USD 353 Athletic Director Luke Smith Discusses Options

Dear Wellington Community,

I am writing to you to outline our plan for athletics once we are back in session on 9-7-21
pending any changes. We understand the issues that this pause has caused and are committed to having as
much of a fall season as possible. As always student safety is our top priority and we will continue to
work with medical staff and our health department to make the best decisions possible for our students.
We have lost all our events that were scheduled thru Sept. 6th at this point and will work to reschedule or
find any other games as possible make up games. Some events will be difficult to make up such as
tournaments, games and meets that will be played on their regularly scheduled dates that include other
schools. There are also rules that there must be 3 days in between football games so this will also be a
challenge to navigate to try and make up for our week 1 football game.
Students who test positive must follow the KSHSAA return to participate guidelines listed here:
The main points of this document are due to health concerns of the student. Any positive student must
have a doctor’s clearance to return to KSHSAA athletics (including marching band and cheer). Once the
positive student is back there is a structured process to follow to get them back to competition. This
process is much like we have been following for students who get a concussion. Students who have not
tested positive will be able to return to full practice after this pause.
Our plan right now is to start practice on September 7th at normal times as before this
pause in activities. Football and cross country have a minimum number of practices to participate in
before their first contest (high school 14, middle school 13), so we will need to have those groups practice
Sept. 7th thru Sept. 11th. We will unfortunately have to cancel/postpone games thru Sept. 10th. Right
now we still plan on hosting our middle school and high school cross country meet on Sept. 11th at Hargis
Creek. We will also not be able to play our week 2 football High School or Middle games. The Middle
School football game for week 2 at Augusta will not be made up. We are trying to work on moving the
High School football game vs. Collegiate to Sept. 11th in Wellington providing it works with scheduling.
If we are unable to come to an agreement with all parties this game will not be rescheduled.
Tennis, golf, and volleyball do not have the minimum number of practices like football and
cross country. However ,coming off a pause in activities from Aug. 27th thru Sept. 6th we need to have
practices before we have our first events. This is for the safety of our students and will allow us time to
see how we are doing with this pandemic as well as reacclimate to the conditioning of their sport. For this
reason these sports will practice on Sept. 7th thru Sept. 10th. They will be eligible to compete in
activities on Sept. 11th. Any events prior to the 11th will either have to be rescheduled or cancelled.
Again, we will work to reschedule as many events as possible and be active the rest of this year in
changing our schedules if other events open up.
Again we are sad for our students and activities for this pause in their season. We are
hopeful that this pause will result in us being able to conduct the rest of our season without further
interruptions. If we are unable to make up any events we apologize for this loss, but we are thankful that
this happened now vs the end of the season and postseason play. We appreciate your support and
flexibility through this process. We will continue to keep the student’s safety as our top priority with the
intent of providing as many opportunities as possible for them to be involved in their activities.
As always thank you for your support and feel free to contact me with any questions.
Luke Smith
USD 353 District Athletic/Activities Director

Author: Steve Sturgis

Steve graduated from Wellington High School in 1974 and then Wichita State University (with honors) in 1979 with a B.S. Degree in Administration of Justice; his minor was in Sociology. Steve has held several positions ranging from Juvenile Court Service Officer, to District Manager in Circulation at the Wichita Eagle, Q.A. Planner at Boeing, Caregiver, Psychiatric Technician, Limo Driver, Ranch Hand, Photographer, Webmaster and Website Developer and a die hard Crusader Fan since the early 1960's. Contact the ole boy at or on Facebook or at any Crusader event year-round.