Baldwin track coach hopes to start practices this week

Baldwin football coach Bob Watkins is also coaching the track team this season. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

Baldwin football coach Bob Watkins is also coaching the track team this season. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

BALDWIN – Baldwin sports teams were hoping to get ready for spring sports this week.

But coaches like track skipper Bob Watkins noted the teams needed to start antigen testing.

The MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl sent a note to member schools last Thursday on an update from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“The key change is an individual entry is no longer required for NEGATIVE antigen tests,” Uyl wrote in his memo. “Within 24 hours of testing, the total number of antigen tests must be reported online but the only individual entries required are those POSITIVE tests. The positive tests must be reported individually within four hours of the positive. Simply put, this will be a significant ‘time saver’ for schools and athletic department personnel.”

The previous week, the MHSAA sent out this memo:

“Beginning on April 2, schools must complete an antigen test of athletes one time per week. The first test must be completed between April 2-8, the second test between April 9-15, 16-22 (and so on). There is no requirement that the antigen tests be completed before specific practices or contests; the order simply requires a weekly test of one time per week and schools have the flexibility to schedule the tests at any time within each week. This applies to all high school and middle school teams with participants between the ages of 13-19.

“Those 12 and younger may participate and are not required to complete rapid antigen testing.”

Watkins said on Monday he has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday.

“I was told they don’t have the testing kits yet,” Watkins said. “We’re at a standstill. I haven’t heard anything from baseball and softball. I would have thought they would have the kits by now. The email I got (Monday) said they should be here Wednesday. We’ll watch the video on how to administrate them. It’s still trial and error at this point.”

Practices were allowed by start on March 22, but Watkins recalls athletes were out on spring break at that time.

“(Monday) would have been our first day of practice,” Watkins said. “I talked to a lot of guys during the football season and encouraged them to come out.”