team is ready for the season, but also to insure their athletes have a bit of a ramp up period. That was a concern for football coach John Cassellius on Monday.

“It does put us at a disadvantage, it puts us a little bit behind,” Casseillius said. “Even if you miss three or four practices, that’s a huge deal when you’re thinking that you really haven’t had practice for a while.”

There are still hoops to jump through and more work needs to be done, but for now sports are back at Winona Senior High.

“It’s kind of funny because I go from being super excited about activities being back to how the heck am I getting all these bus routes done before the end of the school week,” Indra said with a laugh.


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