2020 start time may impact sports teams

Middle school athletes to be affected

Eighth+grader+Sophie+Earle+performs+her+floor+routine+at+a+meet+against+Hopkins.+The+middle+school+will+now+be+getting+out+3%3A52+p.m.%2C+which+will+affect+sports+practices+and+after-school+events.+
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2020 start time may impact sports teams

Eighth grader Sophie Earle performs her floor routine at a meet against Hopkins. The middle school will now be getting out 3:52 p.m., which will affect sports practices and after-school events.

Eighth grader Sophie Earle performs her floor routine at a meet against Hopkins. The middle school will now be getting out 3:52 p.m., which will affect sports practices and after-school events.

Abby Prestholdt

Eighth grader Sophie Earle performs her floor routine at a meet against Hopkins. The middle school will now be getting out 3:52 p.m., which will affect sports practices and after-school events.

Abby Prestholdt

Abby Prestholdt

Eighth grader Sophie Earle performs her floor routine at a meet against Hopkins. The middle school will now be getting out 3:52 p.m., which will affect sports practices and after-school events.

By Sophie Olmen, St. Louis Park High School

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With the new change in school district start times, sophomore Ryan Barnett said he feels a range of emotions.

“I have mixed feelings about it. I think it’ll be good for the middle schoolers so they don’t have to wake up too early but I feel like it’ll create a lot of conflicts for sports and after school activities,” Barnett said.

According to athletic director Andrew Ewald, the middle school students participating in high school sports will be impacted the most.

“It’s going to force us as a high school athletic department to become creative and maybe start some practices later,” Ewald said. “I think the biggest impact is going to be the amount of class time that middle schoolers are going to miss.”

Freshman Victoria Schmelzle said she agrees a change needed to take place but a different option should have been chosen.

“The time changes are necessary, but I think the board should have gone with a different option that helps accommodate athletes,” Schmelzle said. “I think the middle school needs to get out before the high school so that sports can run smoothly, gym space does not get limited and (they) don’t have to miss school for games or meets.”

Barnett said the changes may impact practice times.

“It would be harder to participate in sports if they’re on the ninth grade or freshman team because those start pretty early after school,” Barnett said. “If they’re getting out after those games start it’ll be hard.”

According to Schmelzle, gym space will affect practices.

“This change will affect gym space. If practices get pushed back then there will be less time to practice,” Schmelzle said.

Ewald said the athletic department’s job is to make sure everything runs smoothly.

“A decision was made and now it’s our responsibility to find the best solutions to some of the problems and roadblocks and that’s what we’ll do,” Ewald said.

This story was originally published on The Echo on April 22, 2019.