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Aug. 11, 2020MARYVILLE, Mo.
Practice for high school sports in Missouri got underway Monday, and when the first regular season game arrives in just over two weeks, the atmosphere at Midland Empire Conference sites will look much different.
The MEC will limit fans to just the immediate families of student-athletes and cheerleaders. Families of band members and dance teams will also be permitted to into games to see their students perform, and will be encouraged to leave once the bands and dance teams are finished. Social distancing between families will be implemented as well.
Maryville High School Athletic Director Mat Beu said the league wants to take precautions, while also making sure parents are able to support their children.
"We want to make sure that the experience isn't too foreign to our student-athletes," Beu said. "We want their parents to be involved in the experience of participating in high school athletics. Kind of collectively, we decided that we need to develop a plan to make sure they are part of that process."
Beu added that it's not ideal to limit fans, but this plan is about making sure that student-athletes still have the chance to play.
"We're going to do everything we can to try and reduce the spread of COVID-19. There's no perfect plan. There just isn't. You can poke holes in any decision as far as that goes. Us, collectively, with some advice from some medical professionals and people who have a very good understanding of how this works, this is the best plan that we came up with that meets the needs of our entire conference."
MEC officials will meet again Friday to discuss gameday protocols for the new mitigation plan.
The full interview with Mat Beu is available above.