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Recapping an unprecedented year in Idaho high school athletics

“Nobody knew what was going to happen”
Published: May. 30, 2021 at 9:41 PM MDT|Updated: May. 30, 2021 at 9:42 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — In the 2020-2021 school year, Idaho played high school sports the entire year. Players, coaches, administrators and communities had to adapt to an ever-changing environment to keep athletes on the field.

“Going into this, we didn’t know what we were in for,” said Jerome High School Athletic Director Scott Burton. “I mean, we were kind of marching headfirst into this weird time and battle that nobody knew the rules, nobody knew what was going to happen.”

Some days, whether or not a game would even be played was in question.

“As AD’s (Athletic Directors) we were always communicating, Burley Athletic Director Randy Winn said. “If Burley went on the road to, for example, Twin Falls, Canyon Ridge, I was always on the phone with their Athletic Directors seeing what people were allowed in and it was a battle because every school is different”

The structure of a normal year in the classroom and on the field changed greatly.

“We lost numbers, we lost cultures, we lost consistency, we lost coaches, we lost teachers, we lost participants, I mean we lost everything,” Burton said.

Burton’s goal to combat these problems at Jerome was to keep things as normal as possible in his athletic department, but he knows there will be a process of rebuilding what normal is across athletic departments next year

However, Idaho’s youth stars may be a little ahead of the curve, with the Idaho High School Activities Association allowing sports the entire year.

“We got to have state tournaments, nothing was canceled, our cheer and dance got to go to state this year,” Winn said. “I just got to give them kudos, because there were so many states that that wasn’t allowed.”

Next up, fall sports.

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