COLUMN: What will winter sports season look like?

Mark Spensley
Express Co-Publisher

   Through all that has transpired in the world the last eight months in relation to COVID, one of the few constants for myself and many others is having sports to watch. Of course, in the bigger picture of all this mess, having sports is low on the totem pole. People are sick, some recovering some not.

     COVID numbers are flying off the charts and soon we will be entering into new sports seasons: wrestling, basketball, hockey and others. And at all levels, from high school to professional.

     What might the winter sports season look like? Currently the Iowa high school winter sports seasons are on hold. Locally, Monticello schools have gone to online learning. With that the district has shut down usage of all facilities, meaning practices have come to a stoppage.

     For those to start back up again, schools will need to open back up. Currently Monticello is in a two-week period of online learning. Other districts in the state that remain having students in attendance can currently operate their sports programs like they normally would.

     As I am writing this, the Iowa governor does have a press conference scheduled for tonight (Monday) and this could all change.

     It should be safe for me to assume that there will be an advantage for those schools and athletes that are spared any interruptions in their schedules. As a former wrestler, I could see this being a big deal. Wrestling is one of those sports that you train and practice to peak during the end of the regular season so you are going into going into tournament time in peak form and condition. If wrestling and all winter sports end up getting cancelled (this is pure speculation) as a former wrestler, can you imagine sitting on three state championships and not being able to go for number four? It would be similar to what happened to Iowa two-time national champion Spencer Lee last season, who many had projected the next (extremely rare) 4x college national champion.

     Hopefully our county, our state and our nation can get this thing under control, not just so we can watch and attend sporting events, but so we can save lives and get our own lives back to normal.

     Fantasy football update: It’s not looking good this week for my team “Aaron it out” (like my Packer reference?). After last week’s rise to first place, by virtue of leading in total points, my team has underperformed this week. Going into tonight’s game, I am behind in score 103-73. My opponent is out of players but I still have my number one scorer left, Viking RB Dalvin Cook.

     Last week Cook scored my team 38 points so I still have a slim chance. The week before he scored 47 points. But tonight, he is going against a pretty good Chicago Bears defense. Yahoo has predicted Cook to only score 19 points this week and has me at a 25 percent chance to pull off the win.

     It seems like everyone that I started this week underachieved: The Baltimore defense was horrible against the Patriots (1 point). TE T.J. Hockenson scored a measly two points and WR Robert Woods of the Rams only scored 6 points. Of my nine starters, two players scored above their projected fantasy points.

     This hurts, but I am a Minnesota Viking/Dalvin Cook fan once again.




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