The world of sports has been put on hold. That means high school soccer teams around the state can only wait to see if there’s a season this spring.

WyoPreps reached out to coaches around the state that finished at or near the top last year to get their perspective on the current hiatus and a possible shortened season.

The Jackson Broncs captured the 4A boys’ crown last spring. Jackson head coach Matt Hoelscher said he’s just telling his players to be ready.

“To be hopeful, to be optimistic, and that soccer will be there for us when we return, hopefully, this year or not. Personally, to get out there and stay fit, get touches on the ball, and play in small groups with people you trust. Obviously, we’re not having any sort of formal practices or anything like that, but just to be ready if we do.”

Worland is the two-time defending champs for Class 3A boys. The Warriors have won 29 consecutive matches. Worland head coach Ron Overcast said it happened so quickly.

“We had a week of practice. We were looking forward to getting our basketball players back the following week, but that’s when things all got canceled.”

He added some of the communication he’s had with his team has been some guidance from the WHSAA (Wyoming High School Activities Association) to stay active and work out. He also sent word when Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon advised no more than 10 people in a group, that his team needs to be smart about any sort of training they do together in smaller groups.

Thunder Basin won their first-ever girls’ soccer title in 4A last May. Head coach Lyle Foster said what we’ve promoted doing a lot of individual work.

“Obviously, encouraging the social distancing part of it, being responsible off of the field, as far as on the field, as well. Doing a lot of things on their own, we’ve given them some different programs to work on. A lot of our girls are really driven within themselves, so that’s pretty much a given that most of them would be doing that on their own, anyway.”

Powell head coach David Gilliatt said he understands the situation but admitted it was still devastating news.

“I’m competitive, as I told my players. We want to compete, naturally. Getting the news that we’ve got to take this break, I mean, it’s hard to use any other word other than depressing, but as a coach, I’m trying to, as well as I can because obviously it’s remotely, provide the players some accountability.”

He’s sent the team some videos, they’ve some mile-type competitions, and other challenges, just to keep it light-hearted.

All the coaches we visited with told WyoPreps if there is some way to salvage some of this season, they would welcome any solution. At this time, no one knows if that’s possible.

Cheyenne Central head coach Jeff Norman said he’s open to any possibility.

“I think I speak for my players too, we’ll play anything.”

Buffalo girls’ head coach Mike Sauers said if there’s a chance to play any part of the season it would be fabulous.

“There are kids on our team and kids across the state that it’s their senior year, their last chance to play in high school, maybe their first year playing soccer at the high school level, they still need that experience regardless of how short the season might be.”

Norman mentioned a few ideas have been discussed but since there’s no timeline for a return, it is tough to make any plans.

Sauers is also the Wyoming Coaches Association soccer representative. He added that some of the coach conversations are about what do you think is going to happen? What are your players doing? How are you keeping in touch with your teams? It’s stuff like that.

Presently, and each coach acknowledged it, there’s nothing to plan during these unprecedented times. The soccer coaches remain optimistic but are being realistic and understanding with all that’s going on with the COVID-19 pandemic.

WyoPreps thanks all the coaches for their time and perspective.

This is the first in a series of stories looking at the impact the coronavirus is having on prep sports during the spring season in Wyoming. WyoPreps is also reaching out to track and field and baseball coaches around the state.

Even high school rodeo canceled the Reined Cow Horse event in Thermopolis on March 28 and 29 its first spring rodeo in Laramie on April 4 and 5.

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