Dodgeville student athletes ask school board to reinstate in-person learning

DODGEVILLE, Wis.– Dodgeville High School’s student athletes are anxiously waiting to return to their teams.

Winter sports and other co-curricular activities are delayed due to rising cases of COVID-19 in Iowa County.

“Sports are one of the number one things in my life,” Olivia Argall said

The students wonder why the modifications that they say worked during fall activities couldn’t be used now.

“We distance as much as we can. We wear masks,” Casey Weier said. “I feel like that’s more of a safe place for us that other places that we can be when we’re out of school.”

Concerns from the Iowa County Health Department led the school board to shift to an all virtual model in late October, which included delaying any close contact activities.

“When the education of the students at school can be accomplished, then we are able to discuss the possibilities of co-curriculars,” School Board President Michael Humke said.

Superintendent Paul Weber said he understands what this loss means to his students, but he also has to keep everyone safe from a possible holiday surge of COVID-19 cases.

“They’re important to them. They’re important to us. They’re important to the community,” Weber said. “At the same time, we’re looking at it from a stand point on how to keep people safe.”

Although returning to school would be ideal for these students, they’ll make do with whatever happens.

“It’s definitely a hard decision to make. So, whatever the board decides, I know we’ll respect (it) no matter how it affects us,” Argall said.

The Dodgeville School Board will decide if it will delay extra curriculars for a longer period of time at a meeting on Thursday. That decision will go into effect next Monday.