ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The Rockwood School District is considering plans that would allow its student-athletes to play games outside of St. Louis County, the district announced Friday.
The district would allow “moderate/high-frequency contact sports” to be played in other counties where such games are allowed.
“While mindful of county guidelines, Rockwood Superintendent Dr. Mark Miles has asked district activities directors to honor previously scheduled competitions outside St. Louis County and to explore scheduling additional competitions beyond the borders of St. Louis County,” the district's email said. “In doing so, Dr. Miles is demonstrating his concern for students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to compete in their sports this season.”
During a press conference Friday afternoon, Miles said the district will work to ensure students and staff are safe.
"We will be maintaining our own mitigation strategies for social distancing to the extent possible," he said.
Miles said he will work with the other schools and districts to discuss how many spectators will be able to attend the games.
The activities director at Eureka High School Greg Cleveland said he has been contacting schools in Franklin, Jefferson and St. Charles counties to create a game schedule. His goal is to schedule four regular season games.
"We want to give them the opportunities to play as many games as possible," Cleveland said. "Our seniors need tape they can send to these coaches and colleges for scholarships."
Rockwood would be the first public school district in the county to make such a move. Already, though, a St. Louis County private school's softball team traveled to St. Charles to play a game this week.
Miles said he expects that other school districts would be making similar announcements about seeking athletic opportunities outside of the county, but said he did not want to speak for other superintendents.
St. Louis County health orders currently allow “low-frequency” contact sports and activities, including cross country, tennis and marching band. Those students may participate in practices and competitions in the area.
However, for older teens, the county is still restricting the play of “moderate” and “high-frequency” contact sports, including football, soccer and softball. Those teams may practice but are not allowed to participate in games within St. Louis county borders.
The county’s youth sports restrictions have generated controversy on both sides of the issue. Some have protested outside of St. Louis County Executive Sam Page’s home, demanding the county lift the restrictions.
But some parents agreed with the county’s decision, saying it is better to err on the side of health and safety.
Friday, the St. Louis County health department said it will not reverse its decision regarding youth sports.