WALWORTH, Wis.—The Big Foot football team still isn’t sure of its final fate.
That decision is expected to be known by the end of this week, when administrators of the Capitol Conference gather together to determine the direction fall sports in the conference will go.
The rest of the Big Foot athletic department is under the umbrella of the Rock Valley Conference, which announced its intention to hold its fall prep season at the conclusion of the winter season.
Big Foot coach and co-athletic director Mike Welden isn’t positive on what the conference’s decision will be regarding his gridiron squad.
“If you look at the way things are trending, it doesn’t look good for us to play,” Welden said. “But I know there are some schools that are really pushing for sports and some that aren’t. It’s an interesting conference because you have schools in different counties where the COVID rates are very different, so I’m not sure exactly what direction they are going to go.”
Big Foot was the lone dissenter in the RVC’s vote on postponing fall sports until the spring.
“Superintendent (Doug) Parker cast the ‘no’ vote with all of our support,” Welden said. “We had talked about a plan with the board that included giving fall sports a try, and even though we knew it wasn’t going to make a difference in the final vote based on the way other communities felt, we wanted people to know that’s where we stood. I think everyone in this community sees the value in athletics, and we stood for what we believed in.”
That said, Welden isn’t upset with the RVC’s final decision.
“They did what they felt was in the best interest of the health of the kids,” Welden said. “And when you come at it from that angle, you can’t really be upset at the decision. We kind of saw this coming after seeing what other conferences in the area had done. It stinks, but I understand why they made the decision they did.”
Welden said he’s not opposed to the idea of spring football, if that’s the direction the Capitol Conference wants to move.
“A lot of people are talking about the weather for the beginning of the season, and it is an issue,” Welden said. “But it’s an issue for every spring sport. And you look at the fall season ending at the state finals on Nov. 17, and there certainly could be snow falling at that point. So for football, I think we’d be fine.
“It’s the other sports that I think are going to have an issue. Trying to start a cross country or tennis practice in the middle of February, I just don’t see how that is possible.”
Welden did mention one tremendous positive the Chiefs have on their side.
“I’m really glad we have all of our facilities complete,” Welden said. “That’s the silver lining in all of this. We have a turf football field, softball field and baseball field. We are going to be able to play, regardless of the conditions. And I think our fields are going to become a pretty popular place around here, because I’m not sure there’s going to be a lot of playable surfaces, especially early in the season. That’s a problem we’ll definitely be glad to deal with if we have to.”